Homers from Nick Fortes and JJ Bleday wasn’t enough to beat the Reds in what was possibly Luis Castillo’s last start with Cincinnati.
Cincinnati, OH—To clinch at least a share of the series, the Marlins had to go through Luis Castillo. Castillo is the most coveted pitcher on the trade market this deadline, making Wednesday’s start his probable swan song as a Cincinnati Red. It’s safe to say his lineup behind him wanted to help him get the win badly, and they did just that.
The Reds came out firing right away in the bottom of the 1st, with Jonathan India hitting a leadoff single, followed by Brandon Drury drawing a walk in the next at-bat. India got caught stealing during Tommy Pham’s at-bat, but Pham made up for it by hitting a single of his own. Joey Votto struck out, which set up Kyle Farmer to hit a 2-out, 2-RBI double.
Donovan Solano rode the momentum, driving in Farmer on an RBI double. 3-0, Reds.
The Reds just kept on rolling, as Solano advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, which set him up to score on Matt Reynolds’ single. 4-0, Reds.
Nick Fortes got on the board for the Marlins in the top of the 3rd with a solo home run out to Left Field. That shot was Fortes’ 4th homer on the season and just the second for the Marlins since Aguilar’s home run against the Mets on July 9th.
The Reds continued the scoring in the 3rd, as Reynolds brought in Pham on an RBI single with a fielding error by Willians Astudillo. Pham led off the inning with a single and made his way around the bases thanks in part to a Votto hit-by-pitch, a Solano sacrifice fly, and the eventual single that scored him. 5-1, Reds.
The top of the 4th included another JJ Bleday milestone, as he hit his first career home run out to the right field corner. It funneled down to the bullpen, making it an easy ball to retrieve for Bleday. 5-2, Reds.
Braxton Garrett got pulled right when he started to settle in, as recent call-up Huascar Brazoban relieved him in the bottom of the 6th. Braxton’s final line was 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, 8 K, HBP, WP on 87 pitches. He allowed as many runs to the Reds as he did in his previous 4 starts combined.
The Marlins’ at-bats started to improve in the top of the 7th inning, and they got rewarded for it. Lewin Díaz drew a leadoff walk and Astudillo followed with a single. Jesús Sánchez poked a double into right field to drive in Díaz, as Astudillo was held at 3rd. 5-3, Reds.
There wasn’t a ton of action after that, so here are some final lines from the various pitchers at the end of the game:
Luis Castillo wrapped up his probable final start in Cincinnati very efficiently. His final line was 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 8 K, 2 HR, and 92 pitches. Outside of the home runs, a near-perfect start from him.
Brazoban had himself a stellar night in his second big league appearance, posting a final line of 2.0 IP, H, 5 K, and 36 pitches. He’s got a great argument to stay in the big league bullpen for the near future, even as arms like Jesús Luzardo and Anthony Bender near their returns from the IL.
Dylan Floro relieved Brazoban, posting a stellar line of 1.0 IP, 2 K, and 12 pitches. Very efficient outing.
Alexis Díaz came in for Luis Castillo, posting a solid line of straight zeros in 1 inning on only 9 pitches.
Hunter Strickland closed for Cincinnati. Strickland got Sánchez to ground into a double play to end the game.
That’s all she wrote on this game, as the Reds defeated the Marlins 5-3. Since the All-Star break, the Marlins have alternated wins and losses against weak opponents.
The Marlins wrap up this 4-game series Thursday afternoon here at Great American Ball Park. Graham Ashcraft will be on the bump for the Reds, while the Marlins’ starter is yet to be announced. This would’ve been Max Meyer’s day to pitch, but he has been moved to the 15-day IL for the elbow injury he sustained in Pittsburgh last Saturday.
First pitch is at 12:35 PM EST on Bally Sports Florida and will be live on MLB Network for out-of-market fans.