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Spencer Steer’s home run leads Reds to 5-4 comeback win over Red Sox

That win pushes the Reds’ win streak to 5 games!

Cincinnati Reds v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds did it again. When we thought they were down and out, just as they had done 16 other times this season, they found a way to come back and win and take the series from the Boston Red Sox. For a team with very few expectations coming into 2023, they’ve been pretty damn fun to watch for the first two months of the season and now find themselves three games out of first place as we head into June.

Reds’ starter Luke Weaver was once again able to keep a tough lineup at bay for the most part, as he put together his 2nd straight solid outing in the last week. He was able to limit damage when he ran into trouble and didn’t walk a batter tonight. He was, however bit by the long ball as he allowed solo home runs to Masataka Yoshida and Emanuel Valdez as the Red Sox took a 3-1 lead going into the 6th inning. In all, Weaver threw 5.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits with no walks and 5 strikeouts. Combine that with his 6.1 shutout innings against St. Louis, and you have some encouraging signs for a team that is very lacking in starting pitching depth.

The Reds, to their credit, took advantage of some 2-out opportunities when they could have been out of the inning. In fact, all 5 of the Reds’ runs were scored with 2 outs tonight. In the top of the 5th, trailing 2-0 at the time, Jose Barrero drew a 2-out walk to keep the inning alive. That brought up Luke Maile, who doubled off the top of the Green Monster to bring home Barrero and get the Reds on the board. Then in the 6th, after Boston had extended their lead to 3-1, Nick Senzel came through again with a 2-out, RBI single to bring home Jonathan India, who had walked to lead off the inning.

The big blow came in the top of the 7th to put the Reds’ ahead for good. Luke Maile reached base on a throwing error to lead off the inning. He’d then move to 2nd as Kevin Newman would float a ball into shallow right field for a single. Matt McLain would then single on a grounder through the right side of the infiled to load the bases with nobody out. Unfortunately, India would ground into a double play but that would bring in Maile to tie the game at 3-3. That brought up Spencer Steer who, once again with 2 outs, smashed a ball over the Green Monster in left-center to put the Reds up 5-3. That alone was enough to earn Mr. Steer tonight’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game award.

The last 3 innings weren’t without their tense moments, though. In the bottom of the 7th, the Red Sox loaded the bases with 2 outs but were held to no runs after Alex Young got Justin Turner to ground out to end the inning. Then, in the 8th, doubles by Masataka Yoshida and Jarren Duran would cut the Reds’ lead to 5-4, but Lucas Sims was able to limit the damage to a single run. The 9th inning, despite it being of the 3-up, 3-down variety, got scary for a couple seconds as well. Buck Farmer, who was brought on in the 9th after Alexis Diaz pitched his 3rd outing in 4 days last night, served up a ball to Rafael Devers who smoked it to dead center field. Fortunately, the ball would die in Nick Senzels glove at the warning track to end the game and give the Reds a 5-4 victory.

Tony Graphanino

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

Other Notes

  • Nick Senzel, Matt McLain, and Kevin Newman all continued their hot streaks tonight, as all 3 players had 2 hits on the evening.
  • Christian Encarnacion-Strand hit a grand slam tonight.
  • The Reds look to earn the sweep tomorrow night as Hunter Greene takes the mound looking to capitalize off his fantastic outing in Chicago last week. He’ll face off against Chris Sale. First pitch is at 7:10 PM EDT. Go Reds!