McCoy: Reds rough up Yankees to complete three-game sweep

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Bronx Bombers? Pshaw and balderdash. The New York Yankees met the Cincinnati Crushers, the Clobberers, the Clubbers over the last three days.

The Cincinnati Reds completed a three-game sweep over the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, an 8-4 pushover on the hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium.

It was the first time the Yankees have been swept this year and they’ve lost 14 of 18, looking more like the 1962 120-loss New York Mets than the all-powerful New York Yankees.

It’s enough to make Babe Ruth blush.

During the sweep, the Reds planted and deposited seven home runs over the Yankee Stadium walls and fences. Of the first 14 runs the Reds scored in the series, 13 came on home runs.

And they spread the power. Seven different Reds hit home runs — Will Benson, Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, Stuart Fairchild, Nick Martini, Jonathan India and Spencer Steer.

“This is a big boost for our team,” said India on Bally Sports Ohio after his three-hit day that included a home run. And he has been on base in 15 straight games. “Taking two out of four in St. Louis on this trip was tough and I thought we should have won both those games we lost.

“But coming into Yankee Stadium and sweeping is great for any team,” he added. “But we’re so proud. We’re going to use this as more confidence for us.”

On Thursday, Nick Martini crushed a solo home run in the second, India contributed his solo shot in the third and Steer blasted a three-run rip in the fifth, all three off New York starter Marcus Stroman.

“We just had some good swings this series, man,” India said of the seven home runs. “Our guys stepped up in big moments. That’s what it takes to be a team like this. I’m glad we did it as a team and we all played well.”

Reds starter Frankie Montas, who pitched briefly and ineffectively for the Yankees the previous two seasons, gave up only one hit through four innings with the 5-0 lead.

The Yankees had hit only one home run in the first 2 1/2 games, a bases-empty shot by Aaron Judge in the first game, his 32nd. But the Yankees got into the home run parade in the sixth.

Austin Wells led the fifth with a home run and Ben Rice connected with two outs, his first major league home run and it was 5-2.

When Alex Verdugo led the sixth with a double, manager David Bell replaced Montas with Nick Martinez. Verdugo moved to third on a fly ball, but Reds shortstop De La Cruz saved a run when he threw Verdugo out at home on a ground ball.

The Reds put the Yankees out of their self-infliced misery with a three-run seventh and did it without a home run ... merely a triple.

India singled for his third hit and De La Cruz singled. Steer walked to fill the bases and Jake Fraley cleared them clean with a triple up the right-center gap off relief pitcher Jake Bauer.

That made it a comfortable 8-2 lead, still comfortable when Juan Soto hit a two-run home run in the eighth off Martinez, Soto’s 21st home run.

And that was it.

There was a bizarre start to this game, a couple of unusual delays.

After the national anthem, Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft spotted a couple of Yankees standing in front of their dugout, hats over their hearts. It was an obvious challenge to the Reds. Who could stand at attention the longest?

“I couldn’t let them do that, so I had to accept the challenge,” said Ashcraft. So he and fellow pitcher Carson Spiers stood in front of the Reds dugout, caps over their hearts.

And there they stood as game time arrived.

And they still stayed. The umpire pleaded for them to vacate.

“I wans’t leaving, I wasn’t going anywhere,” said Ashcraft. “I had to do it for the boys, get the day’s first ‘W.’

He did win. The Yankees gave up and Ashcraft was the winner.

But it caused a seven-minute delay to the game’s start.

Then on the first pitch, India grounded out to shortstop Anthony Volpe. The Reds believed Volpe’s feet were on the outfield grass, which is illegal. The Reds challenged, causing another delay, five minutes for the replay/review. They lost that one.

But they won the Ashcraft incident and, most importantly, they won the game and are on the move.

They’ve most past the Pittsburgh Pirates into third place in the National League Central. Now they embark on a seven-game homestand, three against the Detroit Tigers and four against the Colorado Rockies, currently a couple of bottom feeders.

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