Thursday, May 9

Overlook bunting, Friedl walks it off with hit to hole

CINCINNATI — Reds outfielder TJ Friedl is the staff’s finest bunter, however all was nicely when he could not get a bunt down within the ninth inning towards Rangers lefty reliever Will Smith — Friedl has been one of many membership’s hottest hitters, too.

“That was a great at-bat,” stated Reds third baseman Spencer Steer, who hit a two-run triple within the third inning. “That’s sort of TJ in a nutshell. He’s going to grind the at-bat out till the final pitch. No doubt in my thoughts whereas standing on the on-deck circle that though he didn’t get these bunts down, that he was going to win the sport for us.”

It was 6-6 when India drew a leadoff stroll from Texas reliever José Leclerc, who was pulled and changed by Smith. That introduced up the left-handed hitting Friedl, who’s hitting .313 with an .838 OPS this season, and he has a historical past of hitting nicely off lefties.

On Smith’s first pitch, with third baseman Josh Jung in on the grass, Friedl confirmed bunt however drew a ball. A handed ball moved India to second base. Friedl missed sending him to 3rd with one other bunt attempt after which bunted a slider foul to make the rely 2-2.

In a full rely, Friedl bought a fastball up from Smith and lined it to right-center subject for the primary walk-off hit of his profession.

“First, it was just trying to get Jon to second,” Friedl stated. ” … I trust my bunting and know I’m capable of it, but with Jon on second, I’m more comfortable with myself pulling the ball just to get him over. Will Smith being a heavy slider, I had a better chance pulling the ball. Trying to get that slider up. He threw a couple good ones to work a full count. Got a fastball up and put a good swing on it.”

Manager David Bell believes that Friedl thrives in these kinds of conditions.

“He works extremely hard at his bunting. It shows how difficult it is to get the job done,” Bell stated. “He has to be one of the best in the game. There is a little bit of a letdown, or it can be, if you don’t get that job done. Then to stay with it and lay off some pitches and then come through against a tough lefty like that says all we need to know about TJ. Just a great at-bat. A big game and a big hit for us.”

Facing a first-place staff for a 3rd consecutive sequence, and enjoying their 18th straight day with out a break day, the Reds scored solely six runs through the dropping streak. They did not clear up all of their hitting troubles — going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring place — however they made the pitchers work and delivered plenty of exhausting contact.

“It starts with being ready to hit and trusting it,” Bell stated. “Those are good pitchers we’re facing, they’re making good pitches, and our hitters came through with great at-bats.”

Cincinnati was down, 5-1, within the third earlier than Steer’s triple stored them within the recreation.

“We’ve been going through a tough stretch. It was kind of one of our main focuses the last couple of games — keep the energy up, we’re going to turn this around,” Steer stated. “I think we did a great job of that tonight. We were down 5-1, the dugout was still lively. It didn’t feel like we were out of it.”

In the underside of the eighth inning of a 6-4 recreation, the Reds evened it on a single and 4 walks. There had been two outs when Wil Myers drew a stroll from reliever Dane Dunning to load the bases. Texas introduced in Leclerc towards the just-called up Henry Ramos, who drew a five-pitch stroll to power residence a run.

Next was Nick Senzel, who labored a stroll in a full rely to power residence the tying run and arrange the drama within the ninth. 

Even after delivering the sport’s greatest hit, Friedl is not planning to wean himself from bunting. 

“Whenever there’s an opportunity to lay a bunt down, I will always look for that chance,” he stated. “I’ll always trust my bat. I know what I have in the bat. Bunting is a huge part of my game that will never go away.”

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