After taking two of three on the road against the Miami Marlins, the Cincinnati Reds backed that up with winning two of three on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers. That was cemented thanks to a splendid effort on Sunday afternoon, with Graham Ashcraft leading the Reds past reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes in a 4-2 victory, one that needed a 10th inning to be sealed after the Reds coughed up a 9th inning lead courtesy of Hunter Strickland (again).
To be quite clear, Burnes was Burnes alright - he tossed 6.0 IP of 2 H, ER ball with 9 K against a pair of walks. Still, the way Ashcraft battled against him with an arsenal that looks eerily similar at times put the Reds in position to do work late that mattered. Graham finished his day with 5.2 IP of 4 H, ER ball, scattering a pair of walks while fanning a trio of Beers.
The game got tied at 1-1 thanks to a Mike Papierski solo shot over the wall in RF in the Top of the 5th, a solo shot that matched the earlier one by Milwaukee’s Willy Adames off Ashcraft from the Bottom of the 3rd. That pitted each club against their opponent’s respective bullpen, and despite the overhaul given to the Milwaukee bunch at last week’s trade deadline, it once again failed to lock things down to Cincinnati’s benefit. Donovan Solano - pictured above - swatted an RBI-single off the wall to plate Jonathan India in the Top of the 8th, and the Reds bullpen (non Hunter Strickland Edition) managed to do enough to hold up their end of the deal, especially after Aristides Aquino caused just enough havoc in the Top of the 10th to give the Reds a 4-2 lead they would not relinquish.
Strickland, for the record, served up a game-tying dinger to Keston Hiura in the Bottom of the 9th on a meatball down the pipe after going to a 3-2 count.
Alexis Diaz, in particular, was firing filth from the mound in the Bottom of the 8th back when a lead was still a thing the bullpen was trying to hold:
These filthy pitches are brought to you by Alexis Díaz. pic.twitter.com/H7tfWJfPzQ— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 7, 2022
The Reds will stay on the road this evening, heading up to Flushing, New York to begin a series against the Mets on Monday. That series will begin with a 7:10 PM start on Monday evening, with Justin Dunn set to make his Reds debut opposite Chris Bassitt, who will probably find something to complain about while on the bump.