Sports

Reds set mark for hit batters

The Cincinnati Reds earned a spot in the record books on Tuesday, albeit a dubious one.

Pitcher Nick Lodolo hit three Red Sox batters on Tuesday at Great American Ballpark, bringing the team’s total to 99 beaned batsmen on the season and breaking the 2021 Cubs mark.

The southpaw hit former Yankee Rob Refsnyder in the second inning and followed with Enrique Hernández and Yu Chang in back-to-back plate appearances in the fourth inning, upping his team-leading total to 18. He is now tied with the Braves’ Charlie Morton for the MLB lead.

The 24-year-old Lodolo also became the first Reds pitcher to hit three or more batters in a game twice in a season since Harry Thielman in 1902. He also hit three batters at St. Louis on July 16. Lodolo has hit at least one batter in nine of his last 10 starts.

“The curve didn’t have the right shape tonight,” Lodolo said. “If that pitch would have been a little bit better we could have got away with more stuff.”

Nick Lodolo #40 of the Cincinnati Reds tosses the ball to first base in the first inning aga
Nick Lodolo and the Reds accomplished some dubious MLB history on Tuesday.
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Lodolo also walked three and struck out seven against Boston, leaving after giving up three earned runs over five innings. The 5-3 loss dropped him to 4-7 on the season.

“I didn’t have the best command, I was falling behind guys,” he said after the game. “It could have gone sideways a little bit more.”

The culprit, according to Lodolo, was his curveball — though he’s not planning to change his approach because of any struggle

“I’m trying to get it there,” he said. “I had a couple today that hit on the front foot, that’s completely pulled. I know I hit somebody on the back foot, on the toe — you’re playing a game of inches right there. Go look at how many strikeouts I’ve had with balls a couple inches from the back foot. It is what it is, you can’t do anything about it. I’m still going to keep throwing it.

“If it’s tightened up a little bit, we probably get a couple more swings.”

The rookie still has a ways to go to equal the modern-day hit batsmen record, set by Padres righty Austin Adams, who nailed 24 hitters in 2021. He’s likely safe from challenging the all-time record of 54 is held by the Columbus Solons’ Phil Knell in 1891.

Reds hurlers Hunter Greene, Mike Minor and Hunter Strickland have beaned seven batters apiece, with 26 Cincy pitchers contributing to the cause this season.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays broke their own record with 95 in 2003, a year after beaning 94 batters.

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