The Cincinnati Reds had Monday off, getting a time for retrospection after finding a way Sunday to lose a game when their pitchers no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After they had won six of nine game and seemed to be recovering from their 3-22 start, the Reds received a masterful performance from hard-throwing rookie pitcher Hunter Greene on Sunday, but still lost 1-0 when the Pirates cobbled together a late run and Cincinnati managed just four hits of its own.
It was the sixth time in major league history a team did not give up a hit and lost the game anwyay.
“The mental part, (of) dealing with a game like this, is kind of hard,” Greene said after manager David Bell let him pitch into the eighth inning.
After Greene issued two one-out walks in the eighth, Bell brought in Art Warren, who promptly walked Ben Gamel to load the bases and the Pirates scored on a groundout.
The Cleveland Guardians also got Monday off ahead of their two-game Ohio Cup series in Cleveland that starts Tuesday night. The Guardians return home after losing two of three in Minnesota over the weekend.
Cleveland right-hander Zach Plesac (1-3, 4.68) will face Reds right-hander Connor Overton (1-0, 1.59), who is making the seventh start of his major-league career and first appearance against the Guardians.
Overton earned his first major-league victory Thursday with 6 1/3 shut out innings in a 6-0 win over the Pirates.
Plesac is 0-2 with a 3.10 ERA in three starts against the Reds in his career.
The Guardians hope to get manager Terry Francona and many of his assistant coaches back for the Cincinnati series. The group has spent the past week on COVID-19 list, as was as DH/first baseman Josh Naylor, who was riding a torrid hitting streak when sidelined.
Naylor was batting a team-high .347 with five homers and 22 RBIs when he had to take a step away from the lineup.
The Reds have also been affected by the virus, as first baseman Joey Votto was placed on the COVID-19 injured list nearly two weeks ago. He now is on a rehab assignment at Class AAA Louisville.
“He’s handling it as well as possible,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “(That’s) no surprise there. We’re just hoping — not only for his health, but from a baseball standpoint — he can get back here as quick as he can because we’ve felt really good about where he was.”
COVID-19 testing is performed every other day in most situations.
“I don’t know that we’re totally out of the woods, but I do trust that we’re in as good of shape as possible,” Bell said. “Right now, my thoughts are just with Joey and getting him back here as quick as we can.”
Votto hasn’t played since May 1, but the Red have played better lately, even with Sunday’s awkward stumble. They still have won six of 10 games since their horrendous start.
Cincinnati catcher Tyler Stephenson missed Sunday’s game after he took a foul tip to the mask in the third inning Saturday at Pittsburgh and left the game for concussion protocols. Bell said the tests showed no concussion but did not write Stephenson into Sunday’s lineup.
The Reds signed former Guardians catcher Sandy Leon as insurance.
Cleveland already has retained the Ohio Cup this season. The Guardians won both games at Cincinnati in April, and the Ohio Cup does not change hands in the event of a tie in the season series. Cincinnati has not won the Ohio Cup since 2014.
–Field Level Media