Reds 3 Astros 2
The Reds rallied for two runs with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to stun the Astros, complete a sweep of three game series and extend their win streak to a season tying high of four in a row, 3-2 the final Wednesday afternoon at GABP.
Trailing 2-1 to begin the 9th, Jose Peraza hit a ground rule double to start the inning. Roberto Osuna struck out Tucker Barnhart (not bunting) on three pitches. Joey Votto pinch-hit and looked at strike three. But Nick Senzel lined a single to left to score Peraza and tie the game. He went to second base when the throw got away at home plate. Jesse Winker then banged a base hit by Jose Altuve, his third hit of the day to deliver Senzel with the winning run.
The Reds led 1-0 in the 6th, but Michael Brantley rocketed a Tyler Mahle 0-2 curveball for a two-out, two-run, 438-foot homer to give the Astros the lead.
All three games in the series were decided by one run. For the fourth consecutive day the start of the game was delayed by rain, this time for 31 minutes.
The Reds move to 34-38 on the season and 12-15 in one run affairs. Meanwhile, the Padres swept their three game series vs the Brewers. The Reds pull within five games of first place and head to Milwaukee for a four game series starting Thursday.
All things considered, Wednesday afternoon might just be the most pressure packed start Mahle has made with the Reds. He certainly responded.
Making his first start since his critical comments of David Bell and with Anthony DeSclafani pitching well and Alex Wood getting closer to a return to the active roster, Mahle tossed a career high seven innings. He was feeling it and painting. He was aggressive, confident and efficient. He retired 12 in row into the 5th inning before issuing his first walk of the day. But he made one mistake and paid for it.
7 IN, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K. 95 pitches/68 strikes. After needing 96 pitches to record 13 outs on Friday, Mahle needed just 55 pitches to record his 13th out Wednesday afternoon.
The Reds got on the board when Yasiel Puig cruuuuushed a Gerrit Cole fastball 428-feet for his 14th homer of the year to give the Reds a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Exit velocity: 107.9 mph.
But Cole battled, navigated around further trouble and kept his team in it: 6 IN, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K.
The Reds missed plenty of chances vs Cole:
Cole walked Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker to open the game but Eugenio Suarez bounced into a 6-4-3 DP.
They put two on with two outs the 3rd but Cole struck out Derek Dietrich.
They put two on the corners with one out in the 4th but Curt Casali and Tyler Mahle struck out.
They put two on in the 5th but Puig struck out.
The Astros were thwarted in their attempt to add a run in the 8th inning when Tony Kemp was thrown out at the plate by Winker on a two-out single by Brantley. The Astros challenged the call on the grounds Curt Casali was blocking the plate. The call stood.
Winker collected three hits and a walk. When he's in a groove and going the other way his swing is a thing of beauty.
Puig had a two hit day.
Joey Votto did not start, getting a pre-planned day off by David Bell.
Dietrich got the start at 1st base and made a nice diving stab of a shot that could have been a double.
Jose Iglesias returned from his paternity leave and picked up a hit and his obligatory nice play in the field.
Cole career vs Reds entering today: 1-8 4.97 (12 starts), 1-4 3.94 at GABP (8 starts).
The Reds eight weather delays at GABP this year totaled, 10 hours, 51 minutes.
Matt Bowman picked up the win, tossing two scoreless innings of relief. His ERA drops to 0.77.
Attendance: 24, 777
Box score HERE