Starting pitcher Sal Romano’s suicide squeeze capped Cincinnati’s six-run fourth inning, and the Reds rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 7-4 on Wednesday night.
”It was nice to be able to contribute with the bat,” said Romano, who was hitting .038 going into the game. ”The first thought when I saw the signal, I thought the number one thing was get the ball down wherever the pitch was. I was excited. I have never done it before. It was definitely a big insurance run and got the out of the game.”
Jesse Winker and Jose Peraza each had a two-run single during the big inning, and Scooter Gennett also singled in a run. The Reds overcame Daniel Palka’s third home run in two games to win the three-game series and complete a 4-3 homestand before a crowd of 24,442, which stayed for a postgame fireworks show.
The Reds have won 13 of 17 and have come from behind in eight of their last 11 wins.
Yoan Moncada added a two-run homer for the White Sox, who have dropped five of seven and 14 of 20.
Cincinnati improved to 8-2 in interleague play, the most wins since going 11-9 in 2013. The White Sox are 4-11 against NL teams.
Romano (5-8) struck out six and allowing six hits and four runs in five innings. His bunt back to the mound brought home Adam Duvall for the final run of Cincinnati’s breakout fourth inning.
Reds relievers Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen teamed up for 2 1/3 scoreless innings before Jared Hughes celebrated his 33rd birthday by pitching the final 1 2/3 for his sixth save.
Dylan Covey retired his first nine batters before the Reds erupted for five hits and six runs while sending 10 batters to the plate in the fourth. Winker and Peraza each had a two-run single before Romano’s bunt knocked Covey (3-4) out of the game. Covey allowed a walk Kareem Martin Jersey , struck out two and hit a batter in 3 2/3 innings.
”I was trying to get ground balls, but I was leaving my pitches elevated,” Covey said. ”I tried to make adjustments. That’s not my game, I’ve got to keep the ball down.”
”Their guy was shutting us down pretty good,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. ”We saw some things from him better the second time around. We put together some good at-bats.”
Moncada, whose 12th-inning bases-loaded triple broke open Chicago’s 12-3 win Tuesday, gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead with a two-out, two-run homer in the third. Palka went deep for a 3-0 lead in the fourth.
The Reds added a run in the eighth on pitcher Chris Volstad’s bases-loaded throwing error.
The Reds sent nine or more batters to the plate in one inning in five of the seven games on the just-completed homestand.
Billy Hamilton, who entered the game as a pinch-runner in the sixth and stayed in to play center field, threw out Jose Abreu at the plate trying to score from second to end the eighth – Hamilton’s eighth assist of the season Mark Andrews Jersey , tying Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber for the NL lead among outfielders.
The Reds traded RHP Dylan Floro and a minor league pitcher to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor league pitchers, optioned IF/OF Brandon Dixon to Triple-A Louisville and recalled RHP Tanner Rainey and LHP Cody Reed from Louisville before Wednesdays game.
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A 10-day, nine-game road trip and the All-Star break will keep the Reds away from Cincinnati until July 20.
White Sox: Abreu returned to Chicago’s lineup after leaving Monday’s game and missing Tuesday’s with a bruised left ankle from a foul ball.
Reds: Gennett reported no problems from having his left hand bent back while trying to make a catch on Adam Engel’s bunt Tuesday.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (1-3) faces the Astros on Thursday. He is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four career starts against Houston.
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (6-6) faces the Cubs on Friday at Wrigley Field. Mahle was 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA in five June starts.
TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs will be anticipating the playoffs and the Montreal Canadiens will only be able to look forward to next season when the teams meet in their final game of the regular season on Saturday night.
The Maple Leafs looked like a team that was more interested in looking ahead to the playoffs than the remainder of the regular season Thursday when they lost to the Devils 2-1 in New Jersey.
“I thought this was fair,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said after the game Thursday. “I thought the team that worked the hardest won. I thought they were more desperate early. We weren’t good enough defensively. We didn’t compete hard enough. I thought we competed hard as the game went on.
“We had our chances but, in the end, we couldn’t overcome it. The bottom line is we’ve got one more game. This is our last chance to get ready but we’re going to have to get to another level than we were tonight for sure.”
The Canadiens, meanwhile, looked like a team that is making the most of what is left of the season when they defeated the Red Wings 4-3 in Detroit on Thursday.
“I’m not used to losing. I don’t like to lose,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “But at the same time, I have to be objective and look at the situation and there were some challenges along the way that we didn’t expect Cameron Wake Jersey , a number of injuries, and players having to move up in the lineup in areas they weren’t quite ready for.”
The Maple Leafs (48-26-7) do have something to play for Saturday at the Air Canada Centre. The loss to the Devils kept them at 103 points, which equals a franchise best for a season. So, they still have a chance to set a franchise record for total points in a season.
“Two different situations but we’re all competitive people and we’re all very prideful,” Toronto center Nazem Kadri said. “That’s what got us here in the first place, so I don’t think we take any games off. Obviously, we didn’t start (Thursday) the way we wanted to, but I felt that we made a push.”
Goaltender Frederik Andersen will be trying for a club record 38th win in a season by a Toronto netminder on Saturday.
Still, the playoffs will be on the minds of the Maple Leafs.
“You’re focusing on these games to get ready for the playoffs,” said Toronto center William Nylander Derrick Shelby Jersey , who scored the goal Thursday. “So, whatever we’re doing now is trying to get prepared for the playoffs.”
Nylander became the sixth Maple Leafs player to reach 20 goals this season.
The Canadiens (29-39-13) have been dealing with injuries all season, including season-ending ones to their top defenseman Shea Weber (foot surgery) and their captain Max Pacioretty (knee).
“It’s unbelievable the number of injuries and the types of injuries,” Julien said. “When we started the season, we felt we had enough veterans and enough experience to bring in some young guys and still battle through and get ourselves in the playoffs. But there’s a lot of things that have happened and concussions are one of those issues that we’ve had more than we’d like.”
The Canadiens have had five players with concussions listed on the injury report this season.