Reds score 3 in 10th to sweep World Champs
Published 8:59 pm Sunday, June 18, 2023
HOUSTON (AP) — Rookie Elly De La Cruz and Jake Fraley both drove in runs in a three-run 10th that lifted the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-7 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.
It’s Cincinnati’s eighth straight victory, which is the longest active streak in the majors and the team’s longest since winning 10 straight in July 2012.
“The magic you see is just a culture that’s been created. … You guys are just seeing what’s been specifically worked on and we’re trying to cultivate since spring training started and quite honestly, since toward the end of last year,” Fraley said.
Email newsletter signup
Nick Senzel started the 10th as the automatic runner on second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by TJ Friedl. The Reds took the lead when Senzel scored on an error by third baseman Alex Bregman when he overthrew first base.
Seth Martinez (1-3) plunked Jonathan India before an RBI single by De La Cruz made it 8-6. Fraley grounded out to score another run and pad the lead.
“That game today was impressive,” manager David Bell said. “It was a great road trip, but today it wasn’t a perfect game. We overcame mistakes with a lot of great play. That’s what it’s all about.”
Bregman cut the lead to 9-7 with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the inning. But Alex Young retired Kyle Tucker for his first save.
India, Fraley and Spencer Steer all homered as the Reds rallied from a three-run deficit to take a 6-5 lead in the eighth.
The Astros tied it in the ninth on an RBI single by Chas McCormick off Ian Gibaut (7-1) to send it to the 10th.
There was one out in the eighth when India connected on his home run to right field to put the Reds on top. It was his second straight game with a home run after hitting a two-run homer in Saturday’s 10-3 victory.
Fraley, who had three RBIs, homered in the second in his return from the injured list and Steer tied it with a two-run shot in Cincinnati’s 3-run sixth.
The reigning World Champions were swept for the first time this season and tied a season high with their fourth consecutive loss. Bregman finished a home run shy of the cycle and Corey Julks homered early as Houston built a 5-2 lead before Cincinnati’s late rally.
“It wasn’t a very good weekend,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We made a few mistakes this weekend that cost us. And when you’re playing a hot club, if you give them opportunities they capitalize on it.”
Matt McLain singled to open the sixth before De La Cruz flashed his speed with a one-out single. Cruz hit a grounder that José Abreu slid to grab a few feet behind first base. He jumped up and dashed to first, but De La Cruz slid in headfirst just before the tag.
“He’s just a great base runner,” Bell said. “He has some incredible instincts … (and) he has the speed to go with it.”
Fraley followed with a single that scored McLain, but he was out trying to stretch it into a double. Steer then smacked his 10th homer to left-center to chase Ronel Blanco and tie it at 5-all.
Blanco allowed seven hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings. Cincinnati’s Luke Weaver yielded a season-high 10 hits with five runs in five innings.
Bregman tripled with one out in the fourth on a ball hit to right field. It bounced over the head of diving right fielder Will Benson and toward the wall. He grabbed it and got it to India, whose errant throw sailed into the stands for an error that allowed Bregman to score and make it 4-2.
The Astros pushed it to 5-2 when Tucker walked and scored on a two-out double by Diaz.
Bregman got things going with a one-out double in the first before scoring on a single by Tucker. There were two outs in the inning when Diaz singled. McCormick singled on a line drive to left field to score Tucker and make it 2-0.
Fraley’s solo shot came with one out in the second to cut the lead to 2-1.
Julks led off the bottom of the inning with his home run to the seats in left field to push Houston’s lead to 3-1.
Benson walked to open the third and stole second before moving to third on a single by Kevin Newman. The Reds cut it to 3-2 when Benson scored on a single by Friedl.
Reds: OF TJ Hopkins was optioned to Triple-A Louisville to make room on the roster for Fraley.
Astros: RHP José Urquidy (right shoulder discomfort) threw off the mound Sunday for the first time since he was placed on the IL May 1. There is no timetable for his return.
Umpire Jerry Layne was out Sunday after leaving Saturday’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning. MLB announced Sunday that Layne was out with a knee injury.
It appears that Reds’ veteran star Joey Votto could join the team soon after sitting out all season following August surgery on his right shoulder and biceps. The 39-year-old, who has spent 21 games on a rehabilitation assignment with Louisville, said in an Instagram video Sunday that he was leaving Louisville and “on my way back up to Cincinnati.”
Votto thanked everyone who helped him with his rehab and all the staff in Louisville before ending the video with a message to Reds fans.
“I can’t wait to get back to Cincinnati,” he said. “I miss y’all and I hope to see you soon.”
Bell said he was going to speak to Votto after Sunday’s game and that he didn’t want to comment on when he would return until after they talked.
Reds: Cincinnati hasn’t named its starter for the first of three games against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
Astros: Houston RHP Hunter Brown (6-3, 3.35 ERA) opposes RHP Max Scherzer (5-2, 4.45) in the opener of a three-game series against the New York Mets on Monday night.
|Friedl cf||4||1||1||1||Dubón 2b||6||0||1||0|
|McLain dh-2b||5||1||1||0||Bregman 3b||5||2||3||1|
|India 2b||4||1||1||1||Tucker rf||4||3||2||1|
|Fairchild pr-rf||0||1||0||0||J.Abreu 1b||5||0||0||0|
|De La Cruz ss||5||1||2||1||Diaz dh-c||5||0||3||1|
|Fraley lf||4||1||2||3||McCormick cf-lf||5||0||2||2|
|Young p||0||0||0||0||Peña ss||4||0||0||0|
|Steer 1b||4||1||1||2||Julks lf||4||1||1||1|
|Stephenson c||4||0||0||0||Martinez p||0||0||0||0|
|Benson rf-lf||2||1||0||0||Maldonado c||3||0||1||0|
|Newman 3b||3||0||1||0||Altuve ph||1||0||0||0|
|Senzel 3b||1||1||0||0||Pressly p||0||0||0||0|
E–Newman (4), India (4), Bregman (8). DP–Cincinnati 1, Houston 2. LOB–Cincinnati 4, Houston 12. 2B–Bregman (9), Tucker (15), Diaz (8), Maldonado (5). 3B–Bregman (2). HR–Fraley (8), Steer (10), India (10), Julks (6). SB–Benson (4), Tucker (13), Bregman (3). S–Friedl (5).
Umpires–Home, Adam Hamari; First, David Arrieta; Second, Vic Carapazza; Third, Nick Mahrley.
T–3:12. A–40,573 (41,000).