Barrero gets game-ending hit as Reds beat Phillies 1-0

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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CINCINNATI – Jose Barrero hit a game-ending RBI single off Seranthony Dominguez with two out in the ninth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 on Wednesday.

Albert Almora Jr. helped set up Barrero’s winning hit with a one-out walk. Almora advanced to second when Alejo Lopez singled for his third hit, and then hustled home when Barrero hit a grounder back up the middle.

“I was fortunate enough to make contact,” said Barrero, who had never faced Dominguez before. “All I wanted to do was help the team by making contact.”

The 24-year-old Barrero has struck out 26 times in 48 big league at-bats this year.

It was the first run allowed by Dominguez (6-4) since July 10, snapping a string of 11 consecutive scoreless appearances.

Rookie left-hander Nick Lodolo struck out eight in a career-high seven innings for Cincinnati, allowing five hits. Alexis Diaz (4-1) got six outs for the win.

“I was aggressive in the zone,” Lodolo said. “I felt I got better as the game went on. I was working through traffic the first three innings but it got better.”

Reds first baseman Joey Votto announced after the win that he will have season-ending surgery Friday to repair a torn left rotator cuff. The 38-year-old Votto, a six-time All-Star and 2010 NL MVP, hit just .205 this season with 11 homers and 41 RBIs.

“It’s a big blow obviously. We’re going to miss him a ton,” manager David Bell said. “I have no idea how he was playing with it. I was lucky enough to talk to the doctors. They were very clear this has to be done now.”

Lodolo got some help from right fielder Aristides Aquino, who made a terrific defensive play in the fifth. Aquino tracked down Alec Bohm‘s drive and then made a strong throw from the warning track to double up Rhys Hoskins at first.

“At that moment I was thinking just catch the ball,” Aquino said. “When I caught the ball I saw the runner was off the base. I just threw it. When I’m playing defense, I always think I have a chance to catch the ball.”

It was Aquino’s ninth assist – the most by a Reds outfielder since Billy Hamilton had 12 in 2018.

Philadelphia won the first two games of the three-game series against lowly Cincinnati. But the Phillies wasted a stellar performance by Ranger Suarez in the finale.

The 26-year-old Suarez allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked two. The left-hander made his big league debut at Cincinnati on July 26, 2018.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: OF Brandon Marsh left Tuesday’s 11-4 win when he crashed into the wall while trying to catch Jonathan India‘s home run. He had an MRI but there was no update on his condition.

Reds: RHP Art Warren (right upper arm) was activated from the 15-day injured list. RHP Buck Farmer was placed on the bereavement list. … OF Nick Senzel (right hamstring) and INF Mike Moustakas (left calf strain) planned to work out before the game. Senzel was available to pinch-hit, but did not play. Moustakas is eligible to come off the IL on Friday.

UP NEXT

Phillies: Open a four-game series at home against the Mets on Friday. RHP Chris Bassitt (10-7, 3.27 ERA) is scheduled to face Philadelphia RHP Aaron Nola (8-9, 3.07 ERA).

Reds: Open a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday. RHP Graham Ashcraft (5-3, 3.96 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Reds.

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

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TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.