CINCINNATI -- The Reds really tried to keep Tony Santillan around for one more out to give their starting pitcher a chance to win his big league debut on Sunday afternoon. Santillan was unable to get the third out against the Rockies in the top of the fifth inning, but
CINCINNATI -- The Reds really tried to keep Tony Santillan around for one more out to give their starting pitcher a chance to win his big league debut on Sunday afternoon. Santillan was unable to get the third out against the Rockies in the top of the fifth inning, but the team got something else it needed much more.
A beleaguered Cincinnati bullpen -- ranked last in the Majors in ERA -- proved it could hold a lead in a close game without the injured Tejay Antone. Five relievers combined to pitch 4 2/3 innings with one run allowed as the Reds earned a 6-2 win for a three-game series sweep at Great American Ball Park. At 32-31, Cincinnati is above .500 for the first time since April 21.
The big hits were a two-run home run by Eugenio Suárez in the second inning and a two-run chopped double by Jesse Winker through a drawn-in infield in the three-run seventh.
Called up from Triple-A Louisville to replace the injured Sonny Gray, Santillan pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up one earned run with five hits and four walks while striking out five. He gave up hits to his first two batters of the game and trailed, 1-0, following Charlie Blackmon's sacrifice fly to left field.
Colorado, which was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12, had Santillan in trouble multiple times. The right-hander had runners on the corners and one out and left them stranded in the second inning. The bases were loaded in the third inning, but Santillan escaped with a flyout to right field.
With two outs in the fifth inning and heavy rain falling, Santillan was one strike from qualifying for a win, but he lost Brendan Rodgers to a walk and then walked C.J. Cron to load the bases. Manager David Bell made the move to rookie Ryan Hendrix.
Hendrix ran up a full count to Dom Nunez but struck him out with a slider in the dirt to end the threat while letting out a big yell as he left the mound.
Bell still had four innings to piece together. Brad Brach struck out his first two batters before issuing a walk in the sixth. Summoned to face the lefty-hitting Blackmon, Amir Garrett took over and struck him out on three pitches.
Heath Hembree was given the seventh inning and allowed Ryan McMahon's solo home run to right field and a two-out walk. While the bullpen bent there, Hembree did not break as the Reds held a one-run lead. Lucas Sims retired all six batters he faced over the final two innings.