Reds first baseman Joey Votto last made an out in the eighth inning on Thursday in the series finale against the Cardinals. Since then, he has gone 4-for-4 with five walks in nine trips to the plate against Dodger pitchers.
Last night, in a 3-2 victory, Votto drew a walk off of Chris Capuano, singled off of Stephen Fife, drove a two-run home run to the opposite field against J.P. Howell, and drew a walk against Paco Rodriguez.
Today, in a 4-3 extra-innings victory, Votto singled, doubled, and drew a walk off of Zack Greinke, then was intentionally walked once each by Rodriguez and Howell.
Ted Williams holds the official modern era record having reached base in 16 consecutive plate appearances from September 17-23, 1957. He walked nine times (once intentionally), was hit by a pitch, singled twice, and hit four home runs. While we shouldn’t hold our breath expecting Votto to reach base in seven more consecutive plate appearances, that he is more than halfway there is impressive in and of itself. Mike Trout reached base in 10 consecutive at-bats earlier this season against the Rangers, reaching base six times on July 29 and four times on July 30.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.