CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell delivered the most dramatic moment of the game Wednesday at Great American Ball Park by getting ejected in the ninth inning. He wasn’t happy with a high-and-inside pitch to Stuart Fairchild and left the dugout to let the home-plate umpire know about it.
Bell said after the game he didn’t think the Rays were throwing at Fairchild intentionally but felt he had to protect his player. He didn’t miss much by getting tossed — just the final at-bats of a game decided in the first inning.
The Reds lost 8-0 in the series finale, suffering their second shutout loss in a row after losing 10-0 on Tuesday to a team with the best record in baseball (16-3). The Reds couldn’t rally from a 6-0 first-inning deficit as the Rays spoiled the big-league debut of Levi Stoudt.
“He was very excited to be out there, emotional,” Bell said. “This is a dream come true for any player to to get to the major leagues. I don’t care who you are, how good you are. Sometimes you don’t know what to expect in that first inning. It’s a lot to deal with just the emotions of being on major league mound for the first time.
“That’s what I saw in the first inning. He was a a little bit overamped. He wasn’t able to get his breaking ball down. He was up with everything.”
The Reds (7-11) finished 3-4 on the homestand. They will start a four-game series on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. They return home Monday for three games against the Texas Rangers before ending a stretch of 20 games in 20 days with an off day on May 27.
Stoudt, 25, ranked as the 14th-best prospect and fifth-best minor league pitcher in the Reds organization before the season, according to a list compiled by MLB.com. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the third round out of Lehigh University in 2019. The Reds acquired him in July 2022 along with three other players in the trade that sent Luis Castillo to the Mariners.
Stoudt was 0-2 with a 3.33 ERA in six starts with the Triple-A Louisville Bats last season and was 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in three starts this season.
Yandy Diaz hit the third pitch Stoudt threw over the fence in left-center field. The next two batters singled. After a flyout, Stoudt gave up a double, single and another double by which point the Rays had stretched their lead to 5-0. A balk brought in the sixth run of the inning.
Stoudt lasted four innings. He gave up seven earned runs on nine hits. The Reds brought Stoudt up for a spot start.
“He’s going to be back here,” Bell said. “Those (last) three innings were really important to show himself what he’s capable of.”
Reds at Pirates, 6:35 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410
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