CINCINNATI — Tyler Mahle recovered from a rocky start to pitch well in a potential trade deadline audition, Joey Votto hit one of Cincinnati’s three homers and the Reds beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-2 Saturday night.
Jonathan India and Jake Fraley also connected for Cincinnati, which is selling pieces to contenders after dealing Luis Castillo to Seattle on Friday night. Mahle could be the next player out before Tuesday’s deadline.
“I’m pretty realistic,” Mahle said. “It’s something that’s going to happen probably to everyone at some point. All I’m focused on is my next start. There’s nothing I can do to get it to happen or to stop it from happening. I have no say. I’m just trying to pitch.”
Mahle’s outing got off to a rough start when he allowed three straight singles and balked in a run, giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
“The balk, my cleat clipped the mound and I slipped,” Mahle said. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. Having a first like that really sucked because I felt really good.”
Those were the only runs Mahle (5-7) allowed. He struck out seven and did not walk batter. He retired his final 13 batters.
“It’s kind of typical of what we’ve seen from Tyler for a long time where he just gets stronger as the game goes on. I think that was an extreme example tonight,” Reds manager David Bell said. “That was a tough first inning for him. Even the balk. From that point on, he was as good as I’ve seen him.”
Orioles right fielder Anthony Santander threw out Jake Fraley trying to score on India’s fly ball to end the second inning. The Reds did their damage later off Dean Kremer.
Kremer (3-3), who allowed four homers in 47 innings coming in, gave up a two-run homer to India in the fourth, and a solo homer to Votto leading off the fifth gave the Reds a 5-2 lead. Kremer allowed six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.
The Orioles haven’t had a starter go six innings since July 12.
“I just thought he was a little bit off,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “A bad pitch to India for the homer. It was kind of a struggle for him tonight.”
Fraley’s two-run home run off Beau Sulser was his first RBI since April 13 and capped off the first three-hit game of his career.
The Orioles rank second in the American League with 23 comeback wins but couldn’t rally against Reds pitchers who set down 19 straight in one stretch.
With Kyle Farmer on first in the fifth inning, Nick Senzel hit a drive off the left field wall that caromed into Austin Hays’ glove. Farmer, thinking the ball was caught, turned around and slid safely back to first. Senzel passed Farmer on the base paths and was later ruled out, 3 unassisted, wiping away the hit.
“You think you know the game. Then something like this happens,” Bell said. “Clearly Farmer thought he caught the ball, which is very understandable. He scrambles back. Nick saw he didn’t catch it, he’s running.”
Third base umpire David Rackley said he clearly signaled that the ball was not caught.
“I gave the safe sign and held it up even as the ball was coming in,” Rackley said.
“The runner on first didn’t see it,” said crew chief Larry Vanover. “It was a confusing play. I’ve never been involved in a play just like that.”
The Reds selected RHP Ryan Hendrix from Triple-A Louisville to fill the roster spot vacated by Castillo.
Reds left-hander Nick Lodolo will make his fifth start since a 69-day stint on the injured list. He has gone 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA in those outings. Orioles right-hander Austin Voth will make his seventh start of the season in the series finale. He also has made 23 relief appearances.
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