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Reds attempt to complete home sweep of Mariners

Sep 5, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds pinch hitter Nick Martini (23) reacts after hitting a three-run home run with shortstop Elly De La Cruz (44), pinch hitter Tyler Stephenson (37) and third baseman Noelvi Marte (16) in the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds proved again on Tuesday why they are the major’s best comeback team, and now they will try to finish a series sweep when they close out a three-game set against the visiting Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.

The Reds authored their major-league-leading 44th comeback win when they erased a 5-1 deficit and rallied for a 7-6 win over the Mariners on Tuesday. It was one of the more improbable victories for rookie-laden Cincinnati, which catapulted into the third and final National League wild-card spot.

For the second time in four games, the Reds started a pitcher making his major league debut. With Connor Phillips lasting just 4 2/3 innings, the Reds fell behind by four runs before rookies Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Noelvi Marte homered in the sixth.

It was Marte’s first career home run. Two innings later, Nick Martini, who had just four career homers before Friday, hit his second game-tying homer in five games, a pinch-hit, three-run shot in the eighth to tie the game at 6-6.

“It is just a ton of energy,” Martini said. “Just a ton of guys want to do something for the next guy and a bunch of guys that are close, energetic and it’s just a lot of fun to be around in that situation.”

An inning later, rookie Elly De La Cruz reached on an infield single, stole second after being caught stealing in the second inning, then scored on Encarnacion-Strand’s single to right for the walk-off win.

“It doesn’t matter if they get me out 20 million times (stealing), I’m still going to be aggressive anytime I go out there,” De La Cruz said through a team translator. “I just know that I’m going to be better than them.”

The Reds are trying to fend off the Miami Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants for the final National League wild-card spot.

After a record-setting 21-6 month of August, Seattle enters Wednesday having dropped three straight and five of seven. The Mariners are 1-4 on their 10-game road trip.

“If anybody thought this was going to be easy, they’re crazy,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s tough. It’s tough to win games this time of year. You gotta grind. Everybody’s gotta be ready to go and do their job every night. We’ll see what happens from here. Our guys will come out and compete (Wednesday).”

Julio Rodriguez produced his second multi-homer game of the season on Tuesday, hitting a three-run blast in the fifth inning and a solo shot in the seventh to put Seattle ahead 6-3. Rodriguez took over the team lead with 27 long balls.

Teoscar Hernandez belted a two-run homer in the first for his 25th of the season, also extending his hitting streak to 14 games and his on-base streak to 20 games.

The Reds will send a rookie starter to the mound for the third time in four starts when Lyon Richardson (0-1, 6.75 ERA) takes the hill.

Richardson will be making his fourth career start after going a career-high 4 2/3 innings on Friday against the Cubs in a 3-2 win. He allowed two runs on two hits while striking out four and walking five.

The 23-year-old right-hander has yet to face Seattle.

The Mariners will counter with right-hander Logan Gilbert (12-5, 3.56 ERA), riding a personal seven-game win streak and making his 28th start of the season. Gilbert allowed just one run and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings against the host New York Mets on Friday. He owns a 1.83 ERA over his past three starts, with two walks and 19 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.

Gilbert, 26, hasn’t faced the Reds in his career.

–Field Level Media

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