Cincinnati, OH—To clinch at least a share of the series, the Marlins had to go through Luis Castillo. Castillo is the most coveted pitcher on the trade market this deadline, making Wednesday’s start his likely swansong as the Cincinnati Red. It’s safe to say that his lineup behind him wanted to help him get the win, and that’s exactly what they did.
The Reds came out shooting straight into the bottom of the 1st, with Jonathan India hitting a first single, followed by Brandon Drury drawing a walk in the next at bat. India got caught stealing during the Tommy Pham fight, but Pham made up for it by hitting just one of his own. Joey Votto struck out, allowing Kyle Farmer to hit a 2-out, 2-RBI double.
Donovan Solano took advantage of the momentum, leading Farmer to an RBI brace. 3-0, Reds.
The Reds continued to roll, as Solano moved up 3rd on a wild pitch which set him up to score on Matt Reynolds’ single. 4-0, Reds.
Nick Fortes got on the board for the Marlins in the top of the 3rd with a solo home run to Left Field. The shot was Fortes’ 4th homer this season and only the second for the Marlins since the Aguilar homer against the Mets on July 9.
The Reds continued the scoring in the 3rd, as Reynolds brought on Pham on an RBI single with a field error from Willians Astudillo. Pham started the inning with a single and worked his way around the bases thanks in part to a pitch-hit Votto, a sacrifice fly from Solano and the eventual single that scored it. 5-1, Reds.
The top of the 4th included another milestone from JJ Bleday, as he hit his first career home run to the right corner of the field. He headed for the bullpen, making it an easy ball for Bleday to pick up. 5-2, Reds.
Braxton Garrett was taken off as soon as he started to settle, as recent call-up Huascar Brazoban relieved him late in the 6th. Braxton’s last line was 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, 8 K, HBP, WP on 87 pitches. He allowed as many points for the Reds as in his previous 4 starts combined.
The Marlins’ at-bats started to improve in the top of the 7th inning, and they were rewarded for it. Lewin Díaz walked the first and Astudillo followed with a single. Jesús Sánchez drove a brace into right field to drive Díaz, as Astudillo was held 3rd. 5-3, Reds.
There wasn’t a ton of action after that, so here are some final lines from the various pitchers at the end of the game:
Luis Castillo wrapped up his likely final Cincinnati start in very effective fashion. His last line was 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 8 K, 2 HR and 92 pitches. Outside the circuits, an almost perfect start from him.
Brazoban himself had a stellar night in his second big league appearance, posting a final line of 2.0 IP, H, 5K and 36 shots. He has a strong case for staying in the big league bullpen for the foreseeable future, even as arms like Jesús Luzardo and Anthony Bender near their return from IL.
Dylan Floro took Brazoban up, posting a stellar line of 1.0 IP, 2K, and 12 slots. Very efficient output.
Alexis Díaz replaced Luis Castillo, posting a solid line of consecutive zeros in 1 innings on just 9 pitches.
Hunter Strickland has closed for Cincinnati. Strickland grounded Sánchez in a double play to end the game.
That’s all she wrote about that game, as the Reds beat the Marlins 5-3. Since the All-Star break, the Marlins have alternated wins and losses against weak opponents.
The Marlins conclude this 4-game series on Thursday afternoon here at Great American Ball Park. Graham Ashcraft will be on the bump for the Reds, while the Marlins starter has yet to be announced. It would have been Max Meyer’s day to pitch, but he was traded to the IL 15 days for the elbow injury he suffered in Pittsburgh last Saturday.
The first pitch is at 12:35 p.m. EST on Bally Sports Florida and will be live on MLB Network for out-of-market fans.