The Reds have had to come from behind in two recent victories, but they got to play the role of frontrunner tonight. Cincy jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as they manufactured runs via a hit by pitch, a sacrifice fly, and a two-out single by Freddy Galvis.
Tucker Barnhart blasted a solo Home Run in the second inning to give the Reds a commanding 4-0 advantage and they never looked back from there to earn their fourth consecutive victory and clinch a series win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tonight’s 4-1 victory also moved the Reds within just a half of a game of the playoffs.
Tuck yeah! pic.twitter.com/FaJjbsmfyi
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 15, 2020
Michael Lorenzen pitched five outstanding innings before turning things over to the bullpen. Tejay Antone, Lucas Sims, and Amir Garrett combined to pitch four innings of one hit, shutout baseball to clinch the victory.
Cincinnati will look to finish off the four game series sweep tomorrow evening at 6:40 p.m. Eastern Time against the Pirates. Luis Castillo (2-5, 3.44) will take the mound against J.T. Brubaker (1-1, 5.34).
Michael Lorenzen Steps Up
Filling in as a spot-starter, Michael Lorenzen made his first start since 2018 and threw an absolute gem. He threw five innings while allowing just one run on four hits and struck out six batters.
With Sonny Gray on the Injury List it was necessary for someone to step up in his absence and Lorenzen did just that this evening. After a truly horrendous beginning to the 2020 season Lorenzen stayed the course and has now lowered his Earned Run Average to 4.56 and is now 2-1 on the year.
Fourth Straight Victory
It is no secret that the 2020 Cincinnati Reds had underachieved so far this season. It got to the point where it seemed impossible for them to turn things around in a shortened season. However, now riding a four-game winning streak, the Reds find themselves squarely in the playoff picture.
Assuming the Brewers hold on to their massive lead over the Cardinals, the Reds will finish the night just a half of a game out of the playoffs. They trail the San Francisco Giants by a half of a game in the Wild Card picture, but now are also just a half of a game behind the Cardinals for second place in National League Central.