Red alert: Stephenson walks it off for Cincinnati
A run-of-the-mill home run just isn't enough for Tyler Stephenson. The No. 4 Reds prospect slugged a pinch-hit walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Cincinnati past visiting Pittsburgh, 3-1, in the first game of Monday's doubleheader. The two-run blast was Stephenson's second roundtripper as a
A run-of-the-mill home run just isn't enough for
The No. 4 Reds prospect slugged a pinch-hit walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Cincinnati past visiting Pittsburgh, 3-1, in the first game of Monday's doubleheader. The two-run blast was Stephenson's second roundtripper as a big leaguer and his first since his initial at-bat in The Show on July 27.
Sixth-ranked Reds prospect
Fourth-ranked #Reds prospect Tyler Stephenson -- with No. 6 Jose Garcia aboard -- gloriously walks it off for Cincinnati.— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 14, 2020
After his teammates gave up a 1-0 lead in the top of the frame, Stephenson stepped to the plate against
“First pitch, it’s a cutter-slider first pitch. He threw one down, good pitch, it was a ball,” Stephenson told MLB.com. “And then the next pitch was elevated, and sure enough, that’s the one you want to hit, and I didn’t miss it.
“That’s what’s nice being here, we have the luxury of having cages down in the tunnel. I was hitting all game, just ready for an opportunity. I was loose and ready to go.”
It took a while for Stephenson to get on the road back to Cincinnati. After becoming the third Reds player to homer in his first Major League at-bat, the Atlanta native returned to the club's alternate training site two days later. Stephenson came back to Cincinnati last Thursday and collected an RBI single in four at-bats.
The 11th pick in the 2015 Draft might not have Triple-A experience and only 89 at-bats at the Double-A level last year, but he has gone 5-for-11 with six RBIs to begin his big league career.
Second-ranked #Pirates prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes hadn't homered since his first big league game. That streak is over. pic.twitter.com/dKODHEFrT1— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 15, 2020
“I can’t imagine everything that’s happened really,” Stephenson said.
Garcia collected his second consecutive multi-hit effort. He also singled to left in the fifth.
The Reds completed the sweep with a 9-4 victory in the nightcap despite a two-run homer from Ke'Bryan Hayes. The No. 2 Pirates prospect is batting .316/.381/.605 with two long balls, six runs scored and five RBIs in 38 at-bats.
In other action:
Orioles 14, Braves 1
Marlins 6, Phillies 2
Miami's No. 4 prospect
Brewers 2, Cardinals 1 (Game 1, 8 innings)
Milwaukee’s 23rd-ranked prospect Tyrone Taylor began the eighth as the designated runner on second base and scored the tying run on a double by Ryan Braun. Keston Hiura lifted a game-winning sacrifice fly to left two batters later. Box score
Cardinals 3, Brewers 2 (Game 2, 9 innings)
Milwaukee’s 10th-ranked prospect Drew Rasmussen tossed two hitless frames while fanning three. The righty extended his shutout streak to 4 1/3 innings. No. 23 Tyrone Taylor worked a walk in the eighth. Box score
Athletics 9, Mariners 0 (Game 2)
In the third, Oakland’s ninth-ranked prospect Jonah Heim singled in a run and came around to score during a five-run frame. The 25-year-old has four knocks in his last three games. Seattle’s No. 25 prospect Donovan Walton led off the third with a base hit, but was erased from the basepaths after getting caught stealing. Box score
Padres 7, Dodgers 2
Jorge Ona put San Diego ahead to stay with an RBI double off Clayton Kershaw. The No. 23 Padres prospect added a single and scored a run. Tenth-ranked Jorge Mateo struck out in both of his at-bats, leaving him 3-for-21 to start his Major League career. Top Dodgers prospect Gavin Lux was 0-for-2 and has gone hitless in 11 at-bats since his two-homer, five-RBI performance Sept. 8. Box score
White Sox 3, Twins 1
Third-ranked Chicago prospect Nick Madrigal opened the scoring for the South Siders with an RBI knock in the second. The 23-year-old is batting .355 this year. No. 25 Codi Heuer worked around two hits and a pair of walks, fanning one in a scoreless frame of relief. The right-hander has not allowed a run in six appearances this month (6 2/3 innings) and is sporting a 0.91 WHIP and a .145 average against this season. Minnesota’s 16th-ranked prospect Jorge Alcala whiffed both batters he faced in the eighth. Box score
Michael Avallone is a writer for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB.