Sun, 24 Oct 2021

Reds try to stay alive for playoffs against White Sox

Field Level Media
28 Sep 2021, 12:05 GMT+10

Another day with life in the race for the second National League wild card, another first-time major league starter for the Cincinnati Reds.

After rookie left-hander Reiver Sanmartin pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball to help the Reds to Monday's 13-1 home win against the Pittsburgh Pirates tokeep their flickering playoff hopes alive, Cincinnati will turn to righty Riley O'Brien on Tuesday night in his big league debut.

O'Brien is set to start the opener of a two-game interleague road series against the American League Central champion Chicago White Sox, who defeated the host Detroit Tigers 8-7 on Monday.

Rated by MLB Pipeline as the No. 24 prospect in the Reds' system, O'Brien was 7-7 with a 4.55 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for Triple-A Louisville this season. He is coming off Thursday's no-decision against Toledo, when he scattered one run and three hits in five innings with two walks and five strikeouts.

"Another talented pitcher," Reds manager David Bell said. "He's had a nice season. He's been on the radar for a long time. Just to see him in Cincinnati here and get a start -- it's great for him, but also for us to get to see him at this level. Another guy that we'll get to watch and observe and see how he does here."

O'Brien, 26, has 121 strikeouts and 16 home runs allowed in 112 2/3 innings this season.

While his first action with the Reds essentially ranks as a must-win, Cincinnati doesn't completely control its own destiny. The team trails the St. Louis Cardinals by 5 1/2 games for the second wild-card spot, with five games left for Cincinnati and six remaining for St. Louis. One more Cardinals victory puts St. Louis in the playoffs.

The Reds (82-75) have won four straight and continue to hit well. Joey Votto homered twice and had four RBIs Monday, while Nick Castellanos, Jonathan India (four hits) and Eugenio Suarez also went deep.

Chicago (89-68) has won three of four to pull within 2 1/2 games of the Houston Astros for the No. 2 seed in the AL playoffs. The Astros have six games remaining, compared to five for the White Sox.

Chicago edged Detroit on Monday to finish 6-5 on its 11-game road trip. Following a stretch of five games in four days in Cleveland, the White Sox stopped back in Detroit to make up Wednesday's game postponed due to weather.

"The way our club got ready to play this last game of this road trip is one of our best moments of the year," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said.

Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (3-3, 3.16 ERA) will aim to get back on track Tuesday as he gets the start for the White Sox. Lopez has yielded four home runs between his past two starts.

Lopez has not faced Cincinnati in his career. In 16 career interleague appearances, including 11 starts, Lopez is 3-6 with a 6.36 ERA, with 60 strikeouts and 10 home runs allowed in 58 innings.

Lopez has pitched in five interleague contests this season, all in relief, earning a victory while compiling a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings pitched.

--Field Level Media

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