Reds 6, Mariners 3
(Cincinnati, OH) Labor Day saw the Seattle Mariners start a three-game series in Cincinnati with the Reds with a day game on Monday. After dropping two of three in Queens to the New York Mets, the M’s were looking to begin a new series winning streak against a team they have done plenty of business with trade wise over the last few years. Eugenio Suarez made his return to Cincinnati for the first time since being traded to the M’s while Jake Fraley and Noelvi Marte took on the team that traded them. It would be a rough start to the game for Bryan Woo and that would end up being the difference maker. Three walks and three hit batters turned into trouble for the rookie as Cincinnati made him pay and knocked off the Mariners 6-3.
Bryan Woo’s first mistake came in the bottom of the 1st. With one out, he got ahead of TJ Freidl with a 1-2 count. Woo then missed with a cutter and hit Freidl, giving him first base and also giving Cincinnati the first baserunner of the game. The rookie pitcher then made a phenomenal play on a slow tapper by Spencer Steer. Woo showed off his athleticism with as he fielder the grounder and then turned and threw the ball to first base while falling towards the third base line. The throw would beat Steer for the second out while Freidl moved to second. Rookie phenomenon Elly De La Cruz wasn’t letting Woo off the hook for the hit batter. A base hit into right field was more than enough to score Freidl with two outs, giving Cincinnati the 1-0 lead. With traffic still on base and two outs, Woo got ahead of Nick Martini 0-2 and then hit him too. Two hit batters with two strikes had Woo reeling and once again, he would pay for the mistake. Former Angel, Hunter Renfroe singled to left to easily score De La Cruz with his blazing speed to make it 2-0 early.
While the M’s were still looking for their first baserunner, Cincinnati continued to build their lead early as they tacked on more offense in the bottom of the 2nd. While it wasn’t with two strikes, Woo hit Noelvi Marte with his first pitch of the inning to give Cincinnati another free baserunner. After a lineout to J.P. Crawford, Woo gave another free pass by walking Jake Fraley. A groundball off the bat of TJ Freidl turned into just a 4-6 fielder’s choice instead of a double play. That gave the Reds runners on the corners with two outs for Spencer Steer. A fastball in the middle of the plate wasn’t good enough to beat Steer this time around. The Cincinnati first baseman sent it deep to center field, just over the leaping glove of Julio Rodriguez for a three-run home run. It was the 20th home run of the season for Steer and broke things open a bit for the Reds at 5-0.
Seattle finally got a scoreless frame from Bryan Woo in the bottom of the 3rd and that transitioned to some success on offense in the 4th and 5th. Julio Rodirguez led off the top of the 4th against new pitcher Daniel Duarte. He also tried to beat Julio with a fastball right down the middle but it was also a massive mistake. Julio sent a solo blast the other way to right field for his 25th home run of the season, getting the M’s on the board at 5-1. Then, with one out in the top of the 5th, it was Mike Ford’s turn to get into one. Against Michael Mariot, 92-mph at the top of the zone was like an early Christmas present for Ford. His 15th home run of the season sailed out to right center as the M’s continued to chip away, trailing 5-2.
Thanks to some strong defense, the Mariner bullpen got out of a couple of jams to keep the deficit where it was. Unfortunately, Eugenio Suarez struck out with runners on second and third to end a Mariner threat and Julio Rodriguez struck out swinging to leave the bases loaded which meant the Mariners weren’t getting any closer. Leading off the bottom of the 7th, Hunter Renfroe singled to right field and that with the 7th inning stretch energy got the Reds offense going again. Tyler Stephenson would follow with a double to left field that just snuck inside the bag at third. Stephenson’s 17th double scored Renfroe to make it 6-2 Reds.
That would be the score as this one went into the top of the 9th. A leadoff single by Ty France was followed by a hard lineout for Mike Ford for the first out. Josh Rojas then went down swinging which put the M’s down to their final out. A rally would then begin for Seattle. A single for Cal Raleigh put runners on the corners and forced the Reds to go to their bullpen as manager and former Mariner, David Bell brought in Ian Gibaut. It wouldn’t matter to J.P. Crawford as he shot a grounder the other way into left field for a base hit. That scored France and made it 6-3 with the tying run coming to the plate in Julio Rodriguez. This AB would end in frustration as Julio argued with the umpire after taking a called third strike that was indeed in the zone to end the ball game. Too many missed opportunities and a slow start handed the Mariners another loss as they dropped the opener to the Reds 6-3.
These games are even more important for the Seattle Mariners (77-60) as the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are playing each other in a three-game series this week. Houston beat Texas 13-6 on Monday which means the Mariners and Astros are now tied for first place in the AL West, one game ahead of Texas. Seattle will try to get back on track after losing three of their last four games when they meet with the Cincinnati Reds (72-68) in game two on Tuesday at 3:40pm. Bryce Miller (8-4, 3.93 ERA) will face a National League team for the third time in his rookie campaign. Miller threw quality starts (6+ innings and three runs of fewer) against both Atlanta and Miami and is coming off a quality outing against Oakland. Seattle will look to spoil the MLB debut of Connor Phillips who will get the ball for the Reds. Phillips is Cincinnati’s #4 prospect and was traded to the Reds from the Mariners in the Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez deal.
- Mike Ford- 2-4, HR, RBI, R
- Julio Rodriguez- 1-5, HR, RBI, R
- Bryan Woo (L, 2-4)- 5 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO
- Spencer Steer- 1-5, HR, 3 RBI, R
- Hunter Renfroe- 2-4, RBI, R, BB
- Tejay Antone (ND)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO