McCoy: Reds dominate White Sox to cap three-game sweep

The Cincinnati Reds departed Chicago on Sunday night under extreme protest, preferring to establish permanent residence in Guaranteed Rate Field.

That wasn’t a three-game sweep the Reds perpetrated on the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, it was total destruction.

With Sunday’s 11-4 victory, the Reds outscored the feeble White Sox 27-5 and never trailed in any of the games in recording their first sweep ever of the White Sox.

It was a redwood offense/defense against a twig offense/defense as the Reds outhit Chicago (2-13) in the three games, 27-14.

The robust 11-hit attack Sunday featured many contributors — Will Benson reached bases five times via four walks and a single and stole two bases, while Jake Fraley was on four times with two hits and two walks with three stolen bases.

Most noteworthy, though, was designated hitter Nick Martini, who virtually disappeared after his two-homer, five RBI performance on OpeningDay.

On Sunday, the left-handed Martini had three hits that included a home run and three RBI and there was significance. All three hits, including the home run, came against a pair of left-handed relief pitchers.

Before Sunday, Martini had a mere six hits and no home runs against southpaw pitchers. And does that make those hits extra exhilarating?

“I think so, yeah,” said Martini during his post-game interview with Bally Sports Ohio. “Especially not facing them too much … to be able to that in that spot, it felt amazing.”

As do all hitters who hit home runs, Martini said that was not on his mind.

“I was just trying to hit something hard,” he said. “I knew he (Tanner Banks) threw a hard slider, so I just tried to get good swings and I was able to lift one.”

Of his near disappearance after Opening Day, Martini said, “There are so many ups and downs in baseball, you never know what can happen on any given day. To be able to continue to get chances, I am blessed and grateful for it.”

“Going on the road, everything you do with the travel, stuff like that, to be able to get three wins on the road is big,” said Martini, even if it is against what amounts to a Triple-A team.

The degree of difficulty steepens for the Reds. The plane that took them out of Chicago transported them to Seattle for a three-game series against the Mariners, beginning Monday night.

“The vibes in the clubhouse are high after a big sweep on the road,” said Martini. “Now we need to go to Seattle and take care of business.”

The nearly non-competitive even Sunday was over in the third inning when the Reds scored four runs against starter Michael Soroka, who issued a career-worst six walks in 4 2/3 innings.

The last time Graham Ashcraft saw the White Sox, he gave up nine runs in less than two innings during a 17-4 White Sox win.

But these were different White Sox, a lineup consisting of batting averages like .140, .147, .180, .182, .190, .200 and .219.

Ashcraft pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up one earned run, five hits, walked two and struck out eight.

The fourth began with a leadoff single by Benson, a single that was followed by Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s second home run of the season and a 2-0 Reds lead.

Siroka then issued back-to-back walks to Spencer Steer, batting fourth in the order, and Fraley.

Both Steer and Fraley scored on Jeimer Candelario’s single. Candelario, dropped from fourth to seventh in the order, finished with two hits and a run scored. That made it 4-0.

The White Sox plated a pair in the bottom of the fourth when Ashcraft walked the first batter, Andrew Vaughn. He came around to score on Dominic Fletcher’s two-out single and Fletcher scored when right fielder Fraley dropped Lenyn Sosa’s fly ball on the right field line, and it was 4-2.

The Reds quickly retrieved those two runs in the fifth. Siroka walked Fraley to lead the inning, then Siroka struck out the next two.

Chisox manager Pedro Grifol decided that was enough for Siroka and brought in left-hander Tanner Banks to face left-hander Martini.

It quickly became six hits and one homer — a two-run rip that pushed the Reds back to a 6-2 lead.

The Reds tucked it away in the seventh with four runs, highlighted by a run-scoring single by Martini off Banks. And the Reds led, 10-2.

Chicago loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth against Lucas Sims and Justin Wilson but scored only two harmless runs.

Martini added a third hit off a left-hander, this time Tim Hill in the ninth, and scored on Jonathan’s India’s sacrifice fly for the final run of the 11-4 victory.

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