An error by Josh Naylor with two outs in the ninth gave the Reds an extra out, and after tying the game, they knocked in the winning run in the tenth as Cincinnati stunned the Cleveland Indians on Saturday afternoon, 3-2.
Emmanuel Clase had retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth on ground balls to Naylor. One out away from the victory, Clase got Max Schrock to ground to first. Naylor did not get his glove down and the ball skipped between his legs and into shallow right field, putting the tying run at second base. Jesse Winker, already with two hits under his belt on the afternoon, punched an 0-2 heater past a diving Andres Gimenez at short to score pinch-runner Nick Senzel to tie the game at two. Clase still needed the final out to send the game to extras, but Nick Castellanos singled to shallow center and Joey Votto reached on a check swing dribbler to short to load the bases, but Eugenio Suarez lined to Jordan Luplow to send the game to extras.
With the meat of the order up against left-hander Sean Doolittle in the tenth, the Indians could not take advantage of the free base runner at second. Cesar Hernandez grounded to short before Jose Ramirez was intentionally walked. Eddie Rosario lined out to center for the second out and pinch-hitter Jake Bauers struck out swinging.
Oliver Perez came on in relief for Cleveland in the bottom of the tenth, but the potent Cincinnati lineup ended the ball game. Suarez opened the inning at second and moved to third on a fly to center by Tyler Naquin. Jonathan India was intentionally walked to set up a potential inning-ending double play, but pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson blasted a walk-off single to deep right to give the Reds a thrilling come-from-behind win.
Perez took the loss, while Doolittle earned his second win of the year.
The Tribe bats had a little success against Reds starter Sonny Gray, but it came after some early difficulties for young right-hander Triston McKenzie. Two got into scoring position in the first after a one-out walk by Castellanos and a single by Votto was followed by a balk, but McKenzie struck out his former teammate Naquin to end the inning.
Cleveland loaded the bases in the second, but could not score. After Gray retired the first two batters, he walked Naylor and gave up a double to Gimenez, putting two in scoring position. Austin Hedges was intentionally walked to bring up the pitcher McKenzie, who grounded out to second.
The Reds took the lead in the home half. Tucker Barnhart jumped on McKenzie’s first pitch to him and sent a solo homer over the wall in center to give Cincy a 1-0 lead.
The Indians got the run back in the next half inning. Amed Rosario opened the inning with a single to left-center before the next two were retired on fly outs. E. Rosario stepped in and yanked a triple to the right field corner, plating A. Rosario to tie the game at one.
McKenzie stranded a pair in the third before the Tribe bats came through in the fourth. After a strikeout by Naylor, Gimenez poked an 0-2 pitch over the wall in right for his second homer of the year, making it a 2-1 Cleveland lead.
McKenzie stranded two more in the fourth, while Gray made it one out into the fifth before being replaced by Tejay Antone. Entering after Ramirez’s one-out single ended Gray’s start, Antone left a runner at third after Ramirez stole second and moved to third on a groundout by E. Rosario. Franmil Reyes was cut down swinging to leave a big run 90 feet from home.
In his final inning of work, McKenzie had another scare. He walked Votto with one out before Suarez lined to third. Naquin singled to the wall in right. Reyes missed the cutoff man, but an alert Ramirez was backing up the play. Not fleet of foot, Votto tried to score after the ball missed the cutoff, but Ramirez fired to the plate and nabbed the veteran first baseman by plenty to leave it a one-run game.
Antone and Jose De Leon kept the Indians off of the scoreboard in the sixth and seventh, while Bryan Shaw pitched a scoreless sixth in relief of McKenzie. Nick Wittgren entered after the stretch and promptly gave up a leadoff double to Winker. On a 2-2 pitch in the dirt to Castellanos, Winker tried to move up to third, but was thrown out by Hedges after replay overturned the initial safe ruling.
The Indians had a threat in the eighth, but the Reds pulled off a historical feat. Against Amir Garrett, E. Rosario singled and stole second. He moved to third on a single by Reyes to put runners on the corners for Naylor. He lined an 0-1 pitch sharply to Votto, who made the catch and got Reyes out. Curiously, E. Rosario had broken to the plate, possibly thinking that Votto had dropped the ball or not caught it on the fly. Votto lobbed the ball to Suarez to complete the triple play, ending a Tribe rally that had started with runners on the corners and nobody out.
James Karinchak retired the side in order in the eighth, striking out all three men that he faced. Lucas Sims pitched a scoreless ninth, stranding Gimenez at second after a hit by pitch and stolen base.
The Reds are now 9-5 on the season, while the Indians dropped to 7-7.
McKenzie worked five innings in the no decision, allowing a run on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. He added his first big league hit in his second big league at bat, knocking a two-out single to right in the fourth. Gray lasted just four and one-third, giving up two runs on six hits with two walks and six Ks.
Gimenez led the Tribe bats with a pair of hits and a run batted in. Rosario had two hits and an RBI out of the cleanup spot. Cleveland went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position while stranding ten.
Winker had three hits for the Reds and a key run batted in in the ninth. Votto reached base four times with two hits and two walks. Barnhart added two hits, including his second homer of the year. Cincinnati went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but stranded 13 men.
Prior to the game, the Indians recalled left-hander Sam Hentges and optioned outfielder Ben Gamel to the club’s alternate training site.
The Tribe will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday from Great American Ball Park. Wade Miley (2-0, 0.00 ERA) will take the mound first for the Reds, while Shane Bieber (1-1, 2.11) will throw for the Indians. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM ET.
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