HOUSTON – No matter how Sunday’s final series versus the Astros turned out, the Reds’ nine-game, three-city trip through St. Louis, Kansas City and Houston was already an unqualified success. Anything more would be gravy.
And who doesn’t love broth? The Reds clearly do, as they cruised to a 9-7 10-inning victory to pull off a three-game series sweep of defending World Series champion Houston at Minute Maid Park. In the top of the tenth inning against Seth Martinez, TJ Friedl dropped a sacrifice bunt to third base and reached on a throwing error by Alex Bregman that allowed Nick Senzel to score the go-ahead from second base.
With one out, Elly De La Cruz worked nine pitches against Martinez before lining up an RBI single to right field. Jake Fraley’s RBI groundout provided a three-run cushion.
The victory extended the Reds’ winning streak to eight games to finish the road trip 8-1, while winning 11 of their last 13 games, as they improved to 37-35.
It was a 5-5 game in the eighth inning when Jonathan India drove guard Brian Abreu’s game 3-1 in the opposite direction for a solo home run – putting him in the team lead by 10 homers. With closer Alexis Díaz unavailable for the second game in a row, Ian Gibaut was called to shutout but gave up a tying run to force the extras.
Cincinnati played catch-up most of the day with a 2-0 deficit after the first period and 5-2 by the fourth. That changed in the top of the sixth inning against Astros starter Ronell Blanco. Matt McClain blasted off with a single to left and advanced on a passed ball. With one out, De La Cruz settled behind first base and beat the pitcher with a first-out chip header.
Fraley, who hit a home run in the top of the second inning off Blanco, followed with an RBI single to right field before being sacked trying to advance to second base.
On the next pitch, Spencer Steer hit a two-run homer to left – also his tenth of the season.
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