Reds pass a big test against one of American League’s best teams

Lorenzen delivers second strong start in a row as Reds take series vs. White Sox

A week after their playoff chances looked dead, the Cincinnati Reds are much alive, and a series victory against the Chicago White Sox, one of the best teams in the American League, shows they can advance in October if they get the chance.

“They are a very good team,” Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino said. “Obviously, we’re a good team, too. We’ve been constantly working on getting better and doing well as a team. If good things happen to us, the results are going to show.”

The Reds beat the White Sox 7-3 on Sunday and won the series 2-1. With six games to play, the Reds are 27-27. They are tied for third in the National League Central Division with the Milwaukee Brewers (26-26), who start a three-game series in Cincinnati on Monday.

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The Brewers and Reds are chasing the second-place St. Louis Cardinals (25-24), who played later Sunday.

Eight teams in each league make the playoffs in the expanded postseason. The Reds can advance by finishing second in the division or by having one of the top two records outside the top teams in each division.

“This is what it’s all about," Reds manager David Bell said. "There’s nothing like it. It’s what we all play for. We sacrificed so much to have the opportunity to be doing something special and do it as a team.”

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For many Reds, this is their first experience with a playoff race. The Reds haven’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

“I am super excited to be a part of this team,” Aquino said. “Everyone’s dream is to get into the playoffs. This is what our goal is: to get into the playoffs and win the World Series.”

The Reds took advantage of 11 walks by White Sox pitchers in the series finale. They scored their first three runs in the fourth inning without getting a hit. Then a single by Mike Moustakas scored two runs.

That 5-0 lead was all the Reds needed. Michael Lorenzen, Lucas Sims, Archie Bradley and Raisel Iglesias combined to hold the White Sox to six hits.

Lorenzen made his second start after pitching in relief all season. He struck out eight and gave up two runs three hits in 4 2/3 innings. He said the playoff race has been a blast so far.

“This is a playoff team that we just played,” Lorenzen said. “I knew having having them coming here was a huge test for us. I think we have definitely passed that test and proven to ourselves we belong in the playoffs, and we need to keep moving forward and keep doing what we’re doing. We can’t stop. We don’t have time to take a breath. We have to keep moving forward.”

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