NEW YORK -- The Reds showed once again that they were not intimidated by the Yankees simply because New York has the best record in baseball.
Having already claimed the series opener, Cincinnati battled New York until the 10th inning Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, but the Reds fell short, 7-6. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak.
The game was tied at 6 in the 10th, when closer Alexis Díaz had problems with his command. With two runners on base for the Yankees, Díaz threw consecutive wild pitches with Giancarlo Stanton at the plate. With runners on second and third and one out, the second wild pitch allowed DJ LeMahieu to score the winning run.
“It was two balls I tried to throw around the strike zone. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of control over it. They had too much spin on it. Obviously, that's why the ball went where it did,” Díaz said through interpreter Jorge Merlos.
Early in the game, the Reds were acting like the Big Red Machine of the 1970s. They already had a 1-0 lead when Kyle Farmer, Mike Moustakas and Stuart Fairchild hit consecutive home runs off Luis Severino to give Cincinnati a four-run cushion in the second inning. The last time the Reds hit three consecutive home runs in a game was May 5, 2019, when Eugenio Suárez, Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich homered off San Francisco's Jeff Samardzija in the first inning.
“It was a great way to get off to a good start,” Reds manager David Bell said.
For Fairchild, it was his first Major League home run. He replaced Nick Senzel at the 11th hour, because the latter had middle back tightness.
“I thought I hit it really high,” Fairchild said. “I didn’t know off the bat [I had a home run]. I know I barreled it. So [the ball] was very high, so I didn’t know off the bat.”
By the third inning, however, the Yankees managed to take the lead by scoring five runs off left-hander Mike Minor. Only one of those runs was earned because of defensive miscues.
With runners on first and third and one out, Anthony Rizzo hit what looked like a perfect double-play ball to second baseman Jonathan India. But the ball went under India's glove for an error, allowing Joey Gallo to score the first run of the game for the Yankees.
The Reds saw the Yankees bat around in the inning, with Isiah Kiner-Falefa's three-run double the biggest blow. Minor said he wasn't bothered by India's error.
“Tonight, it was about that big inning,” Minor said. “I couldn’t make the big pitch -- some close pitches. I couldn’t execute the pitches that I needed. Kiner-Falefa put it in the gap.”
The lead stood until the fifth inning when Cincinnati scored two runs to take a one-run lead off left-hander JP Sears. India came home on a double by Joey Votto, while Brandon Drury scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Stephenson.
But then, in the eighth inning, Stanton hit a game-tying home run off right-hander Ian Gibaut to tie the score at 6.
Two innings later, the Reds lost on the two wild pitches by Díaz. Bell said that it was a tough way to lose the game.
“We had some wins consecutively. Our team is feeling really good. You would like to keep that going,” Bell said. “We put ourselves in a position where we had a shot to win against a really good team. Any way you lose the game is disappointing. There’s no real good way to do it.”