One moment in the sixth inning Thursday night overshadowed the Reds’ fourth straight victory. The video and photos that capture the moment turned a relatively meaningless home run into a powerful story that lit up social media.
Todd Frazier’s two-run home run that gave the Reds an 11-1 lead became something totally different when he told the media after the game that the Reds’ honorary bat boy, Teddy Kremer, asked him to hit a home run before the at-bat. Frazier said he would, and then he did.
Kremer, a young man from Cincinnati with Down syndrome, celebrated like the Reds had won the World Series. He high-fived Frazier after he crossed the plate and then ran around pumping his fist, almost forgetting to pick up the bat.
“Look at Teddy!” Fox Sports Ohio’s Thom Brennaman said on the air. “He’s more excited than Todd is.”
In the dugout, Frazier picked up Kremer and gave him a bear hug. After the game on Twitter, Frazier wrote, “What a night. I couldn’t do it without my best friend and greatest bat boy Teddy. Love ya big man.”
Singer Nick Lachey, a big Reds fan, wrote on Twitter, “Easily one of the best sports moments you’ll see.”
On Friday, Frazier marveled at the moment again.
“It was really special because it touches your heart,” Frazier said. “I struck out my first at-bat, and he came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘It’s all right man. You’ll be fine.’ How could you be mad? It kind of relaxed me a little bit.”
A sports writer asked Frazier if Kremer asked any other players to hit home runs, and outfielder Xavier Paul, sitting at the next locker, said, “He asked me. I didn’t come through.”
Home sweet home: Entering Friday’s game, the second of four against the Marlins at Great American Ball Park, the Reds had won eight of their first 10 games at home. No one in baseball has more wins at home, though the Rockies were 6-0 at home after Thursday.
“You’re supposed to play well at home,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We have to work on getting back to .500 on the road. That’s what your objective is when the season starts: .500 on the road and do well at home. You sleep in your own bed, see friendly faces and (winning) keeps the fans coming out. But we ain’t thinking about that now. We’re just thinking about winning.”
Hot bat: Reds shortstop Zack Cozart was hitting .114 through his first nine starts. In the last six games, he’s 11-for-26. He’s raised his average to .246 and has scored at least one run in his last seven games.
Cozart hit seventh in the order in the first nine games. He moved to the second spot April 13 and went 3-for-5. He made his seventh straight start there on Friday.
“I feel good,” he said. “It’s weird it happened like this. When I got in the two hole, it seemed like I took off. I don’t want to say it’s just because of the two hole. We get with the hitting coach, and I had stuff I needed to fix, but right now I couldn’t be more opposite of the way I was feeling at the start of the year.”
Today’s game: Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 4.05) makes his fourth start of the season in a 1:10 p.m. game today. He opposes Wade LeBlanc (0-3, 6.75), who has lost a career-worst six games in a row.