Because the Cardinals have been just as hot and currently hold the top spot in the National League Central standings, the Reds’ run of success over the past couple of weeks has flown somewhat under the radar.
Cincinnati was at it again on Saturday evening at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, routing the host Phillies by a score of 10-0. Joey Votto reached base in all six of his plate appearances, pushing his batting line to .346/.473/.531. Bronson Arroyo tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings and now has a 1.86 ERA in three May starts. Even Jay Bruce, who had well-documented struggles in April, is starting to come alive this month with a .999 OPS and 16 RBI in 14 games.
The Reds, 26-17 overall, have won 13 of their last 17 games and trail St. Louis by only a game and a half in the NL Central. That should be an excellent back-and-forth all year.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Mariners 4, Indians 5
Blue Jays 2, Yankees 7
Mets 2, Cubs 8
Rays 10, Orioles 6
White Sox 9, Angels 12
Reds 10, Phillies 0
Astros 4, Pirates 2 (11 innings)
Red Sox 12, Twins 5
Dodgers 1, Braves 3
Diamondbacks 1, Marlins 0
Brewers 6, Cardinals 4 (10 innings)
Tigers 2, Rangers 7
Giants 2, Rockies 10
Nationals 1, Padres 2
Royals 1, Athletics 2
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.