Reds notch 29th come-from-behind victory, win series vs. O's

June 29th, 2023

BALTIMORE -- The Reds and Orioles came into Wednesday tied for the most come-from-behind victories in the Major Leagues this season so Wednesday's game was very on brand for both clubs. 

And that meant having drama, plenty of drama.

Cincinnati squandered two leads but still emerged with an 11-7 victory over the Orioles after scoring four runs in the top of the 10th inning to take two of three games in the series at Camden Yards. The Reds now have 29 come-from-behind wins this season.

“What a great game. Two teams that are playing well, two teams that came back and won a lot of games this year," Reds manager David Bell said. "It’s no surprise it kept going back and forth like that. We feel fortunate. Our players made the plays, had the at-bats, made the pitches to get it done tonight against a really good team.”

The game was fraught with moments that could've been deflating but the Reds instead kept coming at Baltimore. That's just what they do.

“It’s in our DNA," said left fielder , who hit an RBI triple for the go-ahead run in the 10th. "That’s the makeup of this team. We do a really good job of staying calm, especially in those situations. I think we trust who we are as a whole."

In the first inning after the Reds took a 3-0 lead, starting pitcher Luke Weaver gave up four runs in the bottom of the first -- including Gunnar Henderson's bases-loaded triple -- while throwing 40 pitches and facing 10 batters.

Cincinnati had a 7-4 advantage in the bottom of the eighth before Buck Farmer gave up three runs, all with two outs. Adam Frazier's two-run homer to right field evened the game.

In the top of the ninth against O's closer Félix Bautista, the Reds had runners on the corners and no outs and didn't score. That didn't bring anybody down, however.

“That’s the thing, there’s no deflation. It’s baseball," center fielder said. "They have a good team over there. We punch first, they punch back. At the end of the day, it’s who throws the most punches.”

Out of necessity, the Reds had to color outside the lines a few times.

“There was a lot going on," Bell said. "In the end, it’s all about the players making plays. Of course, I have a job to do. But sometimes, it’s better to sit back and let them play."

For the third time this season, the Reds stole at least five bases. One came in the ninth inning against Bautista when Elly De La Cruz swiped second base. Nick Senzel, on an 0-2 count, bunted a 101.9 mph high fastball for a single past the pitcher.

“That was insane," Friedl said. "A guy throwing 101 and for him to keep the barrel up. … A different guy each day getting the job done. That’s what this team does best.”

In the top of the 10th inning of a 7-7 game, Bell had no other outfielders left. That meant having the lefty-hitting Benson bat against lefty reliever Keegan Akin to lead off.

Benson showed bunt on the first pitch but followed by scoring a drive to right field for a triple that scored automatic runner Kevin Newman. It was just the seventh plate appearance the lefty-hitting Benson had against a southpaw out of 105 total.

“Just thankful I got the job done, first and foremost," Benson said.

Friedl, another lefty hitter, slugged a 3-2 pitch to right field for a two-run homer. Luke Maile hit a double and went to third base on an error before scoring on a wild pitch to finally put the game away.

“It was an incredible series with a lot of adversity," Friedl said. "Rain delay, a couple of long days and we were able to get the series win. It was big after losing the first one, coming back and getting two more.”

First-place Cincinnati has won 14 of its last 17 games. At the halfway point of 81 games -- in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year -- it has a 43-38 record and has won six consecutive road series.

“We’re going to keep going," Friedl said. "We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. Nothing is going to change on this team. We have our identity. We know who we have. Every day we’re going to compete the best we can.”