The Reds (37-48) won their third game in a row and improved to 15-5 since June 10. That’s the best record in baseball in that stretch. They also won their sixth straight interleague game — the best streak in franchise history. They’re 7-1 against the American League.
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Blandino put the finishing touches on a four-run rally. Entering the eighth, the Reds trailed 3-1 and hadn’t scored since Scott Schebler hit the first pitch of the first inning into the bullpen in right field.
“We had been hitting the ball hard all night,” Blandino said. “A lot of guys had good swings. (James) Shields pitched well. We were kind of just looking for some of those to fall. We got some walks and got that hit we were really looking for.”
Blandino’s hitting .225. Brandon Dixon, another one of the Reds’ go-to pinch-hitters, is hitting .226. As a whole, the team is hitting .243 in pinch-hitting situations, though Lorenzen, who has two pinch-hit home runs, including a grand slam Saturday, has helped improve the team’s numbers.
“It’s a little tough for young guys like Dixon and Blandino to be these pinch-hitter type guys,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said, “but that’s where we’re at with them. Back in the day, it was always veteran guys going up there to pinch hit, and now every club’s got some young guys going up there and it’s a very tough role.”