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Joey Votto’s HR sets the tone as Reds pound D-backs

Jun 7, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson (37) hits an RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Votto got the offense rolling with a three-run homer in the first inning and rookie Graham Ashcraft tossed six more shutout innings as the Cincinnati Reds routed the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 14-8, Tuesday night.

Brandon Drury, Matt Reynolds and Tyler Stephenson each added a two-run homer to power the Reds, who won their second straight.

For the second straight night, a rookie Cincinnati pitcher overpowered Arizona’s lineup.

Ashcraft (3-0) retired the first 10 batters he faced, extending Cincinnati’s perfect streak to 30 batters, including the last 20 retired by Hunter Greene on Monday night. Ashcraft didn’t allow a batter to reach until Pavin Smith singled down the left field line with one out in the fourth.

After Greene’s one-hitter in seven innings Monday, Ashcraft allowed just three hits over six scoreless frames in this one, highlighted by his back-to-back strikeouts of Dalton Varsho and Smith with a runner at third in the sixth.

Ashcraft has allowed just three earned runs in his first 23 2/3 major league innings, covering four starts, earning a 1.14 ERA in the process.

With the four-run first against Arizona spot starter Tyler Gilbert (0-3), the Reds extended their streak of scoring in the opening inning to six games, which includes each game of their homestand. In those six games, the Reds have totaled 15 runs in the first inning.

Gilbert retired just five batters before being pulled, allowing seven runs — six earned — on five hits, including homers by Votto and Drury. Eight of Votto’s last 10 hits have been for extra bases.

After beating Pittsburgh last Friday, the Diamondbacks lost four straight on their 10-game, three-city road trip, and they have dropped nine of 12 overall.

A day after rain ended Monday’s game in the bottom of the seventh, Tuesday’s game was halted for 64 minutes by rain following the seventh inning.

The Diamondbacks finally ended their scoreless drought at 26 innings when Geraldo Perdomo hit his first career grand slam and first homer of the season off reliever Jared Solomon in the eighth as part of a five-run eighth to make it 9-5.

The Reds tacked on five runs of their own in their final at-bat before the Diamondbacks plated three runs in the ninth.

–Field Level Media