Reds, in finale at Arizona, eye rare winning streak

Field Level Media

May 15, 2024 at 11:09 am.

Victories have been in short supply for the Cincinnati Reds over the past three weeks.

The Reds will try to win back-to-back games for the first time since April 23-24 when they close a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon in Phoenix.

A 6-2 victory on Tuesday was just Cincinnati’s second triumph in 13 games. It also was only the fourth in 18 contests since the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies on consecutive days last month.

Adding to the misery was that the Reds lost 6-5 on walk-off hits in consecutive games — Sunday in 10 innings against the San Francisco Giants and Monday against the Diamondbacks when Kevin Newman singled home two in the bottom of the ninth.

“We know at some point we were going to start putting it together,” said Cincinnati outfielder Will Benson, who hit a tiebreaking two-run homer on Tuesday. “Obviously, the past two days is a testament to how we have been as a unit collectively working hard every day, to keep pushing and keep going.”

A strong outing by right-hander Hunter Greene helped Cincinnati beat the Diamondbacks for the first time in five meetings this season.

“I had to come through for the guys,” said Greene, who allowed two runs in seven innings. “We’ve been working hard trying to stay with the process.”

For Arizona, Newman had two hits and a walk on Tuesday. He is 10-for-14 with five doubles, one triple, five runs and two RBIs over the past four games.

Newman has received ample playing time with 2023 All-Star shortstop Geraldo Perdomo sidelined. Perdomo underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee early last month.

Perdomo is making strides in his recovery, but Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo declined to reveal a timetable for the 24-year-old’s return.

“He looks great and he feels great,” Lovullo said. “I don’t know what that answer is. We gotta get him on the ground with his spikes, and that timeline will start to shape up really quick.”

Two young hurlers will match up in the series finale when Cincinnati left-hander Andrew Abbott (2-4, 3.35 ERA) opposes Arizona right-hander Brandon Pfaadt (1-3, 4.60).

Abbott was 0-3 over a four-start span before beating the Giants on Friday. He gave up two runs and six hits over five innings at San Francisco.

Abbott, who will turn 25 on June 1, has allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his eight starts.

This will be Abbott’s first career appearance against the Diamondbacks.

Pfaadt has 42 strikeouts and just eight walks in 47 innings over eight starts. He has dropped back-to-back starts and three straight decisions. Pfaadt lost to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday when he gave up three runs and five hits over six innings.

Pfaadt, 25, is 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA in two starts against the Reds, both last season.

One day after being promoted to the big leagues, Jacob Hurtubise started in left field for the Reds on Tuesday. He went 0-for-2 before being removed for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning.

Hurtubise, recalled after TJ Friedl fractured his left thumb on Sunday, is the second Army graduate to reach the majors. The other was Chris Rowley, who pitched in eight games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017-18.

“I was at West Point when he made his debut,” Hurtubise said of Rowley prior to Tuesday’s game. “Immediately, every single person on the team bought a Chris Rowley jersey. … It’s super humbling to be from a place like West Point and to be able to represent them not only on the field but off the field as well.”

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