The Cincinnati Reds are starting to get it together, but I’m definitely not jumping for joy.
Todd Frazier’s double drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday as Cincinnati defeated Milwaukee, 4-3, at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds (15-16) took three of four in the series and pulled within 5 1/2 games.
“I know it’s early, but it’s important we don’t let [the Brewers] get so far ahead that it becomes an insurmountable climb,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Eventually it’s not going to be ‘early in the season.’ We need to send a message that we’re in this thing.”
“I’m not necessarily known for my eagle eye at the plate,” said Chris Heisey, who has 65 career walks and 280 strikeouts. “That walk turned out to be a big one.”
Frazier got ahead in the count 2-0 before sending a liner down the left-field corner. Milwaukee outfielder Khris Davis played the ball off the wall as Heisey raced around the bases and was waved home by Reds third base coach.
“Once it hit the wall, I was waving [Heisey] around like I was the third base coach,” Frazier said.
“On a ball in the gap or down the line with two out, I was expecting to be sent in that situation,” Heisey said.
The Reds continue to right the ship after a 3-8 start and can look forward to reinforcements. Closer Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to return from the disabled list this week.
“Our best ball is ahead of us,” said relief pitcher Sam LeCure (1-1), who got the victory today on his 30th birthday. “This is a nice springboard, a chance to get on a roll.”
Brandon Phillips tied game at 3 with a solo home run.
“You can tell our offense is coming around a bit,” Phillips said. “The balls are just finding holes right now.”
Cincinnati’s hitters had taken some heat from fans earlier this season when the Reds wasted some fine pitching performances.
“The haters are going to hate, and we’ll just keep on laughing at them,” Phillips said.
Reds starter Alfredo Simon held the Brewers relatively in check Sunday, allowing three runs over seven innings to leave his season ERA at 1.99..
“A near-.500 record isn’t what we’re all about,” Price said. “We’re better than that.”