Reds notes: Defensive gems helped make Friday’s win possible

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 03: Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds makes a diving catch in right field in the sixth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park on June 3, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Braves defeated the Reds 6-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 03: Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds makes a diving catch in right field in the sixth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park on June 3, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Braves defeated the Reds 6-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Scott Schebler was living proof Friday that every run you save is a run you don’t have to score to win the game.

The Cincinnati right fielder’s full-sprint, backhand stab of Brandon Phillips’ third-inning, two-out line drive with a runner on second base saved a run, which proved crucial when the Reds scored two in the bottom of the ninth and went on to edge Atlanta, 3-2, in 10 innings.

The play salvaged a 0-for-4 night for Schebler, who also proved that nobody ever knows when a game is going to be won or lost.

“If you’re not getting them, you’ve got to take them away,” he said. “You can’t win a game out there, but you certainly can lose a game. Those are the small things that happen throughout the game that end up being huge.”

Schebler’s play wasn’t the only defensive gem. Left fielder Adam Duvall made a barehanded grab of Nick Markakis’s 10th-inning drive off the wall, whirled and fired a perfect peg to second base, holding Markakis to a long single and setting up an inning-ending double play that opened the door for Devin Mesoraco’s walkoff homer leading off the 10th.

Duvall’s play may have stemmed in part from not wanting to be outshone by Schebler.

“We’re all competitors,” Schebler said, adding with a smile. “We come in and do a little trash talk.”

Manager Bryan Price pointed out that Schebler has been on a defensive roll lately. His sprawling catch in foul territory during Cincinnati’s series in Toronto was No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10.

“He’s made some dynamic plays,” said Price, admitting he originally didn’t think Schebler would catch up to Phillips’ screaming line drive. “For a guy who we wondered whether he could play right field, he’s exceeded expectations.”

No issues: Price is hoping the starting rotation stabilizes for a while with the return of left-hander Amir Garrett from the 10-day disabled list. Garrett (3-3), who was sidelined with right hip inflammation on May 25, is scheduled to come off the disabled list and start Sunday's 1:10 p.m. series finale against the Braves at Great American Ball Park.

He was pronounced ready after throwing a bullpen session Thursday and long tossing Friday.

“He had no issues with his hip,” Price said. “He has no issues with his arm.”

Garrett replaces right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla, who has been shifted to the bullpen. Right-handers Scott Feldman, Asher Wojciechowski, Tim Adleman and Bronson Arroyo comprise the rest of the rotation. Price hopes the Reds don’t need to make any more moves, though makeup games scheduled for June 26 at St. Louis and July at Cleveland could pose problems.

“The off days are evaporating,” he said.

Of course, Price also hopes the Reds will have pitchers such as right-handers Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani and left-hander Brandon Finnegan back to help ease the burden.

“It might be the end of July before we do something,” he said. “There might be a couple of new candidates by then.”

Making room: Right-hander Jack Stephens is expected to be optioned to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Garrett on the 25-man roster. Stephens was recalled from the Bats on Tuesday, but he hadn't pitched going into Saturday's game.

Speaking of: Bailey was scheduled to throw three innings in extended spring training Saturday in Goodyear, Ariz. If he experiences no setbacks, he is scheduled for three more outings, which could include official rehab assignments with a minor-league affiliate. Bailey is trying to come back from surgery in February to remove bone spurs from his right elbow.

Finnegan, sidelined since April 16 with a strained left trapezius muscle, is scheduled to pitch two innings Tuesday in Arizona. That could be his outing before going on a rehab assignment, especially with extended spring training wrapping up. Price speculated that the assignment could be as soon as June 10.

About time: According to Elias Sports Bureau, as reported by the Reds, before Friday's 3-2, 10-inning win, the Reds had lost 225 consecutive games in which they trailed by more than one run in the ninth inning or later, the major leagues' longest active streak. … Mesoraco's 10th-inning walk-off homer was the first by a Red who hadn't played the previous nine innings since Laynce Nix in the 11th against the Mets on May 3, 2010.

Braves starter: Right-hander Julio Teheran (4-4) makes his sixth career start against the Reds on Sunday. Teheran is 2-2 in his career against Cincinnati, including a loss in his only 2016 appearance, when he yielded three hits and three runs – all on Jay Bruce's first-inning home run – with one walk and eight strikeouts in a 3-1 Reds win.