ATLANTA (AP) — Eddie Rosario took advantage of his past encounters with Buck Farmer in the American League when he faced the right-hander again in a crucial at-bat.
Rosario led off the eighth inning with a tie-breaking home run off Farmer and the Atlanta Braves beat Cincinnati 5-4 on Wednesday night to sweep the three-game series and extend the Reds’ frustrations in close games.
Rosario’s first homer of the season landed in the Braves’ bullpen behind the centerfield wall, breaking a 4-4 tie. Rosario said he hit a high fastball — just as he expected.
“I’ve faced him a lot when he was with Detroit and I was with Minnesota, and I knew he liked to throw high fastballs,” Rosario said through a translator. “I was ready for it.”
Farmer (0-3) gave up the homer as the Reds fell to 0-5 in one-run games, including each of the three losses in Atlanta.
“We’re playing too good to not come out with wins,” said Reds manager David Bell.
Farmer said Rosario hit a good pitch that was on the outer third of the plate and slightly above the strike zone.
“I assume he guessed right there and was just on the winning end of it,” Farmer said.
Rosario was rewarded by wearing the big Braves hat placed on players after big plays or hits this season. He wore the cap as he walked down the dugout, receiving high fives from his teammates.
“I’m sure that was a big weight off his shoulders to finally get that first one,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker.
Cincinnati’s Hunter Greene allowed three runs on seven hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks in six innings. Greene ended the sixth by striking out Ehire Adrianza and Marcell Ozuna, giving the 23-year-old right-hander his third career game with double-digit strikeouts.
Greene outlasted Spencer Strider, 24, in the matchup of hard-throwing young right-handers.
Tyler Stephenson’s two-run single gave the Reds a 2-0 lead in the first, and Will Myers’ bases-loaded groundout in the third drove in a run.
Greene left the game with a 4-3 lead. Ronald Acuña Jr. tied the game with his third hit, a single off Ian Gibaut in the seventh to drive in Sam Hilliard, who walked and stole second.
Acuña had a two-run single up the middle in the second. Sean Murphy’s double drove in Austin Riley for a 3-3 tie in the third.
After Kirby Yates (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, A.J. Minter recorded the final three outs for his second save in three chances.
ARCIA HIT ON WRIST WITH PITCH
The Braves hope shortstop Orlando Arcia can avoid the injured list after he was hit on his left wrist by a 97 mph fastball from Greene in the second. He remained in the game until being replaced by Adrianza, who pinch-hit in the third.
The Braves said X-rays on Arcia’s wrist were negative.
“We’ll wait until tomorrow and treat him up,” Snitker said. “It’s going to be pretty sore, I’m sure.”
Snitker said he couldn’t say Arcia will avoid the IL until seeing him on Thursday, when the team is off.
STRIDER LASTS ONLY 5 INNINGS
Strider recorded nine strikeouts for the third straight start but allowed three runs in five innings.
“Not my best effort,” Strider said. “I feel like I sort of put the team in a bad spot. I’ve got to get better. There’s a lot of time to do that.”
Strider was encouraged he recorded nine consecutive outs to end his outing.
“Hopefully that’s progress I can take to the next start,” he said.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto is hitting .125 (4 for 32) in the first games of his injury rehabilitation stint at Triple-A Louisville as he returns from left rotator cuff/biceps surgery. Votto, 39, has 20 strikeouts and three walks after hitting .182 in 22 at-bats in spring training.
Reds: LHP Nick Lodolo, who set a career high with 12 strikeouts while receiving no decision in a 3-2 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday, will face the Phillies again at home on Thursday night. LHP Bailey Falter (0-1, 2.61 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Phillies.
Braves: Following an off day on Thursday, RHP Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.35) is scheduled to start Friday night’s opener of a three-game series at Kansas City against RHP Brady Singer (1-0, 4.91).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports