Tyler Stephenson delivered a pinch-hit, RBI single in the 10th inning, and the Cincinnati Reds rallied to win their seventh straight home game 3-2 over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.
Cleveland was one out away from evening the three-game set with a victory in the bottom of the ninth when Max Schrock’s grounder went through the legs of Indians first baseman Josh Naylor. Schrock ended up at second on the play and pinch-runner Nick Senzel scored the tying run on Jesse Winker’s third hit of the day, an 0-2 single off closer Emmanuel Clase.
In the 10th, with runners on first and third and one out, Stephenson lined the winning hit off the right-field wall on a bounce to help the Reds improve to 7-1 at home.
The Reds had averaged 9.6 runs through their first seven home contests, but were held in check for the most part on Saturday. Promising 23-year-old Indian Triston McKenzie gave up a solo homer to Tucker Barnhart in the second and four other hits while striking out seven and overcoming four walks in five innings.
After a back muscle strain delayed his start to the season, Cincinnati’s Sonny Gray allowed two runs with six hits while striking out six and walking two over 4 1/3 innings of his 2021 debut.
The Reds opened the scoring on Barnhart’s second homer of the season, just to the right of straightaway center field. Cleveland, though, tied it a 1-1 through Eddie Rosario’s two-out RBI triple in the third and went ahead 2-1 in the fourth when Andres Gimenez lined an 0-2 pitch from Gray into the right-field stands.
Cleveland blew a major opportunity to add to its advantage in the eighth inning, when Cincinnati turned its first triple play since July 2017, according to the team.
With runners on first and third and nobody out, Naylor lined a drive that Cincinnati’s Joey Votto snagged and stepped on first base to double-up Franmil Reyes. Meanwhile, Rosario raced home from third without tagging up. Votto tossed over to third base to complete the 31st triple play in team history, according to the Reds.
–Field Level Media