Reds race to win over Tribe with 2-out rally in 9th
By Jordan Bastian and Mark Sheldon
CLEVELAND -- Indians closer Cody Allen had been perfect in save situations dating back to August of last season. That changed on Wednesday night, when a clutch hit from Zack Cozart and a furious sprint from Billy Hamilton fueled a two-run ninth that gave the Reds a 4-3 comeback win over Cleveland at Progressive Field.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Hamilton bolted from first base and Cozart lined a 1-0 pitch from Allen into left field, where Michael Brantley came up just short on a diving attempt. Arismendy Alcantara scored from third and the fleet-footed Hamilton was not far behind, scoring the go-ahead run to send Allen to his first blown save since Aug. 17, 2016.
"Their whole bullpen is pretty good," Cozart said. "That shows how tough we've been offensively to score runs off guys like that in the past couple of games and to have good at-bats. That's tough to do. So we're out there, we just keep battling on every at-bat, even versus guys like that."
Between this season and last, Allen had been perfect in 22 consecutive regular-season saves, with six more collected during the Indians' postseason run last fall.
"He's just really good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "When you have one-run games, you run the risk of something happening. You could lose. It's nice if you can spread a game out. We didn't. It had a chance to be a nice, crisp win, but we didn't spread it out. I don't ever feel like it's on Cody. We could've done some things better to score a few more runs."
Cincinnati's late push overcame a solid night for Carlos Santana, who provided all of the Tribe's offense with a two-run homer in the third inning and an RBI double in the fifth. Both hits came off Reds starter Lisalverto Bonilla, who was charged with three runs on six hits in his five innings.
Cincinnati slugger Adam Duvall knocked a towering two-run homer (No. 10 on the year) in the fourth off righty Trevor Bauer, who turned in 5 1/3 innings for the Indians before a rain delay lasting just over two hours arrived in the sixth. Duvall's shot traveled a projected 432 feet, per Statcast™, snapping his 15-game homerless drought.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Last out overturned: With runners on first and second and one out in the ninth, Hamilton chopped a pitch to Santana. The first baseman gloved and fired to shortstop Francisco Lindor, who got the force at second before firing back to Santana for what looked like a 3-6-3 double play to end the game. As the crowd roared in celebration, the Reds challenged the final out call. After a replay review lasting two minutes and 57 seconds, the ruling was overturned and Hamilton was deemed safe. That set the stage for Cozart's game-winning hit.
"Up until we saw it, I thought he was out," Allen said. "A guy like [Hamilton] is going to make any play close. They got the call right. He was safe. That's why the rule is there. If that was us on the other side, we'd want that. It's something you just have to deal with, try to figure out a way to not let it affect you."
Billy's mad dash: On Cozart's single to left field where Brantley couldn't make the diving catch, Alcantara easily scored the tying run. But as the ball rolled away from Brantley, the speedy Hamilton made the mad dash home and scored from first base without a throw to plate the go-ahead run. The catch percentage was just 16 percent for Brantley, according to Statcast™.
"I had 'score' in my head the whole time once I saw him dive," Hamilton said. "I didn't see [third-base coach Billy] Hatcher. I didn't look at Hatcher. I was going to go no matter what, even if he tried to stop me. It's just something that I made up in my mind rounding second." More >
"You couldn't help but feel the sense of satisfaction. We understand that we're playing an outstanding team. They're really good in all facets of the game. We lost a close one yesterday, but we've been playing them well. When you grind one out, it doesn't matter if it's a team in first place, a team in second place or a team in last place. It feels good to win." -- Reds manager Bryan Price on the emotional swing from losing to winning following the review
"That was as good a potential double-play turn as you're ever going to see. To have a chance to get [Hamilton] -- and it was bang-bang as they get. Carlos was quick, he was accurate, he was strong, and then Frankie came flying across." -- Francona, on Santana's effort on the overturned call in the ninth
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
A crew-chief review was used in the bottom of the fourth inning to examine a foul ball hit by Tribe catcher Roberto Perez that was nearly a home run. After a 40-second replay review, it was confirmed that Perez's fly ball to deep left field struck a railing just to the left of the foul pole.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: When the Ohio Cup series concludes at 6:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Tim Adleman (2-2, 6.19 ERA) will start for Cincinnati. Adleman gave up a career-high six earned runs and four walks over 4 2/3 innings in his previous start on Saturday against the Rockies.
Indians: Right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-1, 1.56 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Tribe on Thursday in an Interleague clash with the Reds. In his last outing on Saturday, Clevinger struck out eight and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a win over the Astros in Houston.