Reynolds does it all in Grizzlies' wild win

Nats farmhand records first five-hit game, pitches one inning

Matt Reynolds is hitting .379/.455/.690 with three homers and nine RBIs in nine games in June. (Fresno Grizzlies)

By Brian Stultz / MiLB.com | June 23, 2019 7:11 PM

Thirty-one runs. Four position players taking the mound. Video game-like numbers in Salt Lake City. And Matt Reynolds was in the middle of all it.

The Nationals farmhand homered, doubled twice, drove in four runs and scored four times in his first career five-hit game as Triple-A Fresno crushed Salt Lake, 22-9, on Sunday at Smith's Ballpark. Oh, Reynolds also spent an inning on the mound for the Grizzlies.

Video: Grizzlies' Reynolds collects his fifth hit of game

The 28-year-old homered to right-center field in the second inning off starter Jose Rodriguez. He doubled in the fifth, driving a ball to right to score Jose Marmolejos and extend Fresno's lead to 7-2.

Batting twice in a 10-run seventh, Reynolds singled to left and doubled to right, plating Marmolejos and Brandon Snyder. A single to left in the ninth gave the Major League veteran the first five-hit game of his eight-year career.


Gameday box score


"I have been just trying to stay to the middle of the field and staying on the off-speed pitches," Reynolds said. "I got some good pitches to hit today and I was able to put some good swings on them."

The 2012 second-round pick by the Mets is batting .298/.384/.509 with eight homers, four triples, 16 doubles, 33 RBIs and 36 runs scored in 67 games with the Grizzlies.

With the game well in hand, Reynolds took the mound in the seventh, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks. It was his second pitching appearance in less than a month after throwing a scoreless ninth against the same Salt Lake team in a 13-1 loss on May 31.

"It's fun to be on the side we were on today," Reynolds said. "I love to get an opportunity to go out there and pitch."

Noting that he was just trying to get the inning over as quickly as possible, the University of Arkansas product wasn't just a one-pitch act.

"I was throwing a little slider and a little changeup but mostly just fastball," he said. "I was just trying to throw strikes."

Reynolds wasn't the only position player thrust into the spotlight on the mound. Snyder, who started the day as Fresno's designated hitter, came on in the fifth and got the win after giving up a run and a hit while striking out one over two innings.

"Snyder was doing a good job," Reynolds said. "He was throwing knuckleballs up there."

It was Marmolejos' time after Reynolds. The first baseman yielded a run on a hit and two walks with one strikeout using "a nasty slider," Reynolds said. Catcher Matt Reistetter finished up by surrendering three runs and five hits in the ninth.

It came as no surprise that the quartet was called on to get some outs. The Nationals called up right-hander Kyle McGowin -- Sunday's scheduled starter -- on Saturday night. Couple that with a tired bullpen and the players were told to be ready.

"Our manager had a talk with us and said Scott Copeland was going to go three, maybe four and then we are going to go position players after that," Reynolds said. "That way, he could give our bullpen a little rest."

Video: Bees' Parker homers again

The Grizzlies decided to have fun with the unusual situation -- and possibly put a wager on the speed gun.

"There might have been some stakes on who could throw the hardest," Reynolds said with a laugh.

So who won?

"The hardest pitch I threw was 87 [mph]," he said. "I won the bet."

Andrew Stevenson was a major part of the Grizzlies' onslaught, going 5-for-7 with a homer, two doubles, five RBIs and four runs scored. Top Nats prospect Carter Kieboom smashed a grand slam in the fifth on a three-hit afternoon, drawing three walks and scoring twice.

2019 MiLB include 

"Carter is an awesome guy to play with," Reynolds said of MLB.com's No. 21 overall prospect. "He's very mature for his age and has a mature approach at the plate. He always does big things like that -- we kind of expect him to do stuff like that. He's a fun guy to have on the team."

Marmolejos had three singles, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Salt Lake's Jarrett Parker homered in the ninth to extend his streak to six games with a big fly. He's one short of the Pacific Coast League modern-era record for consecutive games with a homer set by Albuquerque's Claude Westmoreland in 1977 and matched by Albuquerque's Dallas McPherson in 2008.

Brian Stultz is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianjstultz. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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