Will Benson enjoyed a landmark performance in the Cincinnati Reds‘ 10-3 interleague victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday, reaching base safely in all five plate appearances while driving in two runs and scoring one
Emblematic of the Reds‘ winning formula of late, Benson was not alone in recording a productive day at the plate. Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, Spencer Steer and Tyler Stephenson produced two-hit games for the Reds, who extended their season-best winning streak to seven games while claiming their fifth consecutive road series victory
“It’s just a bunch of guys who are all aimed at one goal, which is to play good baseball,” said Benson, who finished 3-for-3 with two walks and a triple. “I feel like the fluidity within our team is similar to basketball. We all complement each other’s game on the field, and you can see it, definitely on the offensive side. On the defensive side, we’re making the necessary plays.
“We’re definitely executing in those situations that we need to.”
Right-hander Luke Weaver (1-2, 6.23 ERA) is scheduled to start on Sunday as the Reds pursue the series sweep. Weaver has recorded six consecutive no-decisions, pitching to a 5.40 ERA and an .829 opponent OPS while collecting 28 strikeouts over 30 innings. He has battled right forearm tightness and a right elbow flexor strain this season
Weaver will make his second career start against the Astros, with the previous appearance also coming at Minute Maid Park. In that game, on Sept. 19, 2020, he allowed three runs on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in a 3-2 loss while pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Right-hander Ronel Blanco (1-0, 3.86 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Astros on Sunday
In his second career start on June 7, Blanco allowed two runs on three hits and four walks with five strikeouts over six innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, notching his first career quality start while not factoring into the decision of a 3-2 loss. Blanco made nine relief appearances before being optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land and being recalled on June 1 to join the six-man rotation.
Blanco will make his first career appearance against the Reds. In four career interleague appearances, Blanco has allowed no runs, four hits and five walks with five strikeouts
In an attempt to jump-start their lagging offense, the Astros attempted four stolen bases Saturday
They were successful on their initial three attempts before Grae Kessinger was erased attempting to swipe second base for the first out of the fifth inning, a frame in which Corey Julks (walk) and Jose Altuve (double) reached in succession yet failed to score off Reds starter Hunter Greene. Cincinnati had scored twice in the top of the fifth to extend its lead to 5-1
The Astros have 20 runs over their last nine losses. Houston has lost three games in a row
“I was trying to push the envelope (Saturday) to try to create some things and make some things happen,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re not scoring runs. You just can’t sit around and wait for the home run, either, which we’re not getting
“We’re just in a bad period of time.”
–Field Level Media