Byrd’s Eighth Inning HR Gives Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Win Over Giants

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. 3. 40. 4. 61

W: Jumbo Diaz (2-0)

L: Sergio Romo (0-2)

SV: Aroldis Chapman (7)

There may not be a player in baseball seeing the ball better than Marlon Byrd is right now. The Cincinnati Reds’ left fielder drove in three of their four runs against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday to help them to a 4-3 win, their third straight victory.

Byrd’s first big hit came in the fifth, when he hit a two-run bloop single to right to give the Reds a 3-2 lead at the time. When the Giants tied the game at three in the eighth inning, Byrd came through again, blasting a line drive over the left field fence for the go-ahead run. Oh, and he also walked twice in the game.

The month of May has been quite a turnaround for Byrd, as he’s now hitting .342/.500/.895 with six home runs, 14 runs batted in, and 13 walks in 12 games.

Byrd wasn’t the only reason the Reds came away victorious in this one, as Johnny Cueto allowed just two runs on five hits and three walks through seven innings.

Cueto got into trouble right off the bat, as he gave up three hits to the first four batters he faced, the third being an RBI single to Buster Posey. Luckily for Cueto, the Giants ran themselves out of the inning as Joe Panik was thrown out at home when Posey tried to steal second. The Giants extended their lead in the third as Cueto balked with a runner on third, but the Reds’ ace shut them down from that inning on, recording seven of his nine strikeouts over his final four innings.

Offensively, the Reds took a bit to get going. Despite three walks from Tim Lincecum in the first, the Reds offense couldn’t get a run across. The Reds finally broke through against Lincecum in the fourth as Todd Frazier got the team’s first hit of the day on a double and scored on a single by Brayan Pena. Byrd gave the Reds the lead in the fifth with a two-run bloop single to knock Lincecum from the game after just 4 2/3 innings and 99 pitches.

The 3-2 lead held up until the eighth inning, as Tony Cingrani simply could not get anyone out. He gave up a leadoff walk to Andrew Susac, but picked him off at first base. That proved to be huge because next batter Panik tripled and scored on Angel Pagan‘s single.

After Jumbo Diaz cleaned up Cingrani’s mess and Byrd gave the Reds the lead, Aroldis Chapman picked up his seventh save of the season and looked like his usual dominant self while doing so, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning.

Other Notes

  • Jay Bruce nearly broke out of his slump with a grand slam in the first inning, but center fielder Angel Pagan made the catch right against the wall.
  • The Reds furthered their league lead in stolen bases with three more in this game (one each from Joey Votto, Frazier, and Bruce). They likely could’ve had a fourth, but Zack Cozart was caught stealing in the third when he didn’t slide into second as he appeared to believe ball four had been thrown to Votto.

Up Next: Jason Marquis (3-2, 5.66 ERA) gets the ball for game two against the Giants and will be opposed by reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner (3-2, 3.30 ERA). First pitch is again scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

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