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Kyle Farmer hits a three-run homer to carry the Reds to a win over the Giants

The Reds begin the 2022 regular season on the road against the defending World Series champions...
The Reds begin the 2022 regular season on the road against the defending World Series champions Atlanta Braves.(MGN)
Published: May. 28, 2022 at 7:31 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (Cincinnati Enquirer) - Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer wasn’t a regular starter in MLB until the middle of the 2021 season, so he has taken a lot of pride since then in playing almost every game.

Last week, he needed three days off due to back soreness, and Farmer was in enough pain to get a cortisone shot. Now back in the Reds lineup, Farmer is having his best stretch of the season.

Farmer’s three-run home run in the first inning jump-started the Reds offense on Saturday at Great American Ball Park. In front of a crowd of 26,655, the Reds beat the San Francisco Giants, 3-2, and clinched the series win.

On May 13, when Farmer’s back soreness started to become an issue, he was hitting .193 with one home run all season. While playing through pain, Farmer started to turn the corner and picked up seven hits in a four-game stretch.

Even though he was hitting well, Farmer reached the point where he couldn’t play through the pain anymore. He got a cortisone shot and missed some time as his back healed.

After Farmer got back into the lineup, he didn’t lose any of that momentum.

Farmer has six hits and three home runs in three games since he returned to the Reds lineup. His three-run homer on a sinker from former college teammate and Giants starter Alex Wood put the Reds up 3-0.

Even though Farmer and Wood have been friends since college, Farmer kept a straight face as he rounded the bases.

The Reds’ early lead made a big difference for Reds starting pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez, who had his best start of the season. For the first time all year, Gutierrez pitched five complete innings, and he only allowed one run.

Starting pitcher Mike Minor is close to joining the rotation, so Gutierrez’s role beyond this start remains uncertain. The Reds had previously moved Gutierrez to the bullpen, but they gave him two more starts when other starting pitchers went on the injured list.

Gutierrez was at his best on Saturday, throwing strikes early in the count and setting up his slider at the bottom of the strike zone. He pitched out of a few jams to get his first win of the year.

The Giants started the game with a leadoff double, but Gutierrez responded by getting a fly out and two strikeouts to end the inning. He finished the first by getting Giants left fielder Joc Pederson to look at a slider at the bottom of the strike zone for the punch out.

Gutierrez faced more adversity in the second inning as the Giants loaded the bases with one out. Gutierrez got a fly out, and then designated hitter Tommy La Stella whiffed at a slider in the dirt.

In the fifth inning, Gutierrez allowed a single with one out, and Luis Cessa started to warm up in the Reds bullpen. Gutierrez kept rolling and got back-to-back outs to end the inning and his start.

Reds manager David Bell trusted left-handed relief pitcher Ross Detwiler in the eighth inning for Detwiler’s first high-leverage opportunity with the Reds. The Reds signed Detwiler to a minor league deal in April and promoted him from Triple-A in May, and the 14-year veteran showed enough to get the chance to face the middle of the Giants order in a game the Reds led 3-2.

Detwiler picked up the first two outs of the eighth inning, and Tony Santillan followed him to get the four-out save.

Santillan entered in the eighth inning with two runners on base, and pinch-hitter Thairo Estrada grounded out to end the inning. After pitching a clean ninth inning, Santillan got his third save of the season, and the Reds won their fourth straight game.

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