De La Cruz and Joey Votto homer propels Reds to 10 longest winning streak since ’12

The Cincinnati Reds are experiencing a period of exceptional success. On Tuesday night, rookie Elly De La Cruz made a significant contribution with a solo home run, propelling the Reds to an 8-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies and extending their winning streak to an impressive 10 games.

De La Cruz, the club’s top prospect, had an outstanding performance, securing three hits during the game. Additionally, TJ Friedl, the center fielder for the Reds, achieved a career-high four hits, including a powerful three-run homer. Will Benson also joined the home run parade, further solidifying Cincinnati’s 8-6 triumph over the Rockies at the Great American Ball Park. This victory marks the Reds’ longest winning streak since 2012, the same year they last clinched the National League Central division.

De La Cruz’s remarkable opposite-field home run covered a distance of 350 feet and left the bat at an impressive speed of 98.9 mph. Following his exceptional performance, De La Cruz’s batting average stands at .308, with an on-base percentage of .379 and a slugging percentage of .519 after just 13 games in his major league career.

The Reds’ recent surge comes as a surprise to many, as the team was not expected to be contenders in the 2023 season, especially in the relatively weak NL Central division. In recent years, the Reds have undergone cost-cutting measures and endured a difficult 2022 season, which saw them suffer 100 losses. However, the team’s current success has defied expectations and placed them in a unique position in their franchise history.

In a previous game on Monday night, the Reds defeated the Colorado Rockies, extending their winning streak to nine games. This game was particularly significant as it marked the return of Joey Votto to the lineup. Votto, who underwent shoulder surgery in August of the previous year and experienced a temporary setback in his rehabilitation in April, made his 2023 debut on Monday.

The crowd at the Great American Ball Park warmly welcomed Votto with a loud ovation as he stepped up to bat. In his second plate appearance, Votto showcased his power by blasting a home run to left field, prompting him to take a curtain call while donning the team’s iconic home run Viking helmet.

Votto’s absence from the lineup was a result of surgeries to repair his left biceps and a torn left rotator cuff. Despite missing a significant portion of the 2022 season, Votto delivered impressive numbers, hitting .266 with 36 home runs and 99 RBI. This season, which is also the final year of his 10-year, $225 million contract with the Reds, marks Votto’s 15th year in the league.

The Reds’ victory on Monday night secured their ninth consecutive win and propelled them past the Milwaukee Brewers to claim first place in the NL Central. It’s worth noting that the team has only made it to the postseason twice since 2013, with both appearances resulting in losses in the wild-card round.

The Reds’ current 10-game winning streak matches their franchise’s longest streak since 1957 and falls just four games short of the franchise record set in 1899. The remarkable achievement has left manager David Bell astounded, unable to recall whether he had experienced a similar winning streak during his 12-year career as a player or his time as a coach.

The Cincinnati Reds’ recent surge in performance, led by emerging talents like Elly De La Cruz and the return of veteran Joey Votto, has captivated fans and surpassed expectations. As the team continues to ride this wave of success, their focus remains on maintaining their winning ways and making a lasting impact in the 2023 season.

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