After Saturday, the Reds were tied for last in the Majors in run production with 28, and one might have wondered if this meant lean times were ahead offensively.
How about now? In the three games since, Cincinnati has almost doubled its season total. Tuesday’s 7-5 Reds victory over the Pirates came via a season-high 15 hits and gave them a combined 26 runs and two wins in these last three games.
It also came on the heels of losing the completion of Monday’s rain-suspended game by an 8-7 score, in which the Reds had four of the game’s 10 homers. The series will be decided on Wednesday afternoon.
“Hitting is always contagious,” said third baseman Todd Frazier,
who hit a two-run homer in a key four-run sixth inning. “I believe that through and through, and once you see one guy doing well, you want to be prepared and do the same thing. If we keep playing a team game and understand that once we start hitting and getting them over and getting them in, we’re going to be a fun team to watch.”
“It was bound to happen. We’re a good hitting team,” Mike Leake said. “Sometimes we do hit ruts when they’re not clicking on all cylinders. I think a couple of switchups actually did us pretty well and I think it will do a great job for us.”
Over the weekend, manager Bryan Price adjusted the lineup with changes that included moving Joey Votto up to the second spot and putting Brandon Phillips in the third spot.
“Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to what happens in baseball,” Price said. “I don’t want to put it all on the fact that we shuffled the lineup. Guys are more comfortable. We understand and appreciate that it’s early in the season. We’d like to have a better record than we do. We just really want to play better baseball.”
“I thought it was the right decision,” Price said. “Take the comebacker for the two outs and give up the run in the fourth. He did not give up another run. That could have been the big blow to open up the inning.” On Leake, limiting the Pirates to one run, on a potential big inning.
“The guy’s a good hitter for a pitcher,” Garrett Cole of the Pirates said. “He wore us [UCLA] out at ASU, at the plate and on the mound. So that wasn’t the first time I’ve seen him do stuff like that. But in that situation, we’re down one run at that point, that can’t happen.” Leake hitting his third career homerun.
“The play of the game was Roger Bernadina busting his tail to beat out the infield hit before Devin gets the two-run single,” Price said. “That was absolutely huge for us to put that gap in what ended up being the deciding runs.”
“We made a couple of mistakes and we stood pat and overcame,” Frazier said. “After that tough loss from those three innings we played, to come back and get a win like that, I think, showed a little character.”