CINCINNATI (AP) — Nick Senzel hit a game-ending, two-run homer in the ninth inning, ending Cincinnati’s longest homerless draught in 32 years and giving the Reds a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday and their first series sweep since last July.
Brad Mills’ sacrifice fly off Lucas Sims (1-0) tied the score in the ninth. Kevin Newman singled leading off the bottom half against Jonathan Hernández (0-1) and took second on shortstop Josh Smith’s throwing error.
Senzel hit a full-count slider off the yellow padding along the top of the left-field wall, ending the Reds’ streak of 79 innings without a home run since Kevin Newman’s second-inning drive against Tampa Bay on April 17. The eight games without a long ball were the most for the Reds since 1991.
After crossing home plate, Senzel was greeted by teammates who put a Viking helmet and cape on him. The Reds had not gotten a walkoff homer since Nick Castellanos beat Washington on Sept. 25, 2021.
Cincinnati (10-15) completed a three-game sweep of AL West-leading Texas (14-10), the first series sweep for the Reds since last July 8-10 over Tampa Bay. The Reds never trailed in the series finale after overcoming a four-run deficit in the opener and a six-run margin on Tuesday.
Texas has lost three in a row for the first time since a seven-game skid last September.
Reds starter Graham Ashcraft tied a season high with four walks, allowing two runs and six hits in three innings. He pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam, in the second, retiring Robbie Grossman on a popout, striking out Brad Miller and getting Josh Smith on a grounder to the right side. After beating Smith to the first-base bag, Ashcraft celebrated with an underhand fist pump.
Henry Ramos hit an RBI triple in the second and scored on Newman’s grounder to third, beating Josh Jung’s throw home. Nathanial Lowe hit a run-scoring double in the fifth and Adolis García tied the score with a sacrifice fly. TJ Friedl’s sacrifice fly put the Reds ahead 3-2 in the bottom half.
Rangers: C Mitch Garver (mild left knee sprain) is starting to hit. Manager Bruce Bochy estimated Garver might need another four weeks … Jung left after two innings with a bruised left hand when he was hit by a pitch. X-rays were negative … OF Travis Jankowski left after three innings with left hip tightness.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto (left shoulder, biceps surgery) will continue to work out in Cincinnati rather than go to the team’s Goodyear, Arizona, complex, manager David Bell said.
Rangers: LHP Andrew Heaney (2-1) is the scheduled starter on Thursday against the Yankees in the opener of a six-game homestand.
Reds: RHP Luis Cessa (0-3) is Cincinnati’s scheduled starter in the opener of a three-game series against the Athletics in Oakland.