For the first time in eight years, the Cincinnati Reds are in a playoff position on Aug. 22.
» PHOTOS: Reds sweep Marlins
With the Reds beating the Miami Marlins 3-1 on Sunday and the San Diego Padres losing 7-4 to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Reds (69-57) moved a game in front of the Padres (68-58) in the race for the second wild card.
“All of us know where we’re at,” catcher Tyler Stephenson said. “At the end of the day, if we go out and play like we’re supposed to and take care of what we’re supposed to, I like our chances. You can’t look too far ahead.”
Eight years ago, the last time the Reds made the playoffs in a 162-game season, they were also in position to win the second wild card on this date, and they ended the season in the same spot, losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the wild-card game.
Tyler Naquin hit two home runs Sunday at Great American Ball Park to help the Reds win their fourth straight game and complete a four-game sweep of the Marlins (51-74), who have the third-worst record in the National League.
The Reds are a season-best 12 games over .500, and according to FanGraphs.com, they have a 60.1 percent chance of winning a wild card.
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The Reds have won seven of their last 10 games. The Padres have lost eight of their last 10 games. The Reds moved into a tie with the Padres on Friday night. The next closest team in the wild-card race is St. Louis (63-60). The Cardinals trail the Reds by 4½ games.
The Reds are off Monday and start a three-game series on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. They follow that series with three more games against the Marlins, this time in Miami.
“It’s going to be really important to play well, play consistently,” manager David Bell said after Sunday’s game. “You’re not going to be perfect every night, but (we need to be) as consistent as we can be and just play well in all areas of the game. That’s what it took this weekend.”