CINCINNATI (AP) — Tyler Naquin hit two solo homers and Vladimir Gutierrez pitched seven effective innings, helping the Cincinnati Reds beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 on Sunday for a sweep of their four-game series.
Naquin’s leadoff shot extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He added his 18th homer in the eighth, making it 3-1 when he drove an 0-2 fastball from Anthony Bass into the seats in right-center.READ MORE: 2 Diners Injured In Partial Deck Collapse At Fort Lauderdale Waterfront Eatery
Cincinnati won for the sixth time in eight games. It also moved a game ahead of San Diego for the second NL wild card when the Padres lost 7-4 to Philadelphia.
Next up for the second-place Reds is a three-game set at NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
“There’s just not really a better time of year for a baseball player,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It’s not even close. This is what it’s all about.”
Miami wasted a sharp performance by Sandy Alcantara (7-11) in its seventh straight loss. Alcantara struck out a career-high 11 while working seven innings of two-run ball.READ MORE: Florida Gets $4 Billion Bump in Estimated Tax Dollars
The game was tied at 1 when Mike Moustakas led off the fifth with a drive to right for his fifth homer, stopping an 0-for-26 slide, the longest of his career.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit at the plate so to get a home run or a hit, in general, felt pretty good, but to get the go-ahead homer was huge not only for me but for the boys,” Moustakas said. “The guy who was throwing today, as nasty as his stuff was, it was a big spot in the game for us.”
Gutierrez (9-4) allowed three hits, struck out eight, and walked one. Lucas Sims got three outs before Michael Lorenzen pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save.
“The starting pitching on our team has been a constant,” Bell said. “We’ve had that, and you can never take it for granted. (Gutierrez), being one those starters, has made the most of the opportunities.”MORE NEWS: Hollywood Police: Arrest Made In Separate Sexual Battery Cases
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