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Reds’ offense comes to life in win over Cardinals


Reds’ offense comes to life in win over Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — Especially with some key Reds hitters missing, Jonathan India hasn’t shied away from the task of stepping up. India is also piling up doubles at a nutty rate.

With two more doubles in the Reds’ 9-4 win over the Cardinals on Saturday at Busch Stadium, India not only extended his hitting streak to 11 games, but also set a new franchise record with a double in seven straight games.

“Wow. That’s pretty cool, right?” India said. “That’s a cool record. I don’t know what else to say. I feel good right now.”

“So sick. The guy’s a beast,” said catcher Austin Wynns, who hit three doubles of his own in his Reds debut.

It’s been six games since TJ Friedl went on the injured list with a right hamstring strain. India moved back into his old role as leadoff hitter to replace Friedl and is batting .591 (13-for-22) with a 1.667 OPS while notching nine doubles, four walks and a hit-by-pitch.

India’s double to left field plated Wynns and opened the scoring in the third inning; India came around to score on an Elly De La Cruz RBI double for a 2-0 Reds lead.

“I’m not changing anything,” India said. “Guys go down and you definitely have that thought, ‘Let’s go. I’ve got to pick it up now.’ I’m the same guy every day. I show up, prepare and help my team win.”

In the seventh inning against Cardinals’ reliever Gordon Graceffo, who was making his MLB debut, India hit a two-out RBI double to left field that scored Wynns for the second time.

“I’m going to see that double he hit against me in my nightmares,” Graceffo said.

The last Major League player with a double in seven straight games was Bo Bichette, who doubled in nine straight for Toronto in 2019.

The Reds came one step closer to winning their first series in six tries, which would be significant because they won the first game in four of them, only to lose the remaining games and the series.

Saturday’s victory came against ex-Red and Cardinals ace Sonny Gray, who came into the game with a 9-4 record and a 2.81 ERA. With 4 1/3 innings, Gray had his shortest outing of the season while allowing six runs (three earned).

Sparked by an error from perennial Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado, the Reds sent 10 men to the plate during a six-run fifth inning.

It was a 2-1 game in the fifth when De La Cruz hit a one-out triple to right field. With two men on against Gray, Jake Fraley worked a 10-pitch plate appearance that ended with him being hit by a pitch to load the bases.

A break came Cincinnati’s way when Arenado muffed Noelvi Marte’s grounder and made a late throw as a run scored. That ended Gray’s day and opened the door for Stuart Fairchild to add a two-out, two-run single to left field, plus a two-run single by Will Benson and Wynns’ RBI double to left field that got by Arenado.

“Sonny Gray on paper, hello? That guy’s a stud. It was a good day,” Wynns said. “I’m actually so happy that we’re firing from all arsenals and we won. We needed that. It’s a big series and that’s not an easy team. It’s a very good team.”

Meanwhile, rookie Carson Spiers continued to make the most of his rotation audition with a six-inning quality start while allowing two runs (one earned) and three hits with one walk and four strikeouts. The only blemish was a two-out solo homer by Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth inning.

“He went out there, executed his pitches, mixed well and [we played] good defense,” Wynns said. “Goldschmidt got that one but I was like, ‘It’s all right, you did awesome today.’”

Could this finally be the start of true momentum for the 39-44 Reds as they try to show they can contend in the National League playoff picture?

Frustrated by the recent sparks and sputters, India remained cautious.

“We dominate a game and then we take a step back. We’ll see how tomorrow goes,” India said. “We’re in a good spot. Our offense is clicking. I don’t know what it is, we have to win tomorrow.”

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