Do you know how to make things feel better after getting finished with a 4-game sweep? Facing a team that has traded every important piece of their roster from the last 3 years. Finally, a team the Cincinnati Reds can relate to. The Reds headed down to the nation’s capital to face the Nationals, and faced a rookie making his Major League debut in the process. Cade Cavalli was drafted in the first round of the 2020 draft and moved through the Nats’ system pretty quickly. As we have felt this year with the debuts of Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo this season, there had to be some hope for the future among Nats fans going into tonight.
The Reds spoiled that pretty much from the get-go. With 1 out in the top of the 1st, Jonathan India got things going with a hit-by-pitch. That brought up Donovan Solano, who hit a grounder up the middle, which was fielded by CJ Abrams who promptly threw it past first baseman Luke Voit, allowing India to come around and score his first of 3 runs on the night. TJ Friedl followed that up with an RBI double to score Solano, and the Reds quickly led 2-0.
After a scoreless 2nd, the Reds doubled their lead in the top of the 3rd. Jonathan India laced a 1-out single and then moved to 3rd on a double by Kyle Farmer. That brought up Donovan Solano, who ripped one off the wall in center to score Farmer and India and increase the lead to 4-0.
The Nats were able to get one back in the bottom of the inning, but the Reds effectively blew it open in the 5th. Jonathan India led off with a walk and then moved to 2nd on an infield single by Farmer. Donovan Solano then grounded into a force out which brought up TJ Friedl, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That ended Cavalli’s evening and brought in Erasmo Ramirez to try and clean things up. Aristides Aquino had other plans, as he lined a 1-1 pitch to the wall in left to clear the bases and give the Reds a 7-1 lead.
In the meantime of all this run-scoring, Mike Minor was having a pretty dang effective night on the mound. The Nats had no real answers for him, as he only allowed 6 base runners in his 7 innings of work. In all, he threw 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits with no walks and 7 strikeouts. After losing 10 straight games where Minor had started, the Reds have now won twice in a row in his starts. I’m sure that has to feel good. Playing the Pirates and Nats helps a little sometimes.
Anyways, the Pirates were able to plate a couple more runs, but never really threatened otherwise and the Reds came out victorious, 7-3. Game 2 of the series is tomorrow as Luis Cessa (3-2, 5.67 ERA) tries his luck in the rotation again. He’ll face off against Paolo Espino (0-5, 4.31 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT. Go Reds.