Reds have their best record through 21 games since 2013

Bullpen steps up to help Reds complete sweep of Angeles

The Cincinnati Reds have reached rare territory in April. For the first time in 11 years, they have a winning record (12-9) through 21 games.

A year ago, they were 7-14 at this point. Two years ago, they were 3-18. They were 9-12 in 2021 and 2020, 8-13 in 2019, 3-18 in 2018, 10-11 in 2017, 9-12 in 2016 and 10-11 in 2015 and 2014.

In 2013, the last time they made the playoffs in a 162-game season, the Reds started 12-9.

The Reds pushed their record three games over .500 with a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels (9-13) over the weekend at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds won their eighth straight game against the Angels. The streak began in August 2019. Its the longest winning streak against an American League team for the Reds since interleague play began in 1997. They had a seven-game winning streak against the Tampa Bay Rays from 2003 to 2011.

Through Sunday, the Reds were 2½ games behind the Milwaukee Brewers (14-6) in the National League Central Division. The Reds begin a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (14-8) on Monday in Cincinnati.

In a 3-0 victory against the Angels on Sunday, five Reds relievers combined to throw 8 2/3 scoreless innings. Starter Frankie Montas left the game in the first inning when he was struck in the right forearm by a ball hit by Taylor Ward. An X-ray revealed no fracture.

“It was a day of just stepping up and helping each other out,” manager David Bell told reporters after the game. “The bullpen, in a lot of ways, leads us in that regard. As soon as that happened to Frankie, it was, ‘What can we do to get this done?’ They saw it as a challenge. They will absolutely do anything to help us win.”

Montas said he will probably miss his next start. When he left the game, Brent Suter took over on the mound and pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits.

“It’s not the first time I’ve come in the first inning,” Suter said. “Probably won’t be the last. It’s just one of those things. Your heart’s with Frankie, taking one right off his favorite arm, which is a bummer. You’ve got to step up. You’ve got to try to keep the score where it is and go as long as you can.”

Emilio Pagán followed Suter with two scoreless innings. Fernando Cruz, Lucas Sims and Alexis Diaz closed the game with scoreless innings.

The Reds bullpen ranks 14th in baseball with a 3.79 ERA. A year ago, it ranked 16th with 4.11 ERA.

Suter has the best numbers. He has a 2.30 ERA in nine appearances and 15 2/3 innings. Cruz has a 2.00 ERA in nine appearances and nine innings. Dias has four saves and a 3.86 ERA in nine appearances covering 9 1/3 innings.

“From Suter to Diaz, I’m just glad they went out there and picked me up,” Montas said. “It’s always tough on the bullpen when your starter goes down, especially in the first inning. Those dudes right there, they’re fighters. They’re grinders. I don’t know how many times I told them, ‘Thank you for picking me up.’ That’s huge.”


Phillies at Reds, 6:40 p.m., 700, 1410, Bally Sports Ohio

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