Cincinnati Reds fall to Astros in Cody Reed’s debut

The Cincinnati Reds fell to the Houston Astros in their third extra-inning game of the week.

The Reds defeated the Astros in 11 innings on Friday. The tables turned on Saturday, as George Springer came through with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th frame to give the Astros a win over the Reds in Minute Maid Park.

But there were plenty of things to be encouraged about for the Reds in this one. Here are some observations from the game:

The future arrives

All in all, the Reds couldn’t have asked for much more from Cody Reed in his big-league debut. The organization’s No. 3 prospect struck out nine batters in seven innings of work, the most by a Reds rookie since Johnny Cueto had the same number in 2008. Reed allowed six hits and three walks on the day and showed plenty of poise by getting himself out of jams consistently. His only mistakes were big ones, however, as he gave up a two-run home run to Marwin Gonzalez in the first inning and another two-run blast to Evan Gattis in the seventh.

Clutch blast

Down to their final strike in the ninth inning, the Reds got a game-tying, two-run home run from Adam Duvall to prolong the contest.

After Joey Votto singled to lead off the inning, Astros reliever Ken Giles struck out Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce before getting ahead in the count on Duvall. The Reds’ left fielder didn’t go down without a fight, though. In fact, he didn’t go down at all, taking a 2-2 pitch from Giles over the right-field fence to even things at four.

The long ball was Duvall’s 20th of the season, leaving him tied with Nolan Arenado and Mark Trumbo for the major-league lead. Not too bad for a guy who was considered a throw-in in the Mike Leake trade, huh?

Smith can’t hold on

With the bullpen being heavily worked this week, Reds manager Bryan Price opted to leave Josh Smith in until the wheels fell off. The right-hander got into trouble in every inning he threw, but was able to wiggle off the hook in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings. He wasn’t so lucky in the 11th. Smith got Tony Kemp to fly out to begin the inning, which would prove to be the final batter he’d retire, as Jason Castro, Colby Rasmus and Springer came through with back-to-back-to-back singles to end the game.

Notes:

  • Duvall wasn’t the only Red to homer. Zack Cozart hit a solo shot — his 10th of the year — in the sixth inning to tie the game at two.
  • Billy Hamilton made another unreal catch in the second inning, going a long, long way in the right-center field gap and running into the wall as he made a diving grab at the warning track. This description doesn’t do it justice, though, so you should watch for yourself.
  • With a 10th-inning single, Tucker Barnhart snapped an 0-for-18 skid at the plate.
  • Every Reds hitter in the starting lineup struck out at least once and the team did not draw a single walk.