TJ Friedl of the Cincinnati Reds hit a game-winning single in the ninth inning to seal a come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night, snapping the Reds’ six-game losing streak. The Rangers had taken a 5-1 lead in the third inning, thanks in part to two home runs by Josh Jung, but the Reds fought back, tying the game with back-to-back bases-loaded walks by Henry Ramos and Nick Senzel in the eighth inning.
In the ninth inning, José Leclerc of the Rangers walked Jonathan India, who then advanced to second on a passed ball, before Friedl drove him in with a single off left-hander Will Smith. Friedl had squared around to bunt on several pitches but ended up pulling a slider from Smith for the game-winning hit.
The Reds’ plate discipline was key to the win, with Leclerc and Dane Dunning of the Rangers combining to issue five walks in two innings. Reds manager David Bell praised his team’s plate discipline, saying “That plate discipline has been a strength of ours and it showed up tonight.”
Alexis Díaz of the Reds got the win after pitching a perfect ninth inning. The Rangers, who had won six of their last seven games, had climbed into first place in the AL West, but the loss leaves them tied for first with the Oakland Athletics.
Jung, whose 10-game hitting streak was snapped on Sunday, hit his two home runs in the second and third innings. Ezequiel Duran also had a good game for the Rangers, registering three hits. Nathan Eovaldi of the Rangers was solid in his start, striking out seven batters in six innings while allowing four runs.
Nick Lodolo of the Reds struggled in his start, giving up nine hits and six runs in just four innings of work. However, the Reds’ offense came alive, scoring more runs in this game than in any of their previous six losses.
The game was not without its drama, with Friedl getting hit in the arm by a pitch in the third inning. The Rangers’ Corey Seager was also absent from the game due to a left hamstring strain.
The two teams will meet again on Tuesday for the second game of their three-game series.
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