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Jesse Winker homers to power Reds past Cardinals 4-2

Vlad Gutierrez was rock solid in his second career start.

Cincinnati Reds v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star(s) of the Game

Who else? Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos!

Winker singled twice and socked a 2-run dong, while Castellanos extended his hit streak to 19 games with yet another 2-hit night (that also included a harmless HBP).

These two Cincinnati Reds sluggers have been absolutely dynamite so far this season, ranking more or less at the top of every single MLB leaderboard in all the important offensive categories. Honestly, it’s been perhaps the best 1-2 punch we’ve seen for this length of time in a Reds uniform since...well, since...?!

Honorable Mentions are due to: Vlad Gutierrez, who settled down after some early jitters to fire 5 IP of 3 H, 2 ER ball; Tejay Antone, who was once again completely ridiculous in his 2 IP in relief; and Tucker Barnhart, who socked a big ribbie double; and Jonathan India, who had a 2-hit night (with a double).

Key Plays

  • The Top of the 1st saw the Reds jump out to an early lead, though it wasn’t quite as substantial as we’d hoped at the time. Singles by Winker and Castellanos began things, while back to back HBPs from Adam Wainwright - the second on a breaking ball with zero intent, obviously - drove in a run. The butt-end of the Reds order couldn’t capitalize on that, though, and the Reds held just a 1-0 lead.
  • Tommy Edman did that incredibly annoying, incredibly predictable thing where he manufactured his own run in the Bottom of the 1st, however. Singled on a grounder, stole 2B, scored on a Tyler O’Neill single into LF. Yadier Molina then did that incredibly annoying, incredibly predictable thing where he smacked an RBI-single into LF with 2-out to plate O’Neill, and the Reds trailed, 2-1.
  • The Reds reclaimed the lead off Waino in the Top of the 2nd, however. Geno Suarez swapped out Jonathan India on the bases via fielder’s choice after India had singled, and was still on for Winker’s titanic 2-run tater down the RF line. Reds led, 3-2.
  • A walk to Mike Freeman from reliever Daniel Ponce de Leon got the party started in the Top of the 8th, as Freeman later motored home for an insurance run on Barnhart’s RBI-double. Reds led, 4-2. Fortunately, Lucas Sims made that hold up with a 2-inning save (with some goosebumps), and the Reds took home the opener.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Friday’s contest between these NL Central rivals will feature Luis Castillo on the mound for Cincinnati, something that has somehow, some way been sucky as all hell all year. Hopefully, that changes tomorrow, and the would-be Reds ace can finally find his normal gear. He’ll be opposed on the mound by Kwang-Hyun Kim, a lefty who the Reds will be trying to unlock. First pitch is set for 8:15 PM ET.
  • Tunes.