The Reds extended their winning streak to six games after Friday night’s extra-innings victory. However, the fun came to an end over the weekend as the Diamondbacks would win handily on Saturday and Sunday to take the series.
Expectations weren’t overly high for starters Jeff Hoffman and Jose De Leon as they are just placeholders until Sonny Gray and Michael Lorenzen return from injury and join the rotation. So far, Cincinnati is 2-2 in the four starts Hoffman and De Leon have made so it is important to keep that in perspective. Sonny Gray will be back very soon.
In a 162-game season, you are going to have some series like this one. That is why sweeping the cellar dwellers like the Pittsburgh Pirates is so important and not something that should be mocked or overlooked. Beat the teams you are supposed to beat.
The Redlegs will stay out west for three more days as they begin a series with the San Francisco Giants tomorrow evening. Stay ready for some late-night, west coast baseball including the Tuesday Night Baseball game on ESPN.
Game 1: Reds 6 Diamondbacks 5 (10 innings)
This game began as most have so far this season for the Reds. Following an RBI single from Jesse Winker during the third inning, Tyler Naquin, in his first game back from the flu, sent a ball over the fence to put Cincinnati on top 2-0 in the fourth.
One of the most encouraging parts of the Reds improved offense in 2021 has been their ability to make productive outs. Last season, the offense relied so heavily on home runs. If the ball didn’t go over the fence, the Reds simply didn’t score very often. On Friday, the Redlegs added two runs in the fifth inning off of a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly. Manufacturing runs via good baserunning and timely hitting gives you a chance to win even if the ball isn’t flying out of the park. Cincinnati’s hitters seem to be taking a better approach at the plate this season.
The Reds took a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning and it appeared that a sixth straight victory was in the bag. However, the Diamondbacks had other ideas. They put three runs on the board in the bottom of the seventh before a two-run home run in the eighth inning off of Lucas Sims tied the game up.
With a new 5-5 game, Cincy was in for a dogfight out in the desert. In extra innings, Major League Baseball is still putting a runner on second base this season to begin the inning. Tucker Barnhart’s third hit of the night, a single to centerfield, drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning to give the Reds a 6-5 lead.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the 10th as well after Amir Garrett walked a batter that then advanced to second base on a passed ball. Garrett was able to close it out to earn his second save of the season and deliver the Reds their sixth straight victory.
Jesse Winker made his presence felt at the plate in his return to the lineup going 3-3 in the leadoff spot. Nick Castellanos stayed hot going 2-5 on the day while Tucker Barnhart hit two doubles on his way to a 3-5, two-RBI performance.
On the mound, Tyler Mahle threw four no-hit innings before exiting the game due to racking up 92 pitches. Tejay Antone was brilliant in his two innings of relief.
Game 2: Diamondbacks 8 Reds 3
All good things must come to an end. The Reds winning streak was snapped at six after the Diamondbacks blew the game open with a five-spot in the fifth inning.
The offense was solid once again for Cincinnati, producing 12 hits, but it only translated to three runs. Back-to-back singles in the second inning from Nick Senzel and Jonathan India put the Reds on top 2-0, but that lead wouldn’t last long.
Jeff Hoffman was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs on six hits in four and one-third innings. Cionel Perez, Carson Fulmer, and Sal Romano all gave up runs out of the bullpen as well.
At the plate, Eugenio Suarez hit his first home run of the season in the eighth inning and Nick Senzel led the way with three hits. Tyler Naquin and Mike Moustakas added multi-hit performances also.
Game 3: Diamondbacks 7 Reds 0
Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you. The Reds fell in their rubber match this evening out in the desert as the bats went completely cold.
Arizona’s starting pitcher, Luke Weaver, was perfect through five innings and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before a Eugenio Suarez single put the Reds in the hit column. Weaver would exit after seven innings allowing just one hit and striking out eight to earn the victory.
For the Diamondbacks, it was a three-run home run off the bat of David Peralta in the third inning that busted things open and they never looked back from there. Eduardo Escobar got in on the fun with a home run of his own in the fifth inning.
Jose De Leon struck out nine batters once again but allowed six runs on eight hits in just four and one-third innings. De Leon has struggled with giving up the long ball his whole career and it bit him again tonight as he gave up two home runs. Walks and home runs are what keeps him from taking the leap to becoming a really effective starter.
At the plate there simply isn’t much to talk about. Suarez broke up the no-hitter in the seventh inning and Kyle Farmer had the only other base knock. The Reds will look to get the hot backs rolling once again as they head to San Francisco.
Upcoming: San Francisco Giants
After suffering their first series loss of the season, the Reds will move on to San Francisco for a three-game set against the Giants beginning Monday night. The Giants are 6-3 after finishing off a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies tonight.
Veteran left-hander Wade Miley will take the mound for Cincy tomorrow night at 9:45 p.m. Eastern Time opposite Aaron Sanchez for the Giants. On Tuesday night, the game will be played on ESPN at 9:45 p.m. Eastern Time with Luis Castillo facing off against Kevin Gausman. The series will wrap up at 3:45 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday before the Reds head back home. Tyler Mahle will have the ball against former Reds star pitcher Johnny Cueto.