Jesse Winker spent as much time after Thursday’s game talking about his wardrobe as he did about his first career grand slam.
Winker’s sixth-inning blast turned a 2-1 Chicago Cubs lead into a 5-2 Reds advantage on the way to a 6-2 win, but post-game questions dealt as much with his white batting gloves and his spikes as they did with game-changing home run.
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Winker’s batting gloves were a gift from Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez when the Rockies were in town in early June, a series he ended dramatically with a 13th-inning walkoff home run off Chris Rusin.
“I’d like for him to send me some more,” Winker said. “I like wearing the white ones with the white uniforms, but I wouldn’t mind some gray ones to go with the gray uniforms – or maybe some red ones.”
Winker also was seen looking around nervously while being interviewed on television right after the game. That’s usually the time when teammates sneak up on the hero and douse him with the contents of whatever’s in the dugout tubs.
“I’m glad they didn’t, because these are some of my favorite shoes,” said Winker, who went into Friday’s game leading National League rookies in walks while ranking second in on-base percentage and multi-hit games.
Bailey's start: Right-hander Homer Bailey is scheduled to start for Triple-A Louisville against Norfolk on Saturday night as he continues to work his way back from a right knee problem that led to him being placed on the disabled list on June 2.
Bailey made one rehab start for Louisville, but he lasted only three innings and was roughed up for six hits and five runs. He was scratched from his next two after the knee problem persisted.
A bullpen session on Thursday left the Reds feeling as if he was ready to resume pitching.
“There’s no reason he can’t throw 75-90 pitches – somewhere in there,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said.
Bailey is 1-7 with a 6.68 earned-run average in 12 starts this season, which opened with his first career Opening Day start. The 32-year-old Texas native, who is signed through next season with a mutual option for 2020, was limited by three surgical procedures to 26 starts over the previous three seasons. He is being paid $21 million this season and $23 million in 2019.
Under the radar: It may not look like much, but Adam Duvall reaching .200 with his batting average is a significant step.
Duvall’s sixth-inning single in Cincinnati’s win over Chicago on Thursday allowed him to be hitting .200 for the first time since April 16, when he was hitting .200 through his first 16 games. Duvall has hit .308 with three doubles, two home runs and nine runs batted in over his last 14 games, slowly raising his average from .177.
While Duvall’s average has been mostly abysmal, some numbers suggest that’s he’s been unlucky as much as he’s been ineffective. The 29-year-old is on pace to draw more walks – 55 – and strike out fewer times – 149 – this season than in any of his previous two full seasons with the Reds. He also went into Friday’s game ranked among the National League’s top 25 players in home runs and top 20 in runs batted in – not an easy level to reach when two of your teammates ranked among the top four in RBIs. Eugenio Suarez was second, and Scooter Gennett was fourth.
Game Three: Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (2-1), who's won his last two starts, is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season on Saturday in the third game of the four-game series against the Cubs. The start will be the eighth of his career against the Cubs and the first since a 5-3 win at Wrigley Field on July 6, 2016. He is 2-2 with a 3.70 earned-run average in his career against Chicago.
Saturday’s game is the second of two “Strike Out Hunger” games in the series. The Reds and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are partners in a food donation drive. Fans who donate a minimum of three non-perishable food items will receive a free ticket to an upcoming Reds game. The limit is one ticket per person. Donations will be accepted from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at barrels located outside the ballpark’s main entrance on Crosley Terrace.
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