By Hal McCoy
For the Cincinnati Reds, Saturday afternon in Great American Ball Park was a broken record, Groundhog Day and deja vu all over again, all wrapped up in on ugly package.
The same two New York Yankee superstars who beat them Friday did it again Saturday, beating the Reds, 7-4, in 10 innings in front of 41,374.
Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo, who both homered Friday in a 6-2 New York victory, drove in three runs in the 10th inning to hand the Reds their fifth loss in six games.
Manager David Bell used closer Alexis Diaz in the ninth inning to preserve a 4-4 tie and he wenrt 1-2-3.
When the Reds didn’t score in the ninth, Bell brought in Ian Gibaut for the 10th.
With one out and ghost runner Greg Allen on second, Judge strolled to the plate. With first base open, Bell decided to have Gibaut pitch to Judge.
With the count 0-and-2, Judge ripped a single to left, his fourth hit, driving in Allen, Judge’s third RBI of the game.
That brought up Rizzo, who crushed a two-run homer off Gibaut Friday night. Rizzo picked on Gibaut’s first pitch and rocketed another home run to make it 7-4. It was Rizzo’s 24th home run in GABP, most by any visiting player.
The Reds constructed a 4-1 lead after four innings against Yankee starter Jhnny Brito, but had no runs and one hit over the final six innings against four New York relief pitchers.
The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jake Fraley’s single and the Yankees tied it, 1-1, in third on Judge’s two-out single off the left field wall against Cincinnati starter Luke Weaver.
Brito walked three straight in the third inning, but the Reds only pushed one run across on Spencer Steer’s infield hit.
Jose Barrero beat an infield single with two outs in the fourth and Luke Maile launched a home run, pushing the Reds’ lead to 4-1.
The Yankees tied it, 4-4. in the fifth with six straight one-out hits. The hit parade was led by catcher and number nine hitter Ben Rortvedt, making his debut in a Yankees uniform. He homered.
It stayed 4-4 until the fateful 10th.
Tyler Stephenson walked to open the sixth, but Nick Senzel struc out, Wil Myers flied out and Jose Barrero struck out.
Jonathan India ripped a one-out double in the seventh, but Matt McLain took a called third strike and Fraley flied to center.
After India’s hit, the last 11 Reds hitters when down in order. And India left the game in the ninth after fouling a pitch off his knee.
Stuart Fairchild put a scare in the Yankees dugout in the ninth when he came within a few feet of a game-winning home run that center fielder Harrison Bader caught with his back to the wall.
Judge finished with four hits, matching Cincinnati’s team total, with a walk, three RBI and a run scored. Rizzo was 2 for 5 with three RBI and a run scored. Judge and Rizzo accounted for six of New York’s seven runs.
Weaver pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs and eight hits while striking out four and walking one.
The series concludes Sunday with the unusual starting time of 11:35 as the Reds try to avoid a three-game Yankee sweep.