Our exciting and frustrating Cincinnati Reds blew a quality start by Hunter Greene on Thursday night, despite Red Sox 7x All-Star Chris sale leaving the game early due to shoulder soreness. Rafael Devers played a crucial role in the win, breaking the tie in the eighth inning with an annoying double.
Sale’s early exit came after Manager Alex Cora and a member of the training staff visited the mound twice in the fourth inning. With two outs and a 1-0 deficit, Sale left the game after walking Nick Senzel. Although Sale had five strikeouts during his time on the mound, the 34-year-old left-hander has battled numerous health issues throughout his tenure with the Red Sox, including undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020. His last injury-free season was in 2017.
An MRI scheduled for Friday will provide more information about Sale’s shoulder injury, leaving the team hopeful for positive news. Cora explained that a drop in velocity led the team to exercise caution and make the decision to remove Sale from the game. Cora emphasized the need to prioritize Sale’s well-being, considering the challenges he has faced.
Following the Reds’ tying run in the eighth inning against Chris Martin (1-1), Devers delivered a crucial double, driving in Alex Verdugo after a leadoff walk. Devers’ deep drive to center field nearly cleared the fence, and Boston capitalized on the momentum with an additional five runs in the inning. Ramiel Tapia, pinch-running for Boston, scored after a balk was called on reliever Kevin Herget (1-2). Kiki Hernandez singled in two runs, and Connor Wong blasted a two-run shot into the Green Monster seats. Kenley Jansen sealed the win for Boston with a scoreless ninth inning.
Despite Cincinnati’s hopes of completing a three-game sweep, the Reds took an early lead in the third inning with Kevin Newman’s double. Boston quickly equalized in the fourth inning when Justin Turner singled in Devers, who had benefited from a fortunate double when the ball was lost in the lights by centerfielder Jose Barrero.
Kiki Hernandez contributed a solo home run for the Red Sox in the seventh inning. The Reds managed to tie the game in the eighth with Matt McLain’s single past the drawn-in infield.
Cincinnati’s starting pitcher, Hunter Greene, allowed only one run over six innings and struck out eight batters. Although the Reds’ five-game winning streak came to an end, Greene’s performance showcased his potential and determination, and he became the fourth fastest pitcher, at the age of 23, to reach 250 career strikeouts as a starter.
While the Red Sox celebrated their victory, the team remains concerned about Sale’s injury and awaits the results of the upcoming MRI. Sale’s health will be a crucial factor in the team’s success as they strive to maintain their strong performance in the season.
The Redlegs face off against the Brewers tonight at 5:10pm at Great American Ballpark. Reds rookie lefthander Brandon Williamson faces off against Cy Young award-winner Corbin Burnes.