J.T. Realmuto has been showing more power throughout the season and it came up at the right time Friday night.
Realmuto had three hits, including a tie-breaking home run to spark a four-run seventh inning and help the Miami Marlins to a 7-4 victory over the reeling Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
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“It felt pretty good,” Realmuto said of the homer. “I was able to get myself in a good count. He left a pitch over the plate. I was able to put a good swing on it to give us a lead. The guys did a good job in the back end scoring more runs.”
Realmuto’s home run to left field off Wandy Peralta (3-2) was his 12th of the season, a career-high.
“In my opinion, the power’s always been there,” Realmuto said. “I’m not getting myself in the right counts, swinging at a pitch I shouldn’t be swinging at. I’m trying to do too much. I feel this year with Pags (hitting coach Mike Pagilarulo) and (assistant hitting coach) Frankie (Menechino) they’ve helped me out staying focused on my approach.”
Mike Aviles added a pinch-hit two-run homer and Tyler Moore had an RBI double in the pivotal seventh for the Marlins, who have won six of eight.
Dustin McGowan (6-1) pitched an inning in relief for the victory.
Cincinnati has dropped five straight and has lost 13 of 15 since the All-Star break.
“The combination of (pitching and hitting struggling) has been lethal so far in the second half,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
The Reds took an early lead scoring three runs off Vance Worley in the first on an RBI single by Joey Votto and a two-run homer by Adam Duvall, his 22nd.
“Obviously, the first inning they get the quick runs and that puts you on your heels a little bit,” Mattingly said. “You’re hoping that doesn’t keep the momentum going in the wrong direction but Vance was able to right the ship there and give us three more (innings).”
It was Votto’s 800th RBI, tying him for 11th with Frank McCormick on the Reds’ all-time list.
The Marlins cut the deficit to 3-2 on a throwing error by pitcher Sal Romano and a sacrifice fly by Dee Gordon.
“I just think this game could have been a lot different,” Romano said. “Even with the (six) walks, if I make that play in the fourth inning it’s a double play. If not, then I got Gordon to fly out the next (batter). There’s just no excuse for that.”
Giancarlo Stanton’s groundout tied the game at 3 in the sixth scoring Miguel Rojas, who walked to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a double to right by pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki.
It was Suzuki’s 3,060th hit tying him with Craig Biggio for 21st on the all-time hit list.
Cincinnati’s Scott Schebler added a solo homer in the ninth to cap the scoring.
Worley allowed three runs in four innings.
Romano allowed two unearned runs and two hits, and walked six with five strikeouts in 3 2-3 innings.
“You can’t defend walks,” Romano said. “I’m not really giving up the extra-base hit or hits, but I’m putting guys on with free passes and there’s just no excuse for that.”
DUVALL HEATING UP
Duvall has hit home runs in three of his last four games after going 14 games without a homer.
Reds: SS Zack Cozart (quadriceps) missed his third consecutive game.
Reds: RHP Tim Adelman (5-8, 5.11 ERA) will take the mound in the third game of the series Saturday. Adelman has allowed at least three runs in each of his last seven starts going 1-5 in that span.
Marlins: LHP Adam Conley (3-3, 5.62 ERA) will make his third consecutive start since being recalled from Triple-A. Conley is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his previous two outings.