Reds use late homers to rally for 2-1 win over Marlins
One of the Reds‘ spring training signings gave them momentum for the first time all season.
Iglesias led off the eighth inning with a tying homer — only Cincinnati’s second hit of the game — and Jesse Winker connected one out later, rallying the Reds to a 2-1 victory over Miami on Wednesday night.
“Sometimes they feel a little extra important,” manager David Bell said. “You can keep that momentum from last night going.”
After dropping eight straight, the Reds (3-8) have taken the first two games against Miami by hitting seven homers. They had five during a 14-0 victory Tuesday that ended the long slide.
The Reds managed only Matt Kemp’s single through the first seven innings and were facing their fifth shutout of the season before pulling off the late rally. Iglesias hit his first homer of the season off Drew Steckenrider (0-2) to tie it, and Winker put the Reds up with his second homer in two games.
Cincinnati signed Iglesias to a minor league deal during spring training, intending to carry him as a backup shortstop. When second baseman Scooter Gennett sustained a severe groin strain, Iglesias became a starter. He made a couple of impressive defensive plays early to stop Marlins rallies.
“It’s awesome when you’ve got a guy like that who can make ridiculous plays,” said Reds starter Tyler Mahle, who went five innings.
With two runners aboard in the first inning, Iglesias made a diving stop up the middle on Starlin Castro’s grounder and flipped the ball from his glove to second base to start a double play. He made another rally-ending play in the second, running across the field to get Curtis Granderson’s grounder with the bases loaded.
“We played great defense,” Iglesias said. “That paid off in the end. I always say defense wins games.”
Marlins starter Trevor Richards gave up Kemp’s single and walked five in six innings. Center fielder Lewis Brinson threw out Joey Votto at the plate as he tagged up on a fly ball in the first inning, helping Richards escape a bases-loaded threat.
Miami’s Neil Walker connected for his second homer off Mahle, who also struggled with his control early. Mahle gave up only two hits, but matched his career high with four walks.
The Marlins (3-9) couldn’t make it hold up.
“That one for sure is a tough one to swallow,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Trevor was really good, especially after the first couple of innings. He dialed it in. We got that home run from Neil there. Iglesias made a couple of big plays that kind of killed us.”
The Reds got Bell back from a one-game suspension for his part in a fracas Sunday in Pittsburgh. Right fielder Yasiel Puig was out of the lineup for a second day, completing his penalty. Puig decided to accept the suspension rather than challenge it, saying he doubted it would make much difference. He can play the final game of the series Thursday afternoon.
Marlins: C Jorge Alfaro got conked by a bat for the second straight game. Winker hit him on the top of the helmet on a swing Tuesday night, and Alfaro stayed in the game. He got hit Wednesday by Tucker Barnhart’s bat as he completed a swing, and again stayed in the game.
Reds: Votto was back in the starting lineup at first base. He was hit in the ribs by Wei-Yin Chen’s pitch Tuesday and left an inning later.
The Reds scored 35 runs and allowed 34 during their first 10 games, becoming the first team in major league history to outscore its opponents and win as few as two games out of its first 10, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Marlins: Miami concludes its first road trip of the season with Pablo Lopez (1-1) making his first career appearance against the Reds.
Reds: Sonny Gray (0-2) makes his third attempt to get a win with the Reds, who acquired him from the Yankees in the offseason. Gray has allowed only three earned runs in his first two starts.