Reds: 2 positive and 1 negative observation from series split with Braves

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 26: William Contreras #24 of the Atlanta Braves looks on as Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates his solo home run. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 26: William Contreras #24 of the Atlanta Braves looks on as Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates his solo home run. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Stephenson #37, left, talks to Jonathan India #6 while Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds warms up.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 22: Tyler Stephenson #37, left, talks to Jonathan India #6 while Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds warms up. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

3. Five Reds rookies performed well during the four-game series.

Tyler Stephenson and Jonathan India weren’t the only two rookies to play well during the four-set against the Atlanta Braves. However, they were pretty darn good. Stephenson drew the start in two of the four games and had a pinch hit homer in Saturday’s game that sealed the deal for the Reds. India went 5-for-16 (.313) with two doubles and six runs scored.

But let’s not overlook the starting performances from Tony Santillan and Vladimir Gutierrez. Both rookie hurlers performed well and Santillan collected his first big league win. The right-hander went six innings, allowed just one run and struck out a career-high eight batters. With Sonny Gray’s return imminent, the question becomes; what will happen to Santillan?

Gutierrez had a solid outing as well. The Cuba native pitched six innings on Friday night and struck out four batters. Gutierrez did allow two walks and surrendered three earned runs, however, he was not the reason the Cincinnati Reds lost that game.

There was also the solid performance from fellow rookie hurler Ryan Hendrix. The 26-year-old came on in the seventh inning of Friday’s game following Guillermo Heredia’s home run off Gutierrez.

After allowing a single to Endre Inciarte, the Reds’ reliever struck out two of the best hitters in the game – Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman. Two batters later, he induced a pop up from Austin Riley to close the inning.

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There were plenty of ups and downs during the Cincinnati Reds’ series split with the Atlanta Braves, but the Redlegs remain in contention in the NL Central. The reed-hot San Diego Padres come to town after Monday’s makeup contest against the Philadelphia Phillies. Cincinnati will need to buckle down in the coming weeks in order to maintain pace or gain ground on the Milwaukee Brewers.