McCoy: Reds Take Care Of Business

By Hal McCoy

It was deja vu for the Cincinnati Reds Monday night in Great American Ball Park, only it wasn’t deja vu all over again.

This time they flipped the script and it produced 6-0 win over the Colorado Rockies.

On Saturday, Hunter Greene turned a 2-0 lead over to the bullpen after pitching three-hit shutout ball for seven innings.

But the bullpen, led by Fernando Cruz, blew it into five thousand pieces. They gave up five runs and the Reds lost, 5-3.

On Monday, it was Anthony Abbott turning over an identical 2-0 lead to the bullpen after pitching a three-hit shutout for seven innings.

This time Cruz pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and the Reds made certain nothing negative would happen in the ninth by scoring four runs.

The eighth started with a bang, a big, big bang.

Before the game Stuart Fairchild went on the 10-day injured list and the Reds called up Rece Hinds for his major league debut.

Manager David Bell stuck him in right field. His first time up, the 6-foot-4 23-year-old Hinds lined one hard, but shortstop Ezequiel Tovar robbed him of his first major league hit.

His second time up he lined a double up the left centere gap for his first major league hit.

His third time. Explosion. Leading off the ninth, he cold-cocked relief pitcher Tyler Kinley’s 91 miles an hour slider deep into the upper deck, a 449-foot trip for his first major league home run.

That gave the Reds a 3-0 lead and they tacked on three more on their way to ending a three-game losing streak.

“That was surreal, I mean, I can’t really put words to it,” said Hinds during a post-game interview with Bally Sports Ohio. “You see my smile? That’s all I got for you now.”

The 23-year-old Hinds was a second-round draft pick and the scouting report on him, underlined in red ink, said, “More power than a speeding locomotive.” And he showed it.

“This was much more than I expected,” he said. “I had no expectations going in. I just wanted to come out here, try to get a win, which we did, and have fun and let the rest take care of itself.”

The Reds did what they are supposed to do against the Rockies, losers of 59 games, a team 22 1/2 games out of first place, a team that has lost 11 of its last 12 games to the Reds, a team that is 12-32 on the road.

It all came out of the left hand of Abbott — seven innings, no runs, three hits, two walk, eight strikeouts.

Abbott was in jeopardy only twice en route to going 6-1 over his last seven starts.

He retired the first nine Rockies, then Charlie Blackmon led the fourth with a single. He was erased when the Reds turned a double play. But Rockies All-Star Ryan McMahon doubled. Abbott struck out Elias Diaz.

Abbott issued a pair of one-out walks in the fifth and Hinds displayed some defensive proficiency by making a sliding catch after a long run on Hunter Goodman’s low liner. Abbott then struck out Aaron Schunk.

Abbott had to be good because he was being matched pitch-for-pitch by Ryan Feltner, a northern Ohio native and a product of Ohio State.

He pitched beyond his numbers — a 1-7 record with a 5.60 earned run average at the night’s start.

That Feltner even stands on the mound these days is a story of courage.

Last May, he suffered a fractured skull and a concussion when he was hit in the side of the head by a ball hit by former Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos.

While Feltner lay sprawled on the mound, Castellanos knelt at first base, his head in his hands. Castellanos later sent Feltner a letter and a gift.

“I felt bad for him because I saw how upset he was, but it’s part of baseball,” said Feltner.

But his teammates didn’t gift him any runs Monday and actually helped the Reds to their two runs in the fourth.

it began with Reds All-Star Elly De La Cruz singling to right on Feltner’s first pitch. Jeimer Candelario singled on the next pitch, sending De La Cruz to third.

Spencer Steer walked on four pitches to fill the bases and De La Cruz scored while Tyler Stephenson hit into a double play.

Candelario was on third and scored when catcher Diaz lobbed a ball back to the mound after a pitch and it glanced off Feltner’s glove and Candelario scooted home.

De La Cruz ignited some excitement in the first when he walked. When Diaz lobbed a return pitch to Feltner and he didn’t pay attention, De La Cruz swiped second, a delayed steal. Feltner tried to pick him off second and threw the ball into center field and Elly took third.

Feltner walked Steer with two outs and the Reds tried a double steal. Diaz threw to second and De La Cruz broke for home. No go. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers threw him out.

De La Cruz got revenge during the Reds four-run eighth. He was on third when Candelario hit a high-hopper to the mound.

It was the usually ill-fated run on contact play. The last four times the Reds tried it, the runner was thrown out at home. But this was De La Cruz and no matter that it was hit to the pitcher. He slid past Diaz’s swipe tag and was safe.

 

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