Sports Votto helps Reds beat Pirates 13-1 to stay in playoff race
Miley struggles, Reds' skid continues with 6-5 loss to Bucs
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Wade Miley surrendered six runs on 10 hits and the Cincinnati Reds lost for the sixth time in eight games, 6-5 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. Miley (12-6) gave up three runs in the first and three more in the fifth before being pulled with one out. The six runs (five earned) allowed were Miley’s most since the Rockies scored eight off of him May 14. “Maybe not as sharp as we have been lately. I think Wade would say the same thing,” Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “They got to us there early. Were able to weather it for a little bit, then they got three more in the fifth. But Wade pitching to contact is what he does well.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto homered twice and drove in four runs, and the Cincinnati Reds pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-1 on Wednesday to stay alive in the race for the second NL wild card.
Nick Castellanos, rookie Jonathan India and Eugenio Suarez also connected as Cincinnati (82-75) posted its fourth straight victory, clinching a second straight winning season. Castellanos had five RBIs, and India finished with four hits and scored four times.
“I’d be lying if I said Nick and I weren’t competing. Competition is in our nature. When he drives in runs it doesn’t affect me. I still have my chances,” Votto said. “I’m taking more chances and with that comes more outs but I knew I could hit more home runs and drive in more runs.”
'That was just so classy': How Mookie Betts helped Reds rookie TJ Friedl retrieve first home run ball
Reds rookie TJ Friedl homered in his second MLB at-bat, his first career hit, but it was a gesture from Mookie Betts that left him stunned.After Friedl hit a pinch-hit homer in the sixth inning off Tony Gonsolin, Betts turned to the fan who caught the ball and asked for it back. The fan immediately threw it to Betts, who tossed it toward the Reds dugout, so Friedl could keep the memento.
The Reds pulled within 5 1/2 games of idle St. Louis for the second wild card. The Cardinals (87-69) need just one more win to secure the spot.
“It is tough to see anything when your overall goal is to make the postseason,” manager David Bell said of the team's winning record. “Maybe when it's all over we can enjoy the winning season.”
The 38-year-old Votto made a successful return to the lineup after missing two games with a sore left knee.
The first baseman hit a two-run shot off Connor Overton (0-1) during the Reds' four-run first inning, and then connected for another two-run drive against Cody Ponce in the fourth. The six-time All-Star has 35 homers and 96 RBIs in his best season since he nearly won a second NL MVP award in 2017.
“I could have hit 50 home runs in my prime but I didn’t think it was as productive for the team," Votto said. "I wanted to do what Juan Soto is doing, get on base a lot with a high average.”
Reds beat Nationals 8-7 in 11 but fall further behind Cards
CINCINNATI (AP) — Aristides Aquino drove in TJ Friedl with a game-ending single off the glove of second baseman Luis Garcia, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 8-7 in 11 innings Friday night. Aquino’s sharp one-hopper off Mason Thompson (1-2) trickled into short right field, allowing Friedl to score from second. “It’s super special," Aquino said. "Any time you can do something to help the team win is pretty special.” Despite the victory, the Reds fell further behind St. Louis in the race for the second NL wild card because the streaking Cardinals swept a doubleheader from the Chicago Cubs.
Castellanos hit two sacrifice flies before belting his 33rd homer in the sixth, a three-run shot to center.
Reiver Sanmartin pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball for Cincinnati in his big league debut. The 25-year-old left-hander struck out five and walked one in the makeup of a rainout last week.
“I was very impressed with Sanmartin," Bell said. "It was just like we’ve heard about him. He threw strikes. I’m sure he enjoyed every minute of it.”
Sanmartin was promoted from Triple-A Louisville to step in for Wade Miley, who is on the injured list with a neck strain. Sanmartin became the first Cincinnati pitcher to win his first career start since Amir Garrett in 2017.
“I was pretty emotional all day," Sanmartin said through a translator. "I wanted to prove to everyone I belong here. There were nerves in the beginning but after that I was able to concentrate.”
Anthony Alford had two hits for last-place Pittsburgh (58-98), including a double. Alford scored the Pirates' run on Sanmartin's wild pitch in the fifth.
Phils' 5-game win streak ended by Pirates; Atlanta on deck
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Phillies starter Hans Crouse gave up a home run to Cole Tucker on his first major league pitch and Philadelphia’s playoff hopes took a hit Sunday with a 6-0 loss to Max Kranick and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies, who had won five in a row, began the day trailing NL East-leading Atlanta by 1 1/2 games. Philadelphia visits the Braves for a three-game series starting Tuesday night. “We’ve got to win one game Tuesday,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s how you have to look at it. Take the day off, rest tomorrow, guys can probably use the day off. Then you’ve got to win one game Tuesday.
“I think it was a combination of both the ballpark and our decimated rotation," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. "I’m not going to take anything away from them. Cincinnati swings the bats good. They have good hitters, and it caught up with us. We didn’t execute pitches, and they hit them.”
ABOUT THIS YEAR
It's the first winning record for Cincinnati in a 162-game season since it went 90-72 in 2013. The Reds went 31-29 in the 60-game 2020 season.
Pirates: C Jacob Stallings was eligible to return from the seven-day concussion protocol list on Monday. Stallings has resumed baseball activities but has not been activated.
Reds: RHP Luis Castillo was placed on the family medical emergency list. He is scheduled to make his next start on Friday at Pittsburgh.
Pirates: Open their final homestand of the season on Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs. Mitch Keller (5-11, 5.96 ERA) starts for Pittsburgh, and Alec Mills (6-7, 4.96 ERA) pitches for Chicago.
Reds: Head to Chicago for a two-game series against the AL Central champion White Sox. RHP Riley O’Brien is slated to make his big league debut Tuesday night, and RHP Reynaldo López (3-3, 3.16 ERA) starts for the White Sox.
Gary Schatz, The Associated Press
Reds see bright spots in 2021 despite late-season fade .
CINCINNATI (AP) — Despite a slow start and a rash of injuries, the Cincinnati Reds stayed within striking range of the playoffs for most of the summer. But it couldn't last. While the St. Louis Cardinals surged, the Reds lost eight consecutive series from Aug. 24 to Sept. 19, going 8-16 in that stretch, and were elbowed out of the wildcard derby. They finished 83-79 in the NL Central, behind the Brewers and Cardinals, who claimed the second wildcard. “It didn’t end like we wanted to," general manager Nick Krall said. "It’s definitely disappointing. There are some moral victories out of this, but at the same time it’s not what we want to do.