McCoy: Reds kick off 10-game road trip with comeback win over Angels

They say charity begins at home, but the Cincinnati Reds were more than happy to accept charity on the road in their first game of a 10-game, three-city western trip.

An error by Los Angeles Angels rookie first baseman Nolan Schanuel, with less than a week of MLB experience, led to three unearned runs, enough for the Reds to score a 4-3 victory Tuesday night in Angel Stadium.

That was all starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft and the Reds bullpen needed to win their 27th one-run game against 24 losses.

And they had to come-from-behind for the 38th time this season to pull this one out.

It started on the upbeat when Matt McLain, who grew up 10 minutes from the stadium, homered in the first inning.

But a couple of former Reds, Brandon Drury and Mike Moustakas hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning and rookie Logan O’Hoppe homered in the fourth to give the Angels a 3-1 lead.

Those were three of the five hits the Angels managed against Ashcraft, who established a career high with 10 strikeouts over his seven innings.

After O’Hoppe’s home run, Ashcraft retired 11 of his final 12 and struck out the side in the fifth. And those weren’t just any old strikeouts. Two of the victims were two of baseball’s premier hitters, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, owner of 43 home runs.

Trout, playing his first game since July 7, and Ohtani were 1 for 7 with three strikeouts.

It stayed 3-1 until the fateful fifth inning.

Los Angeles starter Lucas Giolito walked Will Benson on four pitches to open the inning. With one out, TJ Friedl doubled when right fielder Hunter Renfroe tried for a diving catch and the ball squirmed past him.

That put runners on third and second with one out, but McLain struck out. Elly De La Cruz hit a seemingly routine two-hop bouncer to first base that should have ended the inning and preserved the Angels 3-1 lead.

Realizing De La Cruz’s gazelle-like speed, first baseman Schanuel took his eye off the ball and it bounced off his glove into short right field.

Both Benson and Friedl scored on the error to tie it, 3-3, with two outs and De La Cruz on first.

Spencer Steer, who like McLain grew up in the shadow of Angel Stadium, pulled a double down the left field line. De La Cruz circled the bases like an impala fleeing a cheetah and scored what proved to be the winning run.

Sam Moll, Ian Gibaut and Alexis Diaz protected that one-run lead like Pinkertons. Moll gave up a one-out infield single to Trout in the eighth and Gibaut came on to get the last out of the inning.

Diaz hit O’Hoppe with a pitch with one out in the ninth. Pinch-runner Mickey Moniak tried to swipe second and catcher Tyler Stephenson gunned him down. Diaz then retired Randal Grichuk for his MLB-leading 34th save.

The Angels’ charity was needed by the Reds because it was not an offensive night. The Reds had only seven hits. They were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position, stranded nine and struck out 12 times.

They tried to add an insurance run in the ninth when Friedl bunted for a hit with two outs, his 13th bunt single, but McLain grounded out.

After Monday’s game was weathered out, the two teams play a doubleheader Wednesday with a classic match-up in the first game, Cincinnati’s Andrew Abbott (8-3, 2.99) against Ohtani (10-5, 3.17).

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