Cincinnati Reds’ late rally falls short in 7-6 loss to Atlanta Braves

Cincinnati Reds' Matt McLain, front right, hits a two-run double during the ninth inning of a...
Cincinnati Reds' Matt McLain, front right, hits a two-run double during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, June 25, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)(Jeff Dean | AP)
Published: Jun. 25, 2023 at 6:27 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CINCINNATI (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER) - It took the best team in the National League, a game-ending double play with the tying run at third, a dire deficit of starting pitching and about 24 hours for the Cincinnati Reds’ longest winning streak in 66 years to turn into their first losing streak in more than two weeks.

The back-to-back losses to the Atlanta Braves, including Sunday’s 7-6 loss at sold-out Great American Ball Park, also meant the first series loss for the first-place Reds since the first week of the month.

But not before the Reds rallied again in the ninth inning, with Jake Fraley and Jonathan India delivering back-to-back one-out singles to put runners at the corners against former Reds closer Raisel Iglesias.

Kevin Newman fouled off three two-strike pitches before grounding into the game-ending 5-4-3 double play.

Sunday’s loss wasn’t for lack of rookie firepower, with Matt McLain providing a career-high five RBIs on the third-inning double that led to the Reds’ first run, a tying two-run double in the fourth, a seventh-inning solo home run that cut into a three-run deficit, and another two-run double in the eighth that made it a one-run game.

It also wasn’t for lack of cash-powered electricity in the ballpark, with fans providing a third straight sellout at GABP for the first time in seven years — matching in three days the number of home sellouts the Reds drew in their first 38 home games this season.

In fact, you couldn’t even blame this one on the starting pitching, considering the Reds were down to emergency fill-in Levi Stoudt, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville to take the injured Ben Lively’s start Sunday.

And the group that Braves manager Brian Snitker called a bunch of “pesky guys” even came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie it in the fourth and almost again in the eighth, thanks to McLain, but just didn’t have enough magic left to do it again and add to their major-league-leading total of 27 come-from-behind wins.

They finish the season series against the NL East-leading Braves with just one win in six meetings, but five of the six were decided by one run (including an extra-inning game in Atlanta), and the sixth was decided by two.

Now they head to a quick three-game road trip to Baltimore after a 4-2 homestand that included four of those comeback wins — but, perhaps predictably, did not produce a win from the starting rotation.