The Cincinnati Reds played two games on Saturday afternoon. The first one began at 3:05pm against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise, Arizona. They also played against the Chicago Cubs at 4:05pm, but that game took place in Las Vegas.
Royals 7 – Reds 2
The Royals were in control of this game most of the way. It was a 0-0 game until the bottom of the 3rd inning, and that’s when Sonny Gray and Brandon Finnegan ran into trouble. Gray had allowed two earned runs before exiting the game with one out in the inning. Finnegan came on and allowed three earned runs of his own, and another run that was charged to Gray, as he gave up two homers. From there the bullpen was pretty strong. Raisel Iglesias struck out two hitters in a perfect inning. And Pedro Strop picked up a strikeout in his perfect inning of relief that followed. Michael Lorenzen picked up five strikeouts in the final two innings of the game – both of the shutout variety.
The offense struggled for most of the day. Alfredo Rodriguez went 2-2 with a double, and for a while had the only two hits on the day for the Reds. Shogo Akiyama would pick up a single, going 1-3 on the day. They were the only starting players to pick up hits. Matt Davidson would single in the 9th inning and score on a 2-run home run by Ibandel Isabel that came with two outs in the last frame to keep Cincinnati from being shut out. You can see the entire box score for the game here.
Reds 8 – Cubs 5
Tejay Antone, who we wrote about having a big uptick in velocity this spring earlier today, got the start for Cincinnati in this one and picked up two strikeouts in 2.0 shutout innings. Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims both threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts out of the bullpen. Robert Stephenson had a perfect frame that included a strikeout.
Among the starters it was a good day for Kyle Farmer and Alex Blandino. Both went 2-3 and had a triple. Jesse Winker, Mike Moustakas, Phillip Ervin, and Christian Colon all went 1-3 among the starters, and Tyler Stephenson went 1-2 with a double.
But it was the backup guys in Las Vegas that did some real damage. Jonathan India went waaaaaaay deep, crushing a home run into right-center. He also singled and doubled later in the game to finish 3-3 on the day.
"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) March 7, 2020
Francisco Pena also crushed a home run for the Reds with his coming in the 8th inning to put the Reds up 8-3. Mark Payton and Alejo Lopez would also pick up singles off of the bench on the afternoon. You can see the entire box score for the game here.