The Reds bullpen blew another lead in the eighth inning, but this time Tucker Barnhart sent Cincinnati home winners with a walk-off single on Wednesday at Great American Ballpark to knock off the Colorado Rockies 6-5.
Cincinnati (8-7) got a strong outing from its starter in back-to-back starts as Raisel Iglesias followed Robert Stephenson’s start on Tuesday with 6.2 innings of two run baseball. The Reds optioned Stephenson back to Louisville after the game and the Reds called up reliever Drew Hayes, who could make his MLB debut after six years in the minors. Chad Bettis gave the Rockies (8-7) bullpen some much needed rest after Jorge De La Rosa lasted just two innings in Tuesday’s contest.
Iglesias cruised through the first three innings without allowing a hit, but it looked like the Reds might chase Bettis early on with a three-run second inning. Brandon Phillips followed his four hit night with a lead-off single to start the inning and then came in to score on a Jay Bruce homer. Adam Duvall followed with a solo homer of his own to quickly put Cincinnati up 3-0. Bettis settled in and retired the final 15 Reds hitters he faced on the afternoon.
The Rockies figured out Iglesias the second time through the order as D.J. LeMahieu started the fourth with a single. He came in to score on the first of Carlos Gonzalez’s two doubles. After Nolan Arenado drew a walk, Gerardo Parra singled in Gonzalez to bring Colorado to within one. Iglesias struck out Mark Reynolds and then got Ben Paulsen to line out to end the threat.
Iglesias worked quickly through the first two outs of the seventh inning when catcher Dustin Garneau doubled. Ryan Raburn followed with a pinch-hit single to score Garneau and that spelled the end for Iglesias. However, before reliever Blake Wood threw a pitch, he tossed over to Eugenio Suarez at third where the third base umpire Adrian Johnson indicated that Garneau was out and the inning was over. Rockies manager Walt Weiss asked the umpires to take a look, but replay showed that Garneau failed to touch third while heading for home.
Justin Miller came on in relief of Bettis in the seventh and the Reds finally snapped their hitless run with three consecutive doubles with two outs. It started with Duvall who hit a towering fly ball to left, but with the cloudless sky, the left fielder Paulsen couldn’t locate the ball which hit the base of the wall. Barnhart was next with another double that went over the head of Parra in center field. Ivan De Jesus Jr. finished the scoring in the seventh with his first hit in 18 at bats this season, an RBI double to make it 5-2.
Wood came out for the eighth inning after staying in to hit despite De Jesus standing at second in the bottom of the seventh. Manager Bryan Price might have been better served to use a pinch-hitter as Wood allowed the first two hitters of the inning to reach before turning the ball over to Tony Cingrani. He loaded the bases with a walk to Gonzalez, but was able to get Arenado to pop out to first. The Reds traded a run for an out to leave runners on the corners, but Cingrani loaded the bases again with another walk. Paulsen followed with a line drive to left field, but new left fielder Tyler Holt could not make the diving catch and two runs came in to score and tie the game. The Reds caught another break on the base paths as Cingrani threw a wild pitch, but it ricocheted right back to Barnhart, who threw Reynolds out at third to end the frame.
The Reds went down in order in the eighth, but Ross Ohlendorf (3-2) redeemed himself from Monday’s loss with a scoreless ninth to set up the Reds walk-off. Phillips began the inning with a single off Christian Bergman (0-3) and then Bruce singled Phillips over to third. Pinch-hitter Scott Schebler struck out, but Barnhart beat a five man-infield with a line drive into a vacant right field to give the Reds a 6-5 win to win the three game series.
The Reds look to stay hot at home as they welcome the first place Chicago Cubs (11-4) to Great American Ballpark for a four game set that begins on Thursday. Chicago is coming off a series win against the Cardinals (8-7) taking two of three from their division rival. Jake Arrieta (3-0, 1.23 ERA) is still building off his Cy Young campaign in 2016, but he’ll be opposed by Brandon Finnegan (1-0, 2.04 ERA), who took a no-hitter against the Cubs into the seventh inning earlier this month. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.