MLB: Toronto native Joey Votto homers to lead Reds past Blue Jays

Joey Votto hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to snap a tie and the visiting Cincinnati Reds defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon.

Votto, a Toronto native, hit his first home run of the season down the right-field line against Yimi Garcia (0-3) with one out and the Reds avoided being swept in the three-game series.

Cincinnati’s Alexis Diaz (2-0) pitched a perfect seventh and eighth innings with three total strikeouts. Art Warren pitched a perfect ninth for his second save,

Toronto left-hander Yusei Kikuchi allowed two runs, two hits, three walks and a hit batter. He struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings.

Cincinnati right-hander Graham Ashcraft, making his major league debut, allowed two runs, four hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three and hit a batter.

Cincinnati scored twice in the first inning. Kikuchi walked three of his first five batters, before Aristides Aquino hit a two-out, two-run double to left.

Toronto scored once in the second. Santiago Espinal led off with a double to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games. He scored on Matt Chapman’s single.

Toronto tied the game in the third. George Springer was hit by a pitch, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on Bo Bichette’s groundout to shortstop.

David Phelps replaced Kikuchi with one out and one on in the fifth and got two quick outs.

Tony Santillan replaced Ashcraft with one out and two on in the bottom of the fifth. Toronto loaded the bases on third baseman Taylor Motter’s second error of the inning. The threat ended on a flyout and a strikeout.

Ryan Borucki ended the sixth with a strikeout after replacing Phelps following a two-out infield hit.

Garcia replaced Trevor Richards with a runner at first and two out in the seventh. He allowed a single to Tyler Stephenson, who was picked off first by catcher Danny Jansen.

Andrew Vasquez replaced Garcia with one on and two out in the eighth to finish the inning.

–Field Level Media

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