Reds turn Diamondbacks mistakes into runs, take series opener at home
Jul 21, 2023, 7:41 PM | Updated: 8:29 pm
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks spotted the Reds too many outs during their series opener Friday night, and Cincinnati cashed them in for runs in a 9-6 win at Great American Ballpark.
Defensive missteps and walks awarded the Reds 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position through the first five innings.
D-backs (54-44) starter Tommy Henry opened the game with a strikeout of Reds (53-46) phenom Elly De La Cruz, but No. 2 hitter Nick Senzel reached base on an error by SS Geraldo Perdomo.
A grounder to the left side caused a miscue between Perdomo and 3B Emmanuel Rivera, who cut in front of the ball but let it go for the shortstop. Senzel scored after a single, double steal and ground ball.
In the fifth, 2B Ketel Marte made a diving stop on a grounder with one on and no outs. He flipped the ball to Perdomo, who shuffled his feet to touch the base and fire to first. The throw was late, and the umpires determined he missed second base.
Reliever Justin Martinez had two outs and the bases loaded when Reds rookie SS Matt McLain lined a grand slam to right on an 0-2 count.
“It was a huge hit in the game,” Reds manager David Bell said. “The most impressive thing (is) to be able to hit a fastball like that, when you’re down in the count. To hit a special fastball like that and have that kind of power to be able to drive the ball to the opposite field says a lot right there.”
That ballooned the score to 9-3 Reds, who had five walks and two hit batsmen to that point.
“We were inefficient in a lot of different areas,” manager Torey Luvollo said. “Ton of things happened today. Straight fastballs to fastball hitters, one ends up getting clipped for a grand slam.”
Henry struggled throughout his start to get ahead of hitters, and the dam broke for him in the fourth inning.
The Reds had multiple runners reach base in each of the first four frames, but Henry limited the damage to two runs — one earned — through three innings.
Henry had two outs in the fourth when he walked consecutive batters ahead of clean-up hitter Spencer Steer, who sliced a double down the line in left for two RBIs.
Spencer Steer gives the Reds the lead with a 2-run double.
Steer now has 20 doubles on the season! pic.twitter.com/8yVkBmQyM7
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) July 22, 2023
Henry walked four batters and hit a pair through 4.1 innings pitched. He threw 47 strikes and 41 balls.
“I just shot myself in the foot with those walks,” Henry said. “I thought I was a little bit too fine at times. That bit us. I need to attack the middle.”
This was a difficult moment for a short start. The D-backs lack starting pitching with Merrill Kelly not expected back from the injured list until next week and Zach Davies landing on the IL after his latest start.
The Diamondbacks are mulling a bullpen game for Sunday.
Henry had been on a nice stretch entering the All-Star break with a 3.12 ERA over seven starts, and Arizona was 6-1 in those games. He’s allowed six earned runs in 8.2 innings since the break.
The D-backs’ offense on Friday, meanwhile, rallied back to bring the game-tying run to the plate in the eighth inning.
Alek Thomas went yard in the sixth, followed by a Perdomo single and Marte two-run blast, his second home run of the game.
Ketel to the deepest part of the park. 👀 pic.twitter.com/mcfHEPKKNP
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 22, 2023
Dominic Canzone and Gabriel Moreno sent balls to the warning track with two runners aboard in the eighth inning but came up just short of tying the ballgame in what would have been another dramatic comeback.
Carroll vs. De La Cruz
It was a quiet night for two of MLB’s most exciting rookies. Corbin Carroll went 0-for-3 with a walk after homering on Thursday.
De La Cruz scored a run, was intentionally walked and was hit by a pitch, although he also struck out three times.
Fellow rookies Steer and McLain finished a combined 4-for-9 with seven RBIs.
GRAND SLAM FOR THE KID. 💥
— MLB (@MLB) July 22, 2023
“He blew two past me,” McLain said. “I made a little adjustment after the first one to start earlier. Power comes with knowing the pitches that I can hit best and looking for that pitch.”
More D-backs signings
The D-backs announced during the game that four more members of their 2023 draft class signed with the club.
The four were Stanford LHP Ryan Bruno (Round 7), Dallas Baptist RHPs Kyle Amendt (Round 9) and Zane Russell (Round 10) and Rice RHP Hayden Durke (Round 13).
Arizona has signed 20 of its 21 draft picks, all college prospects. The lone holdout is Round 20 pick RHP Dominic Voegele from Columbia High School.
The D-backs look to avoid a series loss Saturday at 1:10 p.m.
Brandon Pfaadt is expected to get called up and start with Merrill Kelly and Zach Davies on the injured list. LHP Brandon Williamson is probable for the Reds.
Catch the game on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.