|3:40 PM PT4:40 PM MT5:40 PM CT6:40 PM ET18:40 ET22:40 GMT6:40 3:40 PM MST5:40 PM EST6:10 PM VEN2:40 UAE (+1)4:40 PM CT, September 18, 2023
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio Attendance: 15,364
Reds' next hurdle in wild-card push is AL Central-best Twins
Minnesota Twins at Cincinnati Reds
- The Reds hold a one-win edge (16-15) in their all-time series against the Twins. The teams last played each other in 2021, when they evenly split four games (two at Minnesota, two in Cincinnati).
- The Twins are averaging an MLB-high 6.38 runs per game this month. The only other teams averaging at least six runs per game in September are the Padres (6.20) and Astros (6.13).
- Edouard Julien has scored a run in each of his last seven games. It's the longest runs scored streak by a Minnesota player this season and the longest by a Twins rookie since 2018, when Jake Cave scored in eight consecutive games (July 5-13).
- The Reds were charged with three errors in their 8-4 loss to the Mets yesterday. It was Cincinnati's sixth game with three or more errors this season, the most by any MLB team. Five of the Reds' six such games this year have come since August 2.
- Connor Phillips is one of the eight rookie pitchers who have started a game for the Reds this season. That's the most rookie pitchers used as a starter by any MLB team in 2023. The only seasons in which the Reds have used more rookie starting pitchers are 2017 (10) and 2015 (nine).
- Joe Ryan pitched at least six innings in each of his first nine starts this season (6-1, 2.25 ERA, four home runs allowed) but he's done so only seven times in his 17 starts since then (4-8, 5.42 ERA, 24 home runs allowed).
- Acuña reaches 140 runs; Olson 53 HRs
- Tigers hire Greenberg as GM
- Castellanos' 4 RBIs keep Phils atop WC
- Rays rally with 2 in 9th to beat Angels
- Cole baffles Jays, Yankees avoid sweep
The Cincinnati Reds will continue their fight for a playoff berth when they open a three-game series with the visiting Minnesota Twins on Monday night.
The Reds (78-73) are coming off a 4-2 road swing through Detroit and New York (Mets), taking the first two games of each series.
On Sunday, the Reds lost 8-4 to the Mets, and it cost Cincinnati ground in the National League wild-card race, as the Reds dropped a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins for the third and final spot.
"Of course, the results are going to be what gets us where we're going, but for us as a team, I think we're doing a good job -- I know we're doing a good job -- of really paying attention to things that we can control," Reds manager David Bell said after Sunday's loss.
"The idea is, 'Yes, every game is important to win. Every play is important to make.' But you have to turn the page really quick," Bell added.
Turning this page means facing the American League Central-leading Twins (79-71), who are seven games clear of the second-place Cleveland Guardians. The Pittsburgh Pirates will follow the Twins into Cincinnati as the Reds' final homestand of the season concludes.
Three games on the just-concluded road trip were decided by one run, and the Reds won all three. They have gone 34-26 in one-run games this season.
"We kind of joke about the close games that we play -- and they're never easy -- but there's something to be said for having the experience of knowing how to get it done in the really tight games," Bell said. "That's one thing our team has been really good with. We're serious, we have a job to do, but at the same time, it hasn't become a pressure thing. It's just the same approach that got us here."
The Twins are in a much more favorable spot. Sunday's 4-0 road win over the Chicago White Sox lowered their magic number for clinching the AL Central to six games.
Minnesota took the weekend series three games to one behind former Reds ace Sonny Gray, who pitched seven scoreless innings on Sunday, striking out six. Edouard Julien hit a three-run homer to lead the offense.
"It was a good way to finish the series," said Twins bench coach Jayce Tingler, who began filling in for manager Rocco Baldelli on Sunday. "I think Sonny kind of came out from the get-go and set the tone and just really threw the ball well. (We) got the two big hits, really from Julien. We played pretty good defense behind him and a nice way to finish up the (series)."
Baldelli is expected to miss at least Monday's game. He is in Minnesota with his wife, who is expecting twins.
The Twins will send right-hander Joe Ryan (10-9, 4.20 ERA) to the mound in the series opener. On Tuesday, Ryan was charged with two runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two as the Twins beat visiting Tampa Bay 3-2.
The Reds, with just three regular pitchers in their rotation, are handing the ball to rookie right-hander Connor Phillips (0-0, 8.31 ERA) against the Twins for his third major league appearance. He was recalled from Triple-A Louisville earlier Monday.
Phillips debuted on Sept. 5, and in his second start on Wednesday in Detroit, he gave up three runs on four hits and four walks in four innings. He struck out three.
--Field Level Media
Updated September 18, 2023