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Reds NL Central contenders thanks to young hitters

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CHICAGO — With all the preseason talk about rebuilding the Reds and coming out of a 100-loss season, the idea that they could be picked up in the NL Central this year was largely overlooked.

Yet they are here. Reconstruction…and strife?

Sunday’s 8-5 win over the Cubs completed a three-game sweep with the Cincinnati batting average scoring 25 points on 45 hits. It was the first time since August 12-14, 2013, that the series has won all series at Wrigley Field. The Reds are 24-29 and below 0.500 in five games, but still sit third in a weakened division, four games behind the Brewers in first place. As of Thursday, the Reds were tied for the worst National League record.

“When people come to this clubhouse and feel our camaraderie, it’s unparalleled. So many great things are about to happen,” said starter Graham Ashe, who pitched the fifth inning to win the game. Kraft said. “We have a lot more to do together [in the Minors] tear it up. There are many seasons left. We have to keep doing what we do to pay our tails off. “

Matt McClane
The 91st-ranked shortstop overall in the MLB pipeline and the club’s No. 5 prospect had four hits on Sunday, including a three-inning RBI double. McLain has a .380/.456/.600 thrashline in 12 games since being promoted from Louisville on May 15, and is currently on a seven-game hitting streak.

“I’m just trying to do my part,” McClane said. “Numbers are the past. I try to live in the present. Whatever happens, I’ll be on the next pitch.”

McLain’s speed provided the game-winning point in the fifth inning on Sunday. He was taken by Cubs pitcher Drew Smiley with one out on first base, but made it to second base. After that, McClane stole third base when Smiley made an error throwing to second base.

“He put pressure on us. We have some speed,” said manager David Bell. Remember to always try to move forward. “

TJ Friedl
The outfielder has recorded two hits, including four doubles, in four games since returning from the disabled list. Although he didn’t start on Sunday, he gave McLane the lead with a pinch-hit double from two outs in the fifth inning.

Friedl has appeared in 41 games this season, batting .333/.384/.507.

“One of the benefits of not starting TJ, which doesn’t happen often, is getting that plate off the bench,” Bell said. “But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do something like him. He’s playing great.”

Spencer Stair
Steer, who ended his hitting streak at 9 on Saturday, helped settle the game with a 2-run home run from left arm reliever Brandon Hughes’ first fastball into the left field field with two outs in the sixth inning.

386 with five doubles and two homers in his last 13 games. His seven home runs lead the club.

“We found our identity early on in spring training,” Steer said. “We are going to outperform the team and play hard until the end.” “

Not only young players but also veterans are active.

Utility player Kevin Newman started at second base, got on base five times, hit 13 pitches in the fifth, and walked the bases loaded to add another run.

Nick Senzel recorded two RBIs, a single in the second inning and a double in the seventh. Senzel recorded 23 RBIs in 30 games from April 24th.

“It’s fun. We get up there and fight for each other,” Newman said. “You can feel the mentality of the next player. You can feel the energy, the competitiveness, the guts and the fighting. Be it 1-9 or even if you’re not in the starting line-up.”

Ashcraft was selected for the offense and has shown improvement despite struggling in the last four starts. In the bottom of the 2nd inning with a 2-0 lead, Patrick Wisdom hit a 3-run homer with a cutter at 1 strike from a scoreless inning, which was the only run allowed.

“Having them do that sort of thing, they set us up for success,” Ashcraft said. “I knew the players would have my back, so all I had to do was fight, pitch, pitch and compete. ”

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