Grand exit for Reds on Frazier's walk-off slam
CINCINNATI -- With two outs in the bottom of the 13th inning, bases loaded and the game tied, Reds third baseman Todd Frazier knew what was coming from Tigers closer Joakim Soria.
Frazier had watched teammate Ivan De Jesus Jr. go down on strikes in the at-bat before him, the victim of a breaking ball for strike three. Behind in the count, Frazier knew what was coming. He hit a curveball over the left-center field for a walk-off grand slam in the Reds' 8-4 victory over the Tigers in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
The last time a player hit a walk-off grand slam in Major League Baseball was on May 29 when Padres catcher Derek Norris did so against the Pirates, and it was the first walk-off grand slam by a Reds player since Ramon Santiago did so on Sept. 27, 2014.
"He did the same thing to De Jesus, kind of quick pitched him and threw the curveball. So I had it in the back of my mind and I saw it pop out of his hand," Frazier said. "You have to put a good swing on it too. So it's doing two things the same, the opportunity arose and I did it."
The extra-innings home run by Frazier was his second of the game, also hitting a solo shot in the fourth inning off Tigers starter David Price. Frazier's first home run came on a 96-mph fastball from Price, sending it to right-center field to give the Reds a 2-0 lead at the time.
It was the second straight night the Reds were led by a two-homer night from Frazier, making him the first Reds player since Barry Larkin on June 27 and 28, 1991, to hit two home runs in back-to-back games. Frazier is now up to 22 home runs on the season, tied with Bryce Harper of the Nationals for the second most in the Majors.
"It's been impressive, especially in that situation where everyone is grinding in those extra innings," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Frazier's recent success. "Trying to just scratch out a run and win that game. Got that situation there where Soria comes in and makes some great pitches on De Jesus and it gets to two strikes on Todd and then leaves up an elevated breaking ball and he doesn't try to do too much. Gets on top of it and drives it out of the ballpark. It feels good."
Frazier said after the game that everyone, including himself was starting to get tired as the game continued late into the night. On top of a one-hour and 14-minute rain delay, it was the Reds' longest game of the season in number of innings.
Frazier said he experienced cramping late in the game, along with a bug hitting him in the eye earlier. He mentioned having a candy bar in between innings, and joked around that it helped late in the game.
"We won and that's all that matters," Frazier said. "… It was cool to step up in a big situation."