Steer's heroics continue with go-ahead HR to deliver win

April 7th, 2024

CINCINNATI -- Teams that have championship aspirations learn to make the most of their opportunities throughout the course of the season.

Whether earned or gifted, these Reds are taking that important lesson to heart from the start in 2024. And it continued in a big way Saturday.

unloaded his third homer of the season to the first row of seats in left-center with two aboard to break an eighth-inning tie and power the Reds past the Mets for a 9-6 win on Saturday afternoon.

The Great American Ball Park crowd of 28,307 erupted the moment the ball left Steer’s bat and lasted as he rounded the bases, putting the Reds ahead 8-5.

Steer’s blast came on a 1-1 sinker from reliever Yohan Ramírez after the Reds had already tied the game.

"I don't personally like to change my approach from at-bat to at-bat,” Steer said. “I like to keep it simple. In that specific scenario, [there’s] a sinkerballer on the mound and I'm trying to get something up and in the air with the infield in. So, the score doesn't really dictate my approach too much. I try to keep it pretty consistent and simple.”

“He just continues to mature and develop and gain even more confidence in himself,” Reds manager David Bell added. “And he's really believing, no matter who he is facing, no situation is too big and he wants to be up in those spots.”

The Reds were down 5-2 at one point, but just like last Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Nationals, when Nick Martinez also started the game at home, the Reds rallied to win.

“I'm really putting myself in a hole in these games here,” Martinez said with a knowing smile. “But it's a good feeling knowing that you take the mound and you always have a chance. That's what's really special about this team, is that you’re never really out of it and these guys, they take their at-bats very personal and they're never really out of it. You always have a shot with these guys.”

Elly De La Cruz started an unlikely two-out rally with a walk in a two-run sixth that also featured a double steal to cut the deficit to one.

His check-swing single through a drawn-in infield two innings later extended his hitting streak to 13 games and scored pinch-runner Bubba Thompson with the game-tying run.

The Reds put up five runs in the eighth and sent 10 to the plate against Ramírez, who took his first loss of the season.

“Good things happen when you put the ball in play,” Steer said. “We were putting together good at-bats all day. At the end, we stringed a lot of good ones together. Putting pressure on the defense, that’s kind of what happens in those big spots.”

Emilio Pagán pitched the eighth for his first win. Alexis Díaz entered the ninth with a 9-5 lead and allowed a run, but did not qualify for the save with the four-run lead.

In all, the Reds took advantage of a misplayed fly ball, a fielding error, a balk and a wild pitch on a strikeout to post their third comeback win of the season.

The Mets began their misadventures in the second when Jeimer Candelario lofted a fly to deep left down the line in the second inning. As the ball drifted toward the line, left fielder Tyrone Taylor took a circular route before slipping at the lip of the warning track and falling down at the same time the ball was coming down.

The resulting double put Candelario at second before a Jake Fraley groundout moved him to third. De La Cruz hit a sharp grounder that second baseman Jeff McNeil couldn’t handle.

The error allowed Candelario to score for a 1-0 lead.

Martinez was then tagged for four runs with two outs in the fourth and one more run after a two-out double in the fifth.

The Reds got two back in the sixth when De La Cruz started things with a two-out walk. After Steer was plunked by reliever Jake Diekman, pinch-hitter Stuart Fairchild singled home De La Cruz, with Steer moving up to third.

As Fairchild broke for second, Omar Narváez decided to try to throw him out. That allowed Steer to easily swipe home to cut the deficit to one, 5-4.