They’ve hit just about everywhere and served just about every role on a young Reds team filled with rookies who have been figuring out where they fit. But India was the Reds’ leadoff hitter on Opening Day, and Friedl was hitting right behind him. In a year defined by change, they’ve been the biggest constants.
On Sunday, in the regular season home finale, they carried the Reds to a 4-2 comeback win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds are two games back of the final wild card spot with five games left in the season.
Pirates starting pitcher Quinn Priester, who carried a 8.61 ERA entering the game, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. With the Reds coming off of one of their most deflating losses in years, it looked like the dejection of Saturday’s 13-12 loss carried into the series finale against the Pirates. Priester was efficient, and the Reds weren’t working tough at-bats or making hard contact.
India and Friedl have been tabbed as spark plugs all season, and that continued to be the case on Sunday.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Reds down 2-0, India singled and Friedl delivered a two-run homer. Friedl homered for the third consecutive game. Entering the season, Friedl was viewed as a fourth outfielder. As the Reds enter the final week of the year, Friedl has cemented his status as a core piece of the future.
In the seventh inning, India and Friedl combined forces again to get the Reds the lead. India, who was banged up on a slide at second base earlier in the game and had a trainer visit him on the field, stretched out a double. He isn’t 100% as he plays through plantar fasciitis, but India has been aggressive taking the extra base all season.
Friedl drove him in on a single to left field, which gave the Reds a 3-2 lead.
Reds closer Alexis Díaz entered the game in the top of the eighth inning to protect the one-run lead. One day after Díaz imploded with his worst game of the season, allowing four runs against the Pirates, he stranded two runners on base with a strikeout. After taking the loss in two consecutive appearances, Díaz took a step back in the right direction.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: India and Friedl spark a comeback Reds win over the Pirates
Source: Yahoo Sports