Reds beat Tigers in aesthetically unimpressive game at Comerica Park

Detroit News

Detroit — September baseball isn’t always aesthetically pleasing.

Case in point: The Cincinnati Reds’ 4-3 win over the Tigers Wednesday at Comerica Park. The winning run came in the fourth inning and was scored on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out play at second base. True story.

This one featured a combined 14 walks, a hit-batsman, a parade of relievers and a fleet of runners stranded in scoring position — the video won’t be sent to Cooperstown.

The Tigers were 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position in the 6-5, 10-inning loss Tuesday night. They were 1 for 13 Wednesday.

Six Reds relievers covered six scoreless innings on Tuesday. Six more relievers covered five scoreless innings Wednesday. And, fun, the Reds have scheduled a bullpen game for the finale Thursday.

The Tigers’ offense came on two swings.

Spencer Torkelson lashed his 28th home run in the third inning. He lined a 97-mph fastball from Reds starter Connor Phillips over the wall in right field. The two-run homer tied the game 2-2.

In the fourth, down 4-2, Parker Meadows walked and stole second without a throw. He has four stolen bases, two of them uncontested. He scored on a two-out double to left by Akil Baddoo.

Other than that, they left two on in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Tigers drew seven walks and a hit-batsman, two of those eight scored.

Right-handers Daniel Duarte and Alexis Diaz locked it down with scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively. With pinch-runner Zack Short at second base in the ninth, Diaz got Parker Meadows to line out.

Tigers lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez hadn’t had this much trouble locating his pitches in four years. He walked five and lasted only 5.1 innings against the Reds. It’s the most walks he’s issued since Aug. 2, 2019, when, with, with the Red Sox, he walked six Yankees.

He was fortunate that only two of those five walks came around to score, Harrison Bader both times.

He was at 94 pitches when manager AJ Hinch pulled him, even after a five-pitch fifth inning bought him the sixth. But it took him 14 pitches to get through the first two hitters in the sixth.

BOX SCORE: Reds 4, Tigers 3

The damage came in two innings.

In the second, Rodriguez gave up a two-out, two-run triple to the only left-handed hitter in the Reds lineup, TJ Friedl.

The fourth inning was especially messy. He walked Bader to start the inning and gave up a single to Noelvi Marte. Friedl then dropped a bunt toward third base. Third baseman Matt Vierling and Rodriguez both charged it.

Rodriguez fielded it and his first look was to an empty third base. By the time he turned to throw to first it was too late and the bases were loaded.

One run scored on a ground out by Luke Maile. The other scored on a broken play after Rodriguez struck out Jonathan India.

With Marte at third, Maile broke for second on the final pitch to India. Catcher Carson Kelly threw through to second base and Marte broke for home. Second baseman Andy Ibanez decided to finish the rundown and tag out Maile.

Marte scored before the out was recorded.

That ended up being the winning run.

Twitter/X: @cmccosky

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