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Jose Barrero slams Cincinnati Reds past Boston Red Sox in eeked-out 9-8 victory

What was once a huge lead turned into a nail-biter, but a win is a win is a win!

Cincinnati Reds v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It wasn’t too, too long ago that Jose Barrero was rocking AAA pitching to the tune of an OPS pushing 1.000 and rocketing to the top of prospect lists across the land. In the time since that glorious 2021 breakout, however, he’s struggled to adjust to big league pitching while also being forced to work back from wrist surgery.

He’s been passed on the shortstop depth chart once already this year, and with Elly De La Cruz looming, it’s likely he’ll get lapped their again soon. That said, his versatility and willingness to take on CF has seen him improve out there by the day, and on Tuesday he added some offense in a pinch on a day when he finally looked like the confident potential stud at the plate once again.

He smoked a grand slam over the Green Monster in Fenway Park for the single biggest hit of the day for the Cincinnati Reds in their 9-8 victory over the Boston Red Sox in the series opener. He added a walk and a jam-shot single, too, all of which came on a day when he wasn’t even in the starting lineup - he replaced TJ Friedl mid-game after Friedl appeared to tweak a hamstring on a spring to 1B.

That was good enough for Barrero to share Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game honors with Ben Lively, who put up zeroes through 5.2 IP in another excellent start. Lively fanned 6 against just 2 walks and 4 hits, and once again looked the part of a key cog in the depleted Cincinnati starting rotation.

An excellent win in Boston to follow a series sweep in Chicago, even if the bullpen did a triple salchow into a woodchipper. Thankfully, Alexis Diaz was up to the task of bailing out the club after things got super-hairy in the Bottom of the 9th.

Quite the performance for the Reds in two of the cathedrals of the game!

Tony Graphanino

[Link to interactive WPA chart & box score, via FanGraphs]

Other Notes

  • Will Benson had a phenomenal game, picking up 3 hits (including the first triple of his career) while scoring 3 runs, too.
  • Tyler Stephenson walked twice and logged the first triple of his career, too.
  • Tonight marked the fourth consecutive game in which the Reds had scored at least 8 runs, the first time they’d accomplished that feat since 1987, according to Slyde.
  • The Reds held an 8-0 lead at one point in this one before the bullpen burp-farted. It happens, what can I say?
  • Luke Weaver and James Paxton will share the mound in tomorrow’s matchup between these two. First pitch is once again set for 7:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes.