They say if you watch baseball for a week you will see something you’ve never seen before.
And what happened Sunday afternoon in Great American Ball Park bordered on the surreal. something from the Twilight Zone.
The Cincinnati Los Rojos (Latin Appreciation Day) scored the first three runs of the game against the Chicago White Sox without a hit.
They scored five runs in the fourth inning on one hit. White Sox pitchers Dylan Cease and Ross Detwiler walked six and hit a batter in that fateful fifth inning.
When it ended, a 7-3 Reds' win, the Reds had drawn 11 walks and been hit by three pitches. The 11 walks are the most ever drawn by a Reds team.
The Reds had only five hits, but one was a two-run single by Mike Moustakas and one was a two-run home run by Aristides Aquino.
With the win, the Reds took two of three from the White Sox and won their third straight series, winning eight of their last 10 games.
Joey Votto drew three of those 11 walks and passed Pete Rose for most walk in franchise history. Votto, though, was more interested in chatting about his team.
“I’m just locked in on how well we’ve been playing lately,” he said. “I’m so excited about how well we’re playing. That’s a really tough team over there. To put a really good series against a quality team means a lot. I’m psyched about how well we’ve played this last little bit.”
After underachieving most of the season, the Reds suddenly are playing with the necessary sense of urgency.
“We’re a real good team that didn’t show how well we can play earlyon in the season,” said Votto. “Offensively, we’ve picked it up and maybe not as good as we potentially can be.”
In the first four innings, Cease and Detwiler walked 10 and hit two — five runs, one hit.
White Sox starter Cease put together a most unusual first three innings.
After a 1-2-3 first, in the second and third innings he went to 3-and-2 counts six times, walked five then hit a batter.
And the Reds didn’t score, didn’t get a hit.
After Cease walked Brian Goodwin and hit Freddy Galvis with two outs in the second to fill the bases, Tucker Barnhart swung at the first pitch and grounded out.
Two walks in the third put runners on second and first with one out, then Cease struck out Eugenio Suarez and Moustakas grounded out to leave it at 0-0.
And Cease didn’t desist in the fourth.
This time he walked the first three batters — Jesse Winker, Goodwin and Galvis. And that ended his day — three-plus innings, no hits, seven walks and one hit batter.
Left-hander Detwiler inherited the bases-loaded mess and turned it into a quagmire. Barnhart grounded into a fielder’s choice and Winker scored — a run, although the Reds still didn’t have a hit.
Aristides Aquino grounded out to third and Goodwin scored. It was 2-0 and the Reds still didn’t have a hit.
The White Sox walked Nick Castellanos intentionally to get to Votto and, of course, Detwiler walked Votto to refill the bases. Guess what? Suarez walked to force in a third run. And the Reds still didn’t have a hit.
Finally. . .Moustakas pushed a ground ball through the left side for a two-run single and a 5-0 lead.
The White Sox, though, never go quietly.
Reds starter Michael Lorenzen kept the high-octane White Sox off the board for four innings, but ran out of pitches in the fifth.
He put runners on third and first and struck out Tim Anderson on a 3-and-2 pitch in the dirt for the second out. But it was his 93rd pitch and he was replaced by Lucas Sims.
Nick Madrigal hit a slow roller toward second and beat it for an infield single and a White Sox run. Jose Abreu doubled to left for another run and it was 5-2.
That brought the potential tying run to the plate in clean-up hitter Eloy Jimenez and he flied to right, leaving runners on third and second.
For some reason, Chicago manager Rick Renteria permitted Detwiler to go back out for the fifth and got punished for it. Literally.
Galvis led the a single and with one out The Punisher, Aristides Aquino, tore up a chair in the upper deck in left field, a two-run home run and a 7-2 Reds lead.
Sims walked the first two batters in the seventh, then struck out the side, including Abreu on a 10-pitch battle to end the inning.
Archie Bradley took over in the eighth and with one out former Reds third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who had struck out three times, cleared the right-field wall for a home run to cut the Reds lead to 7-3.
Now is gut-wrenching time. The Reds and Milwaukee Brewers are in a virtual tie and open a three-game series Monday night in Great American Ball Park.
“We have to string together another two good series with two good teams coming up (Milwaukee, Minnesota),” said Votto. "Milwaukee has high aspirations also, so we have to compete well.
“We can’t stand losing and the first two-thirds of the season was a rough stretch,” he added. “We are where we want to be and everything feels in striking distance. We love playing winning baseball and we look forward to doing that, for sure.”