Reds offense sets a record for playoff futility as season ends

Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) throws to first after forcing out Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez (7) during the second inning in Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball series, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Atlanta. The Reds' Mike Moustakas was safe at first. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) throws to first after forcing out Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez (7) during the second inning in Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball series, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Atlanta. The Reds' Mike Moustakas was safe at first. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Braves shut out Reds twice to sweep best-of-three series

The Cincinnati Reds offense lived up to its billing as one of baseball’s worst in the postseason.

The Atlanta Braves completed a two-game sweep in a best-of-three wild-card series Thursday by blanking the Reds for the second straight day, winning 5-0 at Truist Park.

The Reds, who ranked last in baseball with a .212 batting average in the regular season, set a baseball record by not scoring in 22 straight postseason innings. The previous record of 20 innings was set by the New York Giants in 1921.

» GAME ONE: Memorable game one to forget for Reds batters

The Braves won a playoff series for the first time since 2001. They had lost 10 straight postseason series.

The Reds failed to advance in the playoffs for the fourth straight time and lost their fifth straight series. They last won a playoff series in the National League Division Series against the Dodgers in 1995. The Braves swept them in the next round. Then the Reds were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies (2010 NLDS), lost in five games to the San Francisco Giants (2012 NLDS) and lost a wild-card game to the Pittsburgh Pirates (2013).

One day after blowing numerous scoring opportunities and losing 1-0 in 13 innings, the Reds offense generated only one serious rally in Game 2. They loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning only to have Tucker Barnhart strike out on three pitches. They recorded one hit the rest of the way.

The Reds were retired in order in the first, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Four Braves pitchers limited them to two hits.

» HAL McCOY: Reds pay for missed chances in Game 1

The Reds offense also set franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason. The previous record of 18 straight innings was set between Oct. 14, 1995, to Oct. 6, 2010.

The Reds were shut out by the Braves in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series in 1995. Then 15 years later in their first playoff game since 1995, the Reds were no-hit by the Phillies' Roy Halladay in Game 1 of the NLDS in 2010.

After wasting a historic performance by starter Trevor Bauer in Game 1, the Reds couldn’t capitalize on a strong start by Luis Castillo. He allowed one earned run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven.

Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in the only run scored against Castillo with a two-out double in the fifth. Austin Riley scored from second.

The Braves put the game away with four runs in the eighth against Raisel Iglesias. Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall each hit two-run home runs.

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