Votto’s big night lifts Reds over Twins, 15-9
Joey Votto homered for the fourth straight game and reached base six times, and the Cincinnati Reds overcame a four-run deficit to beat Minnesota 15-9 on Friday night and extend the Twins’ losing streak to eight games.
Jose Peraza homered twice and had four hits, and Eugenio Suarez also four of Cincinnati’s season-high 20 hits. The Reds won for the third time in eight games under interim manager Jim Riggleman. Much of the improvement has come at the plate – the Reds have scored 42 runs in their past five games.
”It was a great offensive night, and I hate to start naming names because I’ll leave somebody out,” said Riggleman. ”Just all the way through the lineup a lot of great at-bats. Some of them involved walks and sac flies, not necessarily the big blast, but just great at-bats to extend the rally.”
Tucker Barnhart was the only Reds batter without a hit on the night, but he contributed two sacrifice flies to the outburst.
Logan Morrison and Eddie Rosario homered for the Twins, on their longest skid since losing 13 in row from Aug. 18-31, 2016. Max Kepler and Robbie Grossman added three hits apiece in a game that lasted exactly 4 hours.
”With every day that passes, the test gets a little larger,” said Twins manager Paul Molitor, whose pitching-starved team returned home after being swept back to back by the Rays and Yankees. ”I don’t know how many games out of this last handful we’ve got a couple guys down or unavailable, and then you get the short start and you start trying to count outs to get to the end. It’s been one of those weeks.”
Tyler Duffey (0-1), one of six pitchers Minnesota used on the night, lost in relief of an ineffective starter Phil Hughes. Duffey came in with two out in the fourth and stranded a runner on second. But Cincinnati blitzed him with a six-run fifth inning to take the lead for good.
With the Reds trailing 8-4, Votto led off the fifth with his fourth homer. Scott Schebler hit a two-run single and Duffey contributed to his problems with a throwing error. In all, Duffey faced six batters, threw 13 pitches, and was charged with five runs.
”When they put together the six-run inning, it just happened so fast,” Molitor said. ”(Duffey) goes out there and before you know it, in a limited amount of pitches, they did a lot of damage. We couldn’t slow them down.”
Peraza singled twice and homered off David Hale leading off a four-run ninth for his first career multihomer game.
Votto finished a triple short of the cycle and also walked twice and was hit by a pitch. That tied his career high for reaching base in a game.
David Hernandez (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his 2018 debut after coming off the disabled list earlier in the day. Starter Luis Castillo lasted just one inning, the shortest start of his career.
”I feel like we’ve been down about five times in the past week, usually in the four-run range,” said Riggleman. ”We’ve been down a lot and come back, but it’s not a formula for success to lose your starter in the first or second inning and have your bullpen get worn out.”
RULE 5 ROUNDUP
The Twins said good-bye to one Rule 5 draftee and welcomed another one back home this week. Minnesota designated RHP Tyler Kinley for assignment on Thursday. Kinley was selected from the Marlins organization in the Rule 5 draft this winter. He appeared in four games with the Twins, allowing nine earned runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched.
However, on Friday Minnesota reacquired RHP Luke Bard, who had been taken by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft. Bard gave up seven runs in 11 2/3 innings over eight appearances for the Angels, who had to offer him back to the Twins before putting him on waivers.
Reds: Hernandez (right shoulder inflammation) was activated from the 10-day DL on Friday. To make room on the roster the Reds optioned IF/OF Phil Gosselin to Triple-A Louisville.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton was in uniform Friday to pick up his 2017 Gold Glove Award, but his return to the roster remains uncertain. Buxton (migraines) was placed on the 10-day DL on April 18, but he’s been hobbled since fouling a ball off his toe in a rehab game on Sunday and officially remains day-to-day.
Reds: RHP Sal Romano (1-2, 4.78) faces the Twins on Saturday afternoon in Game 2 of the interleague series.
Twins: RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-2, 4.50) is looking for his second victory in as many home starts this season. He beat the Astros at Target Field on April 10.