McCoy: Farmer, Schrock lead Reds offense in Miley’s return

Cincinnati Reds' Max Schrock runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati, Monday, May 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Cincinnati Reds' Max Schrock runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati, Monday, May 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Credit: Aaron Doster

Credit: Aaron Doster

Wade Miley spent 12 days recovering from a foot injury and then a sinus infection, so it was no surprise he wasn’t no-hit fit Monday afternoon in Great American Ball Park.

He struggled but survived. Despite putting eight Philadelphia Phillies on base in the first four innings, only one scored.

Miley’s teammates, especially the lower part of the batting order, placed him on their offensive shoulders with six runs in the first three innings and the Reds rolled, 11-1.

The heavy damage: No. 5 hitter Max Schrock punched a home run. a triple, a double and drove in three runs. No. 6 hitter Tucker Barnhart had two hits and scored three runs. No. 7 hitter Kyle Farmer had a home run, double and a single and drove in five runs.

That’s eight hits, eight RBI and six runs scored from No. 5, 6 and 7 in the order.

Unfortunately, after his third hit, the double, Schrock limped off the field with a left leg injury.

Farmer was more excited for Schrock than he was for himself.

“Schrock did a good job today,” said Farmer. “He is a lot of fun to watch hit the baseball and take at bats. He got the energy going for us in the dugout with that nice home run. Hopefully, he’s OK.”

Schrock’s two-run homer in the second made it 2-0. Farmer’s two-run home run made it 6-1 in the third.

“I was just following his lead,” said Farmer. “This was huge for me. I think, I don’t even know, I was 0-for-the-century, I think coming into today. It takes a little weight off my shoulders. But the weight will still be on my shoulders my entire career.

“It feels great to get three hits when runs are coming in on them,” he added. “You are helping the team put up runs and that’s a good day.”

Miley pitched six innings and amazingly gave up only one run, although he gave up six hits and three walks during his 102-pitch afternoon.

The Reds flicked aside Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, who arrived with a 2-0 record and a 2.95 earned run average. He had given up eight earned runs all season, six on six solo home runs.

After a 1-2-3 first, Velasquez walked Tyler Stephenson on four pitches and Schrock crushed his home run into the right field sun deck.

Schrock was hitting .192 when the game began, but manager David Bell placed him fifth in the batting order.

“He has a really good idea of what he is doing at the plate,” said Bell. “And he can hit a fastball. He has a good idea of the strike zone and has had solid at bats. Even when he hasn’t gotten hits, he has hit the ball hard.”

Did he say Schrock could hit a fastball? The home run came on 95 miles an hour fastball on a full count.

He can hit more than a fastball. Nick Castellanos pushed his hitting streak to 17 games in the fifth against relief pitcher Chase Anderson. Schrock then cracked a run-scoring triple to right center on an Anderson cutter.

After Schrock’s two-run homer in the second, the inning continued with the Reds filling the bases and two more runs scored on Tyler Naquin’s single that made it 4-0.

The lead ballooned to 6-1 in the third. With two outs Tucker Barnhart singled by Farmer pulled a two-run home run down the left field line.

And Farmer matched Schrock’s three RBI day with a run-scoring single in the fifth then passed him with two more in the seventh.

Miley needed all the help he could get.

The Phillies had two singles and a walk in the first inning, but a double play bailed Miley out of any damage.

The Phillies put two on with one out in the second, but Miley struck out Velasquez and Odubel Hernandez grounded to second.

A run scored in the third on Jean Segura’s leadoff double, a deep fly that sent him to third and a ground ball by J.T. Realmuto.

There was more possible trouble in the fourth when the first two Phillies reached. Miley then struck out Nick Maton and retired Obubel Herrera on a ground ball.

“I had a pretty good curveball today,” said Miley. “I was getting a lot of swings and misses on it and I don’t get those very often. It took me a little while to trust it.

“Those first couple of innings I was just trying to feel my way through it,” he added. “Midway through the fourth, I started feeling some stuff and got a little more aggressive.

“The offense did a great job, first and foremost,” he said. “We tacked on some runs early and just kept adding on. That makes it a lot less stressful in those early innings.”

TUESDAY’S GAME

Phillies at Reds, 7:10 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410