Joey Votto has been on a dinger binge the likes of which not even he has seen in his Hall of Fame career. In fact, with his 3-run blast on Thursday in the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he matched Frank Robinson - yes, that Frank Robinson - as the first Cincinnati Reds basher to sock 10 dingers in a 10 game span since Frank did back in the 1962 season.
Votto’s 3-run blast was matched by one from Eugenio Suarez, while Jonathan India added a solo blast of his own, that providing the entirety of the offense on a day when it was good enough to get past the reeling Pirates.
Sonny Gray looked pristine early, yet ran into some dink and dunk trouble in a 5th inning that ended up being his last, as a trio of hits that never left the infield paired with some questionable infield defense let Pittsburgh back into the game at the time. Fortunately, though, the Reds bullpen managed to flex and lock, something we’ve rarely been able to say about them at any point this season.
Adding to that intrigue was that Michael Lorenzen was unavailable after pitching on each of the last two days, yesterday logging a 5-out save. Instead, the Reds leaned on a combination of Jeff Hoffman, Justin Wilson, and Mychal Givens, a trio that was plenty good enough to get the job done this time around. For Givens, it was his first save as a member of the Reds, but he became the 10th Red to log a save for the club so far this year, which is already a team record.
(Oh, and Kyle Farmer had another 3-hit night along the way, for those of you keeping track.)
Enjoy a nice, mostly casual Tony Graphanino for this one, would ya?