Reds 4 Padres 3
Tyler Stephenson jacked a pinch-hit, two-out, two run home run in the 8th inning to send the Reds past the Padres 4-3 before 37,714 fans Sunday afternoon at GABP. The homer capped a day headlined by a masterful 7.2 innings by rookie left-hander Andrew Abbott.
That's another series win, making it 7 of the last 8 series captured and 16 wins in their last 20 games, overall. It's the Reds first series win over the Padres since 2019.
David Bell sent Abbott out for the 8th at 92 pitches and leading 2-0. He allowed a two out 8th inning solo homer to Ha-Seong Kim that ended his afternoon.
Lucas Sims came on for Abbott and promptly served up a game-tying solo homer to Fernando Tatis Jr.
At 2-2 in the 8th, Bell called on his bench twice with two outs. Stuart Fairchild, just recalled today, fell behind 0 and 2 in the count but worked a two out, seven pitch walk as a pinch-hitter for Jake Fraley. Stephenson then pinch-hit for Joey Votto and slammed one the other way with a 370-foot homer to right field. Alex Diaz allowed a run in the 9th, but finished things off for his 23rd save.
Abbott: 7.2 IN, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 12 K (career high), 101 pitches/66 strikes. He made the longest start of the season by a Reds pitcher. He struck out four consecutive batters in the 7th/8th.
Context: Watching Abbott dissect a batter and manipulate the strike zone is pretty impressive. He's two years removed from college. He throws and walks with a matter-of -act look of “I’ll do my job. You do your job. We’ll win. And we can all go home happy.” That's 30 strikeouts over his last three starts. Per Sarah Langs, MLB.com, his 25 swings and misses tie for the 3rd most by a rookie in a game in the pitch tracking era (2008), behind Tyler Mahle (26) and Domingo German (26). His ERA sits at 1.21 through his first six ML starts.Two years ago he was pitching for the Virginia Cavaliers.
Go figure: Reds 6-0 Abbott's last six starts (1.21)...........6-0 Weaver's last six starts (9.11)
Steered it! Spencer Steer cuuuuuurushed a 441-foot two-run home run over the Kroger strikeout sign to give the Reds a 2-0 4th inning lead. That's four home runs in his last eight games. He was on base three more times (1B, HR, BB), seven times in the series.
Dude! TJ Friedl snapped an 0 for 10 with a perfect drag bunt to start the game. His sixth bunt hits this season. Later, he ripped a laser double. He also made a leaping over the shoulder catch in CF.
Glove love! Matt McLain made a diving stop behind 2nd base and flipped the ball while on his stomach to Jonathan India who barehanded the catch for a force out. The upgrade of athleticism on this roster from a year ago is simply staggering.
Votto: 0 for 2 (.143). HBP, R, GO, K. He's 0 for his last 20. His career long hitless streak is 22. He's now been pinch hit for three times since his return.
India: 0 for 3, 2 K, HBP. He's down to .254. Sunday was his 31st consecutive game batting No. 3 in the order. He's 16 for 119 (.193) in that span.
Early missed opportunities: The Reds put the first two batters on in the 1st and 3rd innings vs Adrian Morejon. But India hit into a DP each time.