Reds Top Diamondbacks in Strange Extra-Inning Affair

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Reds 5, Diamondbacks 3 (12)

PHOENIX, Jun 14 — Zach Davies and Tyler Mahle both pitched brilliantly — Davies for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Mahle for the Cincinnati Reds. But it took extra innings to decide this duel. Ultimately, the Reds prevailed, 5–3, in a strange 12-inning affair, one where only two of the eight total runs were earned. Davies scattered six hits across seven innings, striking out seven while walking none. Mahle pitched nine scoreless innings, striking out 12 while allowing three hits.

The closest either starter came to giving up a run came in the top of the seventh. Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer led off with a single. After center fielder Nick Senzel flied to his counterpart, designated hitter Mike Moustakas crushed a deep fly to center. Alek Thomas, who had already made four catches up to that point, leapt at the wall and narrowly missed. Right fielder Daulton Varsho, backing up the play, gathered the ball on one hop and fired to second baseman Ketel Marte. As Marte, the relay man, caught the throw, Farmer rounded third. Marte’s on-target throw home gave catcher Carson Kelly enough time to tag the sliding Farmer in a close play.

Noe Ramirez pitched a scoreless eighth despite plunking second baseman Jonathan India, who had also been hit by Davies in the first plate appearance of the game. Left-handed reliever Joe Mantiply gave up a pair of singles to first baseman Joey Votto and Farmer to start the ninth, putting the Reds in good position to take the lead. However, Senzel grounded into a 6–4–3 double play, bringing up Moustakas with Votto on third. An unassisted groundout to first kept the game scoreless heading into the bottom of the ninth. Despite a one-out single by Varsho, the Diamondbacks still could not get to Mahle.

Reds, Diamondbacks See-Saw in Extras

Moustakas headed to second as the ghost runner in the top of the 10th against Mark Melancon. A grounder to second by right fielder Albert Almora advanced Moustakas to third, prompting manager David Bell to send in the speedier Matt Reynolds to pinch-run. Pinch-hitter TJ Friedl cracked a double to the right-field corner, giving the Reds a 1–0 lead. A wild pitch to India, who ultimately struck out, put Friedl on third, but a grounder to short by third baseman Brandon Drury ended the frame with the score still 1–0.

Ketel Marte started the bottom of the 10th on second base as the ghost runner. A grounder to short by designated hitter Christian Walker moved Marte to third with one out. Left fielder David Peralta lined a rocket into the right-field corner, tying the game. A fielding error by Almora allowed Peralta to reach third with one out as first baseman Pavin Smith came to the plate. Smith, who was 5-for-his-previous-51 and 0-for-his-last-12, popped to shallow right, not nearly deep enough to score Peralta. Pinch-hitter Jake McCarthy followed with a strikeout, sending the game to the 11th.

The Reds victimized Ian Kennedy in the 11th. Left fielder Tommy Pham led off by slapping a single to center, advancing ghost runner Drury to third. Kennedy responded with a huge strikeout of Votto, bringing up Farmer with one out and runners on second and third. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and his staff considered walking Farmer to re-establish the double play and pitch to Senzel, but they chose to pitch to Farmer. He made them pay, driving in both runners with a single.

A Miraculous Tie, Only to Fall Short

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McCarthy started the bottom of the 11th on second as the ghost runner. Thomas advanced him to third with an infield single, bringing up Jordan Luplow to pinch-hit for shortstop Geraldo Perdomo. He popped foul to the first baseman, with Votto making the catch at the railing of the Reds dugout. Varsho struck out, bringing up third baseman Josh Rojas as the last hope. Luis Cessa threw a pitch that got by the catcher. McCarthy bolted for home. The throw from new catcher Chris Okey arrived in time to make it a close play, but Cessa dropped the ball, allowing McCarthy to score and Thomas to reach third. Another wild pitch on ball four to Rojas brought Thomas across, tying the game again. As Marte batted, Rojas stole second, putting the winning run in scoring position. It went for naught, as Marte grounded to second for the third out.

In came Sean Poppen to pitch the 12th. Reynolds was the ghost runner on second this time. Poppen threw a wild pitch to leadoff hitter Almora, putting the go-ahead run on third before the first plate appearance even finished. Almora tripled to the right-field corner, driving in Reynolds and giving the Reds a 4–3 lead. After a grounder to first with the pitcher covering, India singled Almora home, giving the Reds a 5–3 lead. Joel Kuhnel pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 12th to end the game and notch his first career save.

Postgame Reflections

Rojas said that Mahle, who struck out 10 Diamondbacks in Cincinnati six days prior, was “hitting his spots pretty well.” This is what made Mahle tough Tuesday night, according to Rojas. “His stuff’s pretty good,” he added, “but the last time we faced him he didn’t have the command that he had tonight. He was hitting every spot, painting corners.”

While it was frustrating to have the winning run in scoring position two straight innings, Rojas said that wasn’t the most frustrating part of the night. “The most frustrating part,” he said, “was that Davies went out there and threw another gem for us, and we couldn’t put any runs (on) the board.”

Looking Ahead

Cessa (3–1, 4.97 ERA) earned the win while Poppen (1–1, 2.79 ERA) took the loss, both in relief. The Diamondbacks (29–35) and Reds (23–39) will close out the three-game series — and their seven-game season series — Wednesday afternoon. In a matchup of righties, Zac Gallen (4–2, 2.95 ERA) and Luis Castillo (2–4, 3.23 ERA) will take the hill for the Diamondbacks and Reds, respectively. First pitch will be at 12:40 pm Arizona time.

Main Photo:
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Players/managers mentioned:

Zach Davies, Tyler Mahle, Kyle Farmer, Nick Senzel, Mike Moustakas, Alek Thomas, Daulton Varsho, Ketel Marte, Carson Kelly, Jonathan India, Joe Mantiply, Joey Votto, Noe Ramirez, Mark Melancon, Albert Almora, David Bell, Matt Reynolds, TJ Friedl, Brandon Drury, Christian Walker, David Peralta, Pavin Smith, Jake McCarthy, Ian Kennedy, Tommy Pham, Torey Lovullo, Jordan Luplow, Geraldo Perdomo, Josh Rojas, Luis Cessa, Chris Okey, Sean Poppen, Joel Kuhnel, Zac Gallen, Luis Castillo