After losing 100 games in a single season, the Cincinnati Reds gladly accept the role of underdog.
If the Reds continue to play like they have been, it will be hard to consider them an underdog.
Rising Reds beat the Houston Astros 10–3 on Saturday on strong performances by Jonathan India (two-run homer) and Will Benson (three hits, two RBIs).
Cincinnati’s winning run increases to seven games after this triumph. It’s the longest active winning streak in the majors, and the first time the Reds have done it since June of last year.
“We’re revealing to the world today who we are, how we play, and the brand name we play,” India said. My only statement is that we want to keep going.
Winner Hunter Greene (2-4) has a record of 2-4 on the year after allowing 5 hits and 2 runs in 6 innings.
The Reds jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to India’s masterpiece off Brandon Bielak (3-4), and Benson’s two-run single in the fifth pushed the score to 5-1.
“Belief is a huge part of what’s going on in our clubhouse,” David Bell, the manager, said. We fully appreciate its importance, but we also know that it requires us to put up consistent effort, play tough every day, and strive for growth.
Elly De La Cruz, a rookie for Cincinnati, broke out of a 0-for-13 slump to go 2-for-4 with a hit, an RBI, and a stolen base in this game.
The Astros’ three-game losing streak was ended by a solo home run from Jose Altuve in the seventh inning. Altuve finished with a career-high four hits, including three for extra bases. It was his 35th career four-hit game, making him the franchise leader all time.
“It looks like whatever they’re doing right now,” supervisor Dusty Baker said. “And right now is a time when most of what we do is wrong.”
In 4 2/3 innings of work, Bielak gave up 5 hits and 5 runs (5 earned).
Benson, who tied a career best in both hits and RBIs, started the fourth inning with a triple when centre fielder Jake Meyers misplayed the ball. With two outs in the fifth, he came home after a sacrifice bunt by Curt Casali made the score 3–1.
After a first-inning single by Matt McLain, Bielak loaded the bases by walking Spencer Steer and Tyler Stephenson with two outs and ended his day.
Phil Maton came in and was greeted by Benson’s single that put up two runs to make the score 5–1.
“I’m grateful for getting chances, and fortunately, I’m helping the team and cashing in,” Benson said.
With one out in the sixth inning, Yainer Diaz doubled off Greene to make the score 5–2.
McLain got on base with one out in the first thanks to a throwing error by Jeremy Pea at first. The next pitch was a home run for India, giving the Reds an early advantage.
In the third inning, Corey Julks was cruising along with a run when Altuve doubled into the corner in right field. With Julks scoring after Kyle Tucker’s sacrifice fly, the Astros were able to close the gap to 2-1.
With an RBI single in the seventh, Tyler Stephenson increased the lead to 6–2. Kevin Newman, a pinch hitter, was responsible for two of Cincinnati’s four ninth-inning RBIs.
Games Fitness instructor’s Room
Outfielder for the Reds On Saturday, Stuart Fairchild played through another video game despite experiencing neck tightness.
The Astros’ OF On Saturday, Michael Brantley returned to the pitch for the first time since he was injured in early May to take part in batting practise. Brantley, who has missed the entire season after having surgery on his right shoulder, has said that he is doing well but that he does not yet have a timetable for his return. RHP On Saturday, Lance McCullers Jr. addressed the media for the first time since he had surgery on his pitching arm on Wednesday to repair the flexor tendon and remove a bone spur. McCullers’ flexor tendon injury occurred during the 2021 postseason, limiting him to just eight games the following year. The 29-year-old will sit out the rest of the current season and has said that it is too soon to tell if he will be healthy for the 2024 season opener.
Games Up Next
RHP Ronel Blanco (1– 0, 3.86 ERA) faces RHP Luke Weaver (1– 2, 6.23 ERA) on Sunday as the Reds look to complete the sweep.
By Kristie Rieken