McCoy: Iglesias can’t close the deal as Reds suffer walk-off loss to Cardinals

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Once again the Cincinnati Reds snatched defeat from the jaws of victory Thursday night via a meltdown by closer Raisel Iglesias.

Trusted with a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning, Iglesias was plug ugly and the Reds lost a walk-off 5-4 decision to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Iglesias hit the first batter, walked the next, gave up a single to load the bases, gave up an infield hit for a run and, amazingly, balked in the tying run.

After he recorded a strikeout, Nate Jones was brought in to face Kolten Wong.

Wong drilled his fourth pitch for a game-winning hit, a crushing defeat for the Reds.

The Cardinals are still recovering from an outbreak of COVID-19 that struck 11 players, some of whom have yet to return from the injured list.

After an early flurry of runs by both sides, Reds pitcher Sonny Gray and Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright settled into a one-on-one duel.

Gray was poised for his fifth victory against one loss, giving up just two runs in six innings of high-pressure work, the 37th straight time he has given up four runs or less.

But he went back to the hotel with a no decision.

Lucas Sims retired all five batters he faced, the first three by strikeouts. Amir Garrett faced only Matt Carpenter in the eighth and struck him out.

That left it up to closer Iglesias and everything hit the fan.

He hit the first batter he faced, Brad Miller on the foot, after Iglesias had retired the last 14 batters he faced.

That brought the possible tying run to the plate with no outs. He walked Tyler O’Neill on a full count, Iglesias’ first walk of the season.

He went to 3-and-2 on Dexter Fowler and Fowler pulled a single to right fiield, filling the bases with no outs and bringing up Yadier Molina.

Molina shot one right at Iglesias and it ricocheted off his glove for a run-scoring infield hit to make it 4-3 with the bases loaded and no outs.

Incredibly, Iglesias committed a balk, scoring the tying run and moving runners to third and second. . .still no outs

Iglesias finally got an out, striking out Dylan Carlson on a full count.

Manager David Bell decided that was enough for Iglesias and brought in Nate Jones to face Kolten Wong and the Reds employed a five-man infield.

Four pitches and it was over. Wong drilled one over the outfield’s head in center for a 5-4 Cardinals victory.

The Reds gave Gray a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with the help of a couple of wild and errant throws by the Cardinals.

It began with leadoff hitter Joey Votto reaching on first baseman Paul Goldschmidt’s wild throw on Votto’s ground ball.

The irrepressible Jesse Winker produced a one-out single to right, sending Votto to second. Third baseman Brad Miller fumbled a possible inning-ending double play ball hit by Eugenio Suarez, then picked it up and threw wildly to first base and Votto scored.

Mike Moustakas hit a sacrifice fly and the Reds led, 2-0.

The Reds added a run in the second on a home run by Freddy Galvis after he tried to bunt his way on and fouled it off.

St. Louis grabbed two runs in the second, with Gray contributing with a couple of walks. He walked Carpenter on a full count and Miller singled.

With one out, Gray walked Fowler on four pitches to fill the bases. Molina, back from the injured list after missing eight games with COVID-19, made his first at bat productive with a two-run single.

Gray prevented further damage by retiring the last two with two men on base, leaving it at 3-2.

The Reds added a run in the third on Suarez’s infield hit and a double by Moustakas. But the Reds stranded him at second with two straight outs.

The Cardinals threatened in the fifth with two outs and nobody on. Gray was knicked by a bloop double behind third base by Tommy Edman and a full count walk to Goldschmidt. It ended on a ground ball by Carpenter.

O’Neill singled with one out in the sixth and Fowler swung at a 3-and-0 pitch and hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

From there, a 4-2 Reds lead, Wainwright began mowing down hitters as if they were cardboard cutouts. He retired 15 in a row before leaving after seven innings.

Gray also departed after six, replaced by Sims, who struck out the side in the seventh.

The Reds filled the bases in the ninth but Suarez struck out, leaving three runners on base, some runs the Reds desperately needed because Iglesias was unable to close the door.

About the Author