Christian Encarnacion-Strand had four hits, including a home run, Hunter Greene pitched effectively into the sixth inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat the host San Francisco Giants 4-1 on Wednesday afternoon to salvage a three-game series.
The win allowed the Reds to cap a 5-5 Western swing and lose just one game in the standings to the Giants as they both pursue National League wild-card positions.
A product of College Park High School in the Oakland suburb of Pleasant Hill, Encarnacion-Strand put together a 4-for-4, three-RBI performance that included a double and two singles off Giants starter Logan Webb (9-11).
He saved his biggest hit for last, however, teeing off on reliever Tyler Rogers for a two-run home run in the eighth inning that allowed the Reds to turn a 2-1 lead into a three-run advantage. The homer was the rookie’s fifth of the season.
For five innings, Webb matched zeroes with Greene (3-6) until a double steal opened the scoring for the Reds, with Spencer Steer swiping home as Elly De La Cruz was taking second.
Encarnacion-Strand followed with a single to left field, scoring De La Cruz to make it 2-0.
Webb finished the sixth inning and was done, charged with two runs on seven hits. He struck out six and did not walk anyone.
The Giants nearly drew even in the bottom of the inning as they ended Greene’s day.
Casey Schmitt, who had opened the inning with his second double, scored from third when Encarnacion-Strand couldn’t handle an Ian Gibaut pickoff throw at first base.
Thairo Estrada advanced to second on the play and appeared primed to score the tying run before Reds second baseman Steer made a diving stop on a hard Patrick Bailey grounder, recording the inning-ending out at first.
Greene’s outing ended three batters into the inning. He allowed just one unearned run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings, with one walk and six strikeouts.
Fernando Cruz pitched into and out of a jam in the seventh to protect a 2-1 lead, before Lucas Sims and Alexis Diaz threw a quiet inning apiece to end Cincinnati’s three-game losing streak. Diaz recorded his 35th save.
De La Cruz had two hits and scored twice, while Luke Maile also had a pair of hits for the Reds, who were beaten 4-3 in the season series by the Giants.
Schmitt’s two doubles were the only extra-base hits for the Giants, who totaled just four hits.
–Field Level Media