JT Realmuto homers twice, Marlins beat slumping Reds 5-4
CINCINNATI (AP) — J.T. Realmuto hit a pair of two-run homers and a double on Saturday night, powering the Miami Marlins to their second straight victory, 5-4 over the slumping Cincinnati Reds.
Miami won for only the third time in eight games, getting its first back-to-back wins since the All-Star break.
Realmuto connected in the second and sixth innings off Robert Stephenson (0-3), who made his first start of the season after 13 relief appearances. It was the catcher’s second career multi-homer game — he also had one in 2015.
Nick Wittgren (3-1) relieved starter Chris O’Grady in the fifth and got the win. Scooter Gennett singled home a run in the eighth off Junichi Tazawa, cutting it to 5-4. A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.
The Reds are having a horrific home stand, going 1-8 while getting out-homered 22-7. The 22 homers are the most allowed by a Reds club during a home stand of 10 games or fewer. Also, the Reds have matched another club record by allowing 69 runs during the home stand, which concludes Sunday.
O’Grady struggled in his third career start. The left-hander walked three consecutive batters in the first inning, including Adam Duvall with the bases loaded. Patrick Kivlehan homered in the fifth, tying it 3-3. O’Grady walked six in 4 2/3 innings.
The start of the game was delayed because of a storm in the area, but it never reached the ballpark — the grounds crew didn’t even cover the infield. The first pitch came an hour late.
Cincinnati optioned RHP Ariel Hernandez to Triple-A Louisville to open a roster spot for Stephenson.
Marlins: SS JT Riddle was out of the lineup for the second straight game with a sore left shoulder, reinjured when he dived for a ball on Wednesday. Manager Don Mattingly said there’s no thought of putting him on the DL: “As long as we can try and buy him a few days, we’re OK.”
Reds: RF Scott Schebler was hit by pitches twice on Friday night, but that’s not why he was out of the lineup. He got a day of rest to try to help him emerge from a slump. He pinch hit and grounded out, leaving him 1 for 24.
Marlins: RHP Tom Koehler (1-4) faced the Reds last season, giving up three runs in four innings. He’s 0-1 career against the Reds in two starts and two relief appearances.
Reds: RHP Sal Romano (1-2) makes his fourth major league appearance. In his last start Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, he gave up six runs in four-plus innings.