KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) TJ Friedl scored the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning on Jonathan India’s grounder, and the Cincinnati Reds beat Kansas City 5-4 on Monday night to hand the plummeting Royals their seventh straight defeat.
Pinch-hitter Kevin Newman’s sacrifice fly in the ninth gave the Reds a 4-3 lead, but Buck Farmer allowed a tying homer to Salvador Perez with two outs in the bottom half.
Cincinnati quickly recovered. Friedl, the automatic runner at second base, advanced to third on Matt McLain’s groundout to first leading off the 10th. India then hit a grounder and Friedl scored as Perez couldn’t corral third baseman Maikel Garcia’s low throw to the plate.
“The Friedl slide, that’s part of our game. The running, going on contact,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Jonathan had a great at-bat and TJ did exactly what you need to do to get his foot in just barely.”
Friedl was initially ruled out by plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, but the call was overturned following a replay review.
“This is what it’s supposed to feel like,” Bell said. “Especially the way it ended. It’s a lot of fun. Even though it was a little bit more difficult than you could ever want, it felt like it was a little bit meant to finish that way.”
Farmer (2-3) got five outs for the win and Ricky Karcher, called up from the minors Friday, pitched out of trouble in the 10th to earn the save in his major league debut.
“You can only dream to go in in a save opportunity in your first big league game,” Karcher said. “I’ve worked my whole life for this day. It’s awesome.”
“What a great way to start your career,” Bell said. “It doesn’t really get much more difficult than that, to find a way to navigate through that.”
Stuart Fairchild homered early for the Reds, who have won six of eight and are 3-3 in extra innings.
“With this team, every win we have is exciting,” Friedl said. “It’s been that way since April - all these wins for us are huge. Every game is competitive.”
Carlos Hernandez (0-4) took the loss for the reeling Royals, who have dropped 10 of 11. They are 0-3 in extra innings and have blown a lead in 23 losses this season, matching the Cardinals for most in the majors.
Kansas City (18-48) is tied with suddenly streaking Oakland (18-50) for the fewest wins in the majors.
The Royals jumped ahead on Michael Massey’s two-out, two-run double in the first. Massey had just two singles in 25 at-bats this month before doubling in each of his first two plate appearances.
Nick Pratto’s second-inning sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
Fairchild got Cincinnati on the scoreboard, hammering the first pitch of the third 421 feet to left-center for his third homer.
“So many guys made plays - very difficult things to do that led to the win,” Bell said. “It’s a great team win.”
The Reds tied it 3-all as Luke Maile and Friedl opened the sixth with consecutive doubles, chasing Royals starter Zack Greinke. He allowed three runs and six hits, striking out four with no walks.
“(Greinke) performed well,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “They’re patient, and he throws a lot of strikes, but he was able to attack them. He threw the ball well.”
Cincinnati starter Luke Weaver exited with two outs in the fifth, having allowed three runs on five hits and four walks.
Royals right fielder MJ Melendez threw out two runners trying for third base, helping curtail rallies in the first and seventh.
Kansas City left stranded 10, going 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
“We were challenged on some at-bats and missed some pitches to hit,” Quatraro said. “Other at-bats, hit the ball pretty well and didn’t get anything for it. I don’t think there’s one reason we didn’t drive guys in, but the end result is we didn’t. It’s been frustrating to not be able to open a game up.”
Royals OF Jackie Bradley Jr. was designated for assignment and OF Dairon Blanco was selected from Triple-A Omaha.
Reds LHP Brandon Williamson (0-0, 5.40 ERA) opposes Royals RHP Jordan Lyles (0-10, 6.84) on Tuesday night.
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