Wojciechowski comes up big for Reds

Pitcher learned of callup late Friday night and drove to Cincinnati on Saturday morning

Wojciechowski comes up big for Reds

CINCINNATI -- The Reds' biggest comeback of the season required a big offensive boost, but the path to a 12-8 victory over the Rockies on Saturday that snapped a season-high seven game losing streak was paved by a journeyman pitcher who wasn't even in the organization one month ago.

Asher Wojciechowski, who was signed as a free agent for Minor League depth on April 21 and assigned to Triple-A Louisville's rotation, was called up to fortify a tired bullpen. And did he ever with 3 2/3 scoreless innings while retiring his first 11 batters in a row for his first big league win.

"I was without a job, and then for a day like this to happen is pretty remarkable," Wojciechowski said. "And I'm on cloud nine right now, it feels so good."

A six-run Rockies fifth inning gave them an 8-3 lead and had manager Bryan Price summoning Wojciechowski for mop-up work. It was his first game back in the Majors since five games with the Astros in 2015. He was released by Arizona on March 28 at the end of Spring Training this year.

Wojciechowski, 28, provided a clean top of the sixth. Cincinnati, which got a solo homer from Eugenio Suarez in the fifth, piled on with a six-spot of its own in the bottom of the sixth.

Reds explode for six runs in 6th

Meanwhile, Wojciechowski kept rolling through Colorado's lineup.

"Asher was sensational," Price said. "He came in attacking the strike zone. Again, it comes back to throwing it over the plate and opposing hitters let you know what you need to learn to pitch successfully at this level. And he did that. It was a really nice recipe for success. It's 3 2/3 essential innings.

"He couldn't have come up bigger and to come out and throw another scoreless inning, and do it again and then take himself into the ninth was beyond impressive in my opinion."

Wojciechowski learned of his callup during Louisville's 18-inning game on Friday night. He did not get home and to bed until 2 a.m. and drove to Cincinnati on Saturday morning. He admitted to running on adrenaline.

"First inning, definitely," he said. "But then once I started throwing strikes and after that first pitch, I mean, I started to calm down. It's still the same game of baseball I've been playing for a long time."

Wojciechowski, who threw 42 pitches with 29 strikes, picked up three-straight flyouts in the eighth. According to Statcast™, his fastball averaged 92.8 mph and topped out at 93.6 mph, but he got swings on 14 out of 21 on his four-seamer.

"When Asher came in, that was awesome," catcher Devin Mesoraco said. "That was exactly what you need to come back and he did a great job."

With two outs in the ninth, Pat Valaika notched a pinch-hit single up the middle for the lone hit against Wojciechowski. Price turned to Raisel Iglesias to get the final out.

"Every extra out that he could get that kept us from going to Iglesias," Price explained. "Iglesias would have been in that game if there was some trouble. The thing was all the lefties were stacked at the bottom of their lineup and the kid is pitching on three days' rest. I figured a baserunner would be good to go get him."

Iglesias got the final out with a ground ball, and Wojciechowski understood why.

"I was hoping to finish the game, but I was just happy to help the team today. And what a great team win," he said.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.