Stephenson sacrifice fly caps comeback, offers Cincinnati Reds 6-5 win over St. Louis Cardinals


Tyler Stephenson’s sacrificial fly in the eighth inning ended the Cincinnati Reds’ comeback for a 6-5 win, their fifth straight win over the St. Louis Cardinals, in front of 30,605 fans at Great American Ball Park.

final R. H E.
St. Louis Cardinals (49-49) 5 9 2
Cincinnati Reds (50-47)
6th 14th 0
In: Broke (1-1) L: Gallegos (5-3) SV: Hembree (7)
Statcast | Box score | Game thread

The win put some space between the second-placed Reds and third-placed St. Louis. Cincinnati are now 1 1/2 games ahead of the Cardinals. At the last check, the first-placed Milwaukee led the Chicago White Sox 7-0. If it stays that way, the Reds’ deficit will remain at 6 1/2 games.

This was a huge win for the Never Die Reds who overcame another collapse in the bullpen when St. Louis scored three goals in the sixth inning to take the lead. But the Cardinals’ bullpen showed why they’re as vulnerable as Cincinnati’s, and allowed the Reds to score two in seventh and one in eight for victory.

Joey Votto and Kyle Farmer led the offense with three hits each.

The offensive

Votto gave Cincinnati an early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first …

Employee number 19 works on weekends ??

– Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 23, 2021

which led to a significant statistical milestone …

Further up! ??

Joey Votto has overtaken Frank Robinson on the Reds all-time RBI list!

– Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 23, 2021

Farmer gave the home team a 3-2 lead in the lower quarter with a solo shot …

Nice ? by Kyle Farmer!

– Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) July 24, 2021

The Reds tied it 5-5 in the lower third of the lead-off singles from Stephenson and Votto, an RBI double from Eugenio Suarez and …

Everything tied up!

– Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) July 24, 2021

However, Cincinnati went out of a potential lead when Suarez attempted to score from third place with a medium-deep fly to the right of Aristides Aquino. Rightfielder Dylan Carlson threw Suarez from here at the Findlay market.

Farmer took the lead with his third goal in the lower round of 16 with the tie. Pinch hitter Tucker Barnhart hit a grounder back on pitcher Giovanny Gallegos who looked like a double play ball, but Gallegos threw the ball into second place, resulting in both runners being safe. A one-out walk to Jesse Winker invited the bases in, and Stephenson gave his team the lead, 6-5, with a sacrificial flight into midfield that scored Farmer in third place.

The pitching

In the top of fifth, starter Tyler Mahle passed the sputum-laden bases, unable to control his secondary pitches. But he came back to beat Tyler O’Neill and Paul DeJong to get out of the inning and keep a 3-2 lead. Mahle is a decent starter mug at the moment but needs to figure out how to consistently control his slider and splitter to take the next step. High pitch counts have been his archenemy all year, and tonight was more like it. With the bases loaded, O’Neill and DeJong needed to know fastballs were coming, but they couldn’t hit them. Mahle’s fastball is an out-pitch, but not that often when opposing hitters know they can wait for it.

Right-handed Edgar Garcia followed in the sixth – four batter, four hits, no outs, three runs. A 3-2 lead turned into a 5-3 deficit. He is a two-pitch pitcher with a sinker and a slider. The only playing field he can seemingly overcome is the sinking fastball, and opposing thugs seem to know and wait for it. In contrast to Mahle, Garcia has no “out” place for the league level.

Tony Santillan was a bright spot in the bullpen. Santillan stepped into the game when RJ Alaniz went out with an injury with two men and no one. Because of this appearance, he deserves another setting in a meaningful situation.

Brad Brach threw a shutdown eight to qualify for the win and Heath Hembree threw a dominant ninth for the save. Loyal to Redleg Nation, don’t look now but this guy is real.

Notable hints

Amir Garrett’s absence this weekend certainly falls into the category of excused …

Welcome to the Reds family, Koa Mae Garrett! ?

Congratulations, Amir and Tausana! ??

(? Amir Garrett / Instagram)

– Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 23, 2021

Next up for the Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds

Saturday, July 24, 7:10 p.m. ET

Jake Woodford (2-1, 4.06 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (3-10, 4.39 ERA)