Jake Fraley’s first season as a Cincinnati Red has not gone according to plan. He played in only 15 games to start the season before hitting the IL with a knee injury that shelved him for a few months. In the last month since he’s been back, he has been on quite a tear hitting .340/.393/.620 in 16 games. He continued that hot streak tonight by reaching base 3 times and sending a ball into the Allegheny River for a 2-run homer as a part of the Reds’ 4-run 4th inning. Seriously, look at this tank:
Here’s to hoping the Reds can see more of this out of him in the final 6 weeks of the season. The Pirates had nothing for Reds’ starter and Fraley’s fellow acquisition-mate Justin Dunn tonight, as he had by far his best performance in a Reds’ uniform. He shut the Pirates down over 5 innings, allowing only 1 run on 3 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. The lone run came on a solo shot by Rodolfo Castro in the 5th.
The Reds’ bullpen was great the rest of the way, allowing only 4 Pirates to reach base in the final 4 frames which is quite the step up from what they have been most of the season. Things stayed 5-1 for the rest of the way, until the Reds got another late outburst at the plate, scoring 5 runs in the 9th inning to put the final nails in the coffin.
Fraley wasn’t the only solid offensive performer tonight. The Reds got a 3-hit night from Donovan Solano, who was fresh off the paternity list. Mike Moustakas and Kyle Farmer each had multi-hit nights as well while Austin Romine contributed with a 2-RBI double in the 4th.
The Reds and Pirates face off in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon. Mike Minor (1-10, 6.31 ERA) will get the start against Zach Thompson (3-9, 5.51 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:05 PM EDT. Go Reds.