The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Just 12ish hours after the Cincinnati Reds took a debilitating extra-innings loss on the chin, they were back in action against the Minnesota Twins once again. Riding a 5-game losing streak and with a bullpen that was completely gassed after last night’s frustratingly long loss, the only way they were going to take any sort of confidence back to GABP with tomorrow’s off-day was to do some bashing of the Twins.
That looked like a shoe-in for a time, but after the bullpen made another complete mess of things, Tyler Naquin stepped up and did the dirty work himself to make things right. His 3-run tater in the 9th inning was the single biggest swat, but prior to that he added a trio of singles, a walk, and another run scored as part of an absolutely mammoth day.
Thank you for helping the Reds scrape their way back to .500 again, Tyler.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tucker Barnhart, who socked a dinger, singled twice, scored twice, and drove in a trio of runs; and Wade Miley, who fired 7 innings of 2 ER ball to, for a time, help bail out the bullpen by keeping it stuck on the bench.
- Barnhart got the Reds on the board in the Top of the 3rd with a solo blast off Twins starter Bailey Ober. That gave the Reds a 1-0 lead, which I’m certain your deductive reasoning already assured you.
- Ryan Jeffers flipped the score in the Bottom of the 4th, however, homering into the LF seats off Miley after Nelson Cruz had poked a single to reach base ahead of him. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- Winker helped changed that off Ober in the Top of the 5th, however. Back to back singles by Kyle Farmer and Barnhart began the inning, and after Jonathan India walked, Jesse smashed a 2-run double off the wall in RF, moving India to 3B while giving the Reds a 3-2 lead. After Tyler Naquin coaxed a walk to load the bags, Eugenio Suarez singled to score India, though Winker somewhat inexplicably tried to score, too, and was thrown out by a fathom to end the threat. Ugh. Reds led, though, 4-2.
- A Naquin single and Geno walk began the Top of the 8th, and after a force-play off the bat of Shogo, that left Naquin and 3B and Shogo on 1B. Kyle Farmer then hit an innocent chopper down the 3B line that was booted by Miguel Sano, scoring Naquin to make it a 5-2 game and leave a pair of runners in scoring position. That proved large, as Barnhart followed with a 2-run single, and the Reds held a 7-2 lead.
- Minnesota promptly struck back against the Cincinnati bullpen, though I suppose that’s to be expected at this juncture. Art Warren was tasked with the start of the Bottom of the 8th, but he walked Jorge Polanco and surrendered a 422 foot dong to Max Kepler that made it a 7-4 game before getting the yank. That brought in Lucas Sims, who wasted little time in allowing a Trevor Larnach solo moonshot that cut it to just 7-5. A single came next, and that was followed by a Miguel Sano thunderbump that hit off the top of the LF wall that missed being a game-tying dinger by a fraction of an inch. Instead, it went for a double that left a pair of runners in scoring position and chased Sims for the newly activated Tejay Antone. Two pitches later, Alex Kiriloff doubled to tie the game at 7-7.
- Fortunately, Tyler Naquin came to the rescue for the Reds in the Top of the 9th. Hansel Robles surrendered a double to Nick Castellanos prior to hitting Tyler Stephenson with a pitch, which made the dinger Naquin socked way the hell over the wall in CF of the 3-run variety, putting the Reds ahead 10-7, which is mercifully where the score stayed.
- In positive injury-related developments, Sonny Gray is set to start a rehab assignment with AAA Louisville, with a trio of IP set for Thursday. Meanwhile, Jeff Hoffman will start his rehab assignment with AAA Louisville this evening.
- Joey Votto was out for this one while serving his 1-game suspension following his eruption after a check-swing strikeout ruling on Saturday in San Diego, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon relayed.
- This frakkin’ bullpen, man.
- The Reds have a merciful off-day tomorrow, and will welcome the Atlanta Braves to town on Thursday in a pivotal series for both clubs as trade season looms. Tony Santillan is set to start for the Reds in the series opener that day, though Atlanta has not yet named their starter. First pitch Thursday is set for 7:10 PM ET.