Elly De La Cruz took Arizona Diamondbacks starter Jose Ruiz in the first plate appearance of the day, Nick Senzel later socked a three-run tater off Ruiz, too, and the Cincinnati Reds raced to a 7-3 victory over the Snakes on Sunday afternoon. That win wrapped up a series sweep and marked the fifth consecutive victory for the Reds.
Luke Weaver was perhaps the best version of himself in today’s start, going through 4.0 IP while keeping the potent Arizona offense off the board. As the rest of the rotation gets healthy, and as the team perhaps pursues upgrades to the starting rotation, him moving to a shorter relief role where his stuff truly plays up is a pretty obvious transition, and his velocity increase (and slight delivery alteration) over his last pair of starts sure looks like it’s already begun.
Of course, that’s not the whole story on Weaver today. Despite the top of the Arizona lineup being due up for a third time against Weaver to begin the 5th, David Bell stuck with his starter, and that immediately backfired in the form of a trio of runs to tie the game - two of which came in the form of a Corbin Carroll homer. Role sure met result with a thud today, and that just might be enough to resonate with the trade deadline looming.
Fortunately, the Reds offense was able to pick up the slack, and a three-run Bottom of the 8th sealed the deal on a day in which regular closer Alexis Diaz was unavailable. Levi Stoudt and Lucas Sims combined to get through a slightly nervy Top of the 9th, and that was that.
Reds 7, Diamondbacks 3.
- I’ll dole out Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game dap to rookie Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who had a two-hit day that included the two-ribbie single in the Bottom of the 8th that truly put the game on ice. That said, each of TJ Friedl, Matt McLain, and Spencer Steer had two-hit days, respectively. All-around solid day from the bats!
- A late three-run homer and a Raisel Iglesias save meant Atlanta took down the Milwaukee Brewers today. That leaves the Reds just a half-game behind Milwaukee in the standings with a series between the two at whatever they call Miller Park these days next on the docket.
- Graham Ashcraft and Colin Rea are the scheduled starters for tomorrow’s series opener in Milwaukee, with first pitch set for 8:10 PM ET. The damn Brewers have beat the pants off the Reds so far this year, and this series marks the last time they’ll have a chance to get back at ‘em - in the regular season, at least.