CINCINNATI -- Two blown leads, four errors, extra innings and interim manager Jim Riggleman's ejection added up to a frustrating 12-8 loss for the Reds to the White Sox in 12 innings on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.
"Right there, the back end of the game, anything that could have not gone our way, it happened," Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett said.
Cincinnati had a lead of 7-2 wilt to a 7-7 tie game by the top of the eighth inning. An 8-7 lead in the bottom of the eighth was erased when closer Raisel Iglesias had a rare blown save in the top of the ninth on Avisail Garcia's second homer of the game.
Reds reliever Jackson Stephens inherited a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the top of the 11th and escaped with a groundout. Then, two errors and a walk put Stephens in a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the 12th.
The second error came when Adam Engel attempted a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by third baseman Eugenio Suarez. Engel ran inside the baseline and collided with Gennett covering first base as the throw got away. Engel was safe, and Suarez was charged with an error.
"The rule of thumb is if you're inside the line, you're out. And he was," Gennett said. "I did my best to catch the ball. Somehow I ended up OK. I looked at the replay, and it was pretty ugly-looking."
Riggleman argued with first-base umpire Gary Cederstrom and home-plate umpire Eric Cooper that Engel should have been ruled out of the base line. The play was not reviewable.
"We know we're not going to get a replay review, but if we could get an umpire review, they wouldn't do that," Riggleman said. "Eric Cooper said, 'That's my call. I don't need any help on that call. That's my call.' I was saying, 'Hey, we've got four umpires out here. Maybe Gary Cederstrom at first, if we inquire about it. Maybe, who knows?' I don't know where [Engel] was at, I can't see it from where I'm at. That was just the only hope we had."
Yoan Moncada pulled a three-run triple to right field off Stephens to break the tie. Yolmer Sanchez added his own RBI triple off the top of the right field wall. All four runs were unearned for Stephens.
A pair of first-inning, two-run home runs by Gennett and Suarez gave the Reds a 4-0 lead before they had an out. Adam Duvall's three-run homer made it a 7-2 game after five innings.
"We did everything we could do, and they just beat us," Riggleman said. "They beat us late. The errors were made, so that makes it look like it got sloppy, but we had a big enough lead that we should've been able to put that game away in nine. They just kept coming at us."
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani pitched 5 1/3 innings but three of his six hits allowed were home runs, including back-to-back long balls by Garcia and Palka in the sixth. Chicago made it a 7-7 game when David Hernandez gave up pinch-hitter Leury Garcia's two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth.
Cincinnati took an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the eighth, but Iglesias blew his third save in 19 tries when Garcia hit a solo homer to left field, his second of the game. The Reds snapped an 87-game winning streak when leading after the eighth inning and also snapped a three-game win streak.
"Obviously every loss is tough. We let them come back a little bit," Gennett said. "Obviously, that last inning was tough. But tomorrow is a new day. We'll try to take the good out of today, keep our confidence and stay positive and win tomorrow."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Great dash home: Aided by slick baserunning from Billy Hamilton, the Reds took an 8-7 lead in the eighth. With Hamilton on third base, Gennett grounded to shortstop Tim Anderson, who looked the runner back to third base before throwing to first base. Hamilton immediately sped towards the plate before first baseman Matt Davidson threw home. Hamilton beat the tag with a head-first slide. Upon replay review on a White Sox challenge, the call stood.
"That was a Jackie Robinson play. That was unbelievable what he did there," Riggleman said.
Riggleman's ejection came following his signal to Cooper that he wanted Palka intentionally walked in the 12th. Cooper didn't see Riggleman hold up four fingers initially, and there was a heated dispute. The TV broadcast microphone picked up Cooper yelling at Riggleman to "do your job," which had him charging out of the dugout. Riggleman was quickly ejected by Cooper and had to be restrained by catcher Tucker Barnhart.
"I guess as I would throw four fingers up, maybe he would turn his head, and he would look back, and my four fingers weren't up," Riggleman explained. "And he made some comment about that, and I kind of lost it when I heard the comment he made. That's a product of the way the game went."
It was the first time Riggleman has been ejected from a game this season as Reds manager.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With the game tied in the top of the ninth and two outs, Kevan Smith hit a drive to left-center field off Iglesias. Hamilton made a long run look easy and made a nice diving catch to rob Smith of a hit for the third out. According to Statcast™, the play rated as a four-star catch for Hamilton. It had a 31 percent catch probability as he covered 70 feet in 4.1 seconds.
The Reds will conclude their three-game series with the White Sox on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET with Sal Romano (4-8, 5.30 ERA) on the hill. Romano, who has lost his past two decisions, labored through his most recent game, an 8-4 loss to the Brewers on Friday. He gave up two earned runs over five innings but threw 84 pitches and often while in jams. Dylan Covey (3-3, 4.82) will have the ball for Chicago.