CINCINNATI (AP) — Anthony DeSclafani was a baseball triple-threat against Arizona on Friday night.
DeSclafani struck out a season-high nine to outduel Clay Buchholz and singled before scoring one of Cincinnati’s two runs on Billy Hamilton’s suicide-squeeze bunt to help the Reds beat the Diamondbacks 3-0.
DeSclafani (6-3) allowed three hits and no walks while pitching into the eighth inning of his second straight shutdown outing. He limited Washington to one run on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts in seven innings of a 7-1 victory last Saturday.
“I had a good amount of things working today,” DeSclafani said. “I stayed out of the middle of the plate for the most part. I felt like this game was the most well put-together game.”
The right-hander improved to 8-1 in his career when lasting at least six innings without a walk.
“Anthony set the tone for the entire game,” Cincinnati manager Jim Riggleman said. “That was a good, old-fashioned ball game. That was a tough lineup he was facing. They’re in first place and have to come in here and win games. Anthony was up to the task.”
“He was driving his fastball to both sides of the plate and did a good job with left-handed hitters, tying them up,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.
DeSclafani gave way to Jared Hughes after allowing a leadoff single in the eighth. The NL West-leading Diamondbacks got runners to first and third before Hughes coaxed Alex Avila into a double-play grounder. Raisel Iglesias followed Paul Goldschmidt’s two-out double by striking out A.J. Pollock in the ninth for his 22nd save.
DeSclafani also singled in the seventh and scored from first base on Buchholz’s throwing error on Hamilton’s bunt up the first base line, which drove in Tucker Barnhart. Buchholz fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw sailed into foul territory down the field line.
“That was the first time I was ever a part of a play like that,” DeSclafani said. “I waited for Tucker to break. When I saw (third base coach Billy) Hatcher wave me around, I thought, ‘This is kind of fun. Just don’t miss the bags.'”
Riggleman considered having Hamilton bunt earlier in the count, but fearing a pitchout, waited until 3-1. It paid off.
“He caught me a little off-guard, bunting on a 3-1 count,” Buchholz said.
The Reds, opening a nine-game homestand as the Central’s last-place team and coming off a 2-7 trip, pushed a run across in the sixth on back-to-back leadoff singles by Jose Peraza and Joey Votto, and Eugenio Suarez’s sacrifice fly to left, one step away from the warning track.
Buchholz (5-2) saw his personal winning streak snapped at five over eight starts. He allowed eight hits and three runs, two earned, with two walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.
LIKE OLD TIMES
DeSclafani struck out at least nine batters for the fourth time in his career and first since Aug 27, 2016, at Arizona. His career high is 10 strikeouts.
RAINY DAY FEELING
Rain sent fans scurrying for cover in the middle of the first inning. They started returning to their seats in the bottom of the second. The start of the opener of Cincinnati’s last home stand, also on a Friday, was delayed 2 hours, 55 minutes by rain.
Reds OF Scott Schebler took Friday the next step in rehabbing the sprained joint in his right shoulder by throwing a towel without letting it go. Schebler has been out and unable to throw since July 14 after injuring his shoulder crashing into the right field wall trying to make a catch in St. Louis.
Votto’s sixth-inning bloop single to center field was his 1,700th career hit. He is the ninth player in franchise history to reach that level.
Reds: Votto started at first base after missing two games with a bruised right knee, the result of being hit by Ryan Madson’s pitch Aug. 4 in Washington.
Diamondbacks: Opponents are hitting a combined .195 with 48 strikeouts in LHP Robbie Ray’s seven road starts this season.
Reds: RHP Matt Harvey (5-7) has a 10.66 earned-run average in his three starts since the All-Star break.