CINCINNATI -- Even when the Reds appear quiet, underwhelming or simply headed to defeat in the early-to-mid innings of games this season, assuming it will stay that way has often proven to be a mistake.Wednesday's 6-4 win over the Cardinals was the Reds' 13th come-from-behind victory of the season. That
CINCINNATI -- Even when the Reds appear quiet, underwhelming or simply headed to defeat in the early-to-mid innings of games this season, assuming it will stay that way has often proven to be a mistake.
Wednesday's 6-4 win over the Cardinals was the Reds' 13th come-from-behind victory of the season. That accounts for just under half of the club's wins (28-30 record) in 2017. Cincinnati was trailing by a 4-1 score until scoring five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on home runs by Patrick Kivlehan and Joey Votto.
"I feel like we've shown it pretty much all year, if we're in the game and get to the sixth, seventh, we're confident we can string together some hits and get things going," said Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, who hit a double ahead of Votto's game-winning homer. "I think it just gives you, as a squad, a lot of confidence when you don't think you necessarily have to score in the first, second, third inning and you can still come back late."
On Monday against St. Louis, Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez had faced the minimum for the first six innings, with one hit allowed. Down, 2-0, the Reds scored four in the seventh for the 4-2 win. On Friday vs. the Braves, they scored three runs in the ninth and 10th innings for a 3-2 win, capped by Devin Mesoraco's walk-off homer.
Entering Wednesday, the Reds had scored the eighth-most runs in the Majors during the seventh-through-ninth innings (81). But they also allowed the fewest runs (51) in those same final three innings. That +30 run differential ranked third in the Majors entering the day behind the Red Sox and Astros.
On Wednesday, lefty Wandy Peralta allowed an inherited run charged to starter Bronson Arroyo in the top of the sixth inning but had a scoreless 1 1/3 innings on his line. Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias kept the door closed over the final two innings. Lorenzen has a 2.78 ERA in 25 appearances, while Iglesias has a stifling 0.59 ERA in 25 appearances while going 11-for-11 in save chances.
"It's not always Lorenzen and Iglesias. We've gotten really good contributions from a bunch of guys down there," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's been a difference maker. Keeping us close with the offense the way it is, the way the defense really shuts the door, if we stay close, I think this group always feels like it has a chance to come back and win a game late."
The Reds have played themselves into a corner often this season, because of a rotation that has struggled with the highest ERA and fewest innings pitched in the Majors. Meanwhile, the bullpen has the third-best ERA in the National League while leading the Majors in innings pitched.
Even in the losses, when a blowout might seem likely, the Reds often tighten leads with stingy bullpen work and late rallies.
"We just keep fighting," Kivlehan said. "We've got a good group. Everyone in here cares and they genuinely care about one another and want to play for one another. And it always seems like we do play as one unit, which is always awesome. And yeah, we just keep going and keep playing."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.