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6-run 8th inning dooms Reds in 8-2 loss to Red Sox

Ya can’t win ‘em all, I guess

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Boston Red Sox David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

All good streaks must come to an end, apparently. Heading into game 3 with their ace on the mound against the Boston Red Sox, the Cincinnati Reds had a chance to sweep and keep their 5-game win streak alive. That was not meant to be, as an 8th inning onslaught turned a 2-2 game into an 8-2 game very quickly. 5 out of 6 is still a hell of a road trip and the Reds will look to carry that momentum into a big series against the Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow.

Hunter Greene, to his credit, did his part. He had another very solid outing, allowing a single run on 2 hits with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts over 6 innings of work. Both of Greene’s hits and the run were allowed in the bottom of the 4th, partly because of a little bad luck. With the Reds leading 1-0, Rafael Devers led off the inning with what should have been an easy fly out to center. Instead, Jose Barrero lost the ball in the air and the ball dropped harmlessly in center field, giving Devers a double. That brought up Justin Turner, who singled on a ground ball to right field to tie the game at 1-1. That was the only damage that Greene would incur, and that’s enough to earn him tonight’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game.

The Reds were able to strike first tonight, as they looked to make things a little easier instead of having to come back all the damn time. In the top of the 3rd, Curt Casali and Kevin Newman traded doubles to score the first run of the game and put the Reds up 1-0. That was Newman’s 2nd of 3 hits on the evening and 1 of his 2 doubles on the evening. He continues to hit the hell out of the ball.

Things remained scoreless until the bottom of the 7th, when Boston finally broke the tie. With Ian Gibaut coming on in relief, Kiké Hernandez took a 1-2 pitch and deposited it onto the first row of the Green Monster, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. The Reds, as they have done all season, found a way to tie it. Kevin Newman led off the inning with a double down the right field line and then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch by reliever Chris Martin. That brought up Matt McLain, who hit a grounder through the left side and brought in Newman to tie the game.

David Bell brought on Kevin Herget to face the Red Sox’ top of the order in the top of the 8th and, well, we won’t get too deep into that. A few hard-hit balls, a balk, and then a blast over the Monster and all of a sudden the Reds were down 6 runs. The Reds couldn’t get anything done in the 9th and ultimately fell, 8-2.

Tony Graphanino

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

Other Notes

  • Chris Sale and Hunter Greene were having quite the battle through the first 3 innings. Unfortunately, that came to an end prematurely as Sale had to leave the game in the top of the 4th with what the Red Sox are calling “Left shoulder soreness.” Hopefully it isn’t to serious and he can be back on the mound soon.
  • Matt McLain’s RBI single in the 8th inning extended his team-high hitting streak to 10 games.
  • The Reds return home tomorrow to face the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. Brandon Williamson takes the mound for the Reds against Corbin Burnes for the Beer Men. First pitch is a little earlier tomorrow, at 5:10 PM EDT. Go Reds.