Cincinnati Reds right-hander Hunter Greene cannot expect to duplicate his most recent start, but he can improve the result when he faces the host Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Jays won the opener of the three-game series 2-1 on Friday night.
Greene pitched 7 1/3 hitless innings against the host Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday but emerged with a 1-0 loss even though the Cincinnati bullpen completed the no-hitter. The 22-year-old rookie allowed five walks and struck out nine.
After the start in which he made 118 pitches, Greene (1-6, 6.21 ERA) said he would “continue to stick with the process.”
“I think that’s where my peace is as a player and as a person,” Greene added. “That’ll always be there, so I take a lot of pride in that and the work that I’ve put in. Yeah, it would’ve been great to have a different result, but it is what it is. This is my team, ride or die with them.”
The Pirates’ run scored in the bottom of the eighth. Greene walked two with one out, then was replaced by Art Warren. The reliever issued another walk and a run-scoring fielder’s choice before getting the final out.
It was the sixth time in major league history that a team lost a game while not allowing a hit.
“He pitched, he’d get behind the count, throw a slider and get back into the count,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He had a great fastball, but he also had a special slider. He pitched. He pitched his way into having an opportunity to go nine innings, get a win and a no-hitter. In my book, that’s what it was.”
Greene will face Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah (4-1, 1.71 ERA) on Saturday.
Neither pitcher has faced the other team.
Blue Jays second baseman Santiago Espinal extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games on Friday when he went 2-for-4. He is 17-for-44 (.386) during the streak with five doubles and four RBIs.
Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s hitting streak ended at a career-best 15 games when he went 0-for-4. He was 16-for-54 (.296) during the streak with two doubles, one home run and five RBIs. He also grounded into five double plays in that span.
“Sometimes at the beginning of the season, I didn’t have maybe the exact same plan that I had last year,” Guerrero told Sportsnet in an interview interpreted by Hector Lebron. “Maybe I’m putting a little bit more pressure on myself, I guess, especially with runners in scoring position. But I’m seeing that already, so I’m trying to work on that and now I’m starting to take whatever they give me.
“I trust my teammates, whoever is hitting behind me, and if they give me the walk, I take my walk.”
The Reds are undermanned for the series.
Cincinnati put outfielder Albert Almora Jr., infielder Brandon Drury and pitchers Tyler Mahle and Joel Kuhnel on the restricted list on Friday because they did not meet Canadian COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Utility player Taylor Motter, outfielder Aristides Aquino and right-handed pitcher Graham Ashcraft joined the active roster as replacement players.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto was reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list for the game and went 1-for-4 with a double. He is from Toronto.
The Reds were already missing second baseman Jonathan India, center fielder Nick Senzel, infielder Donovan Solano and shortstop Jose Barrero because of injuries before the series started.
–Field Level Media