CINCINNATI (AP) — Graham Ashcraft pitched six shutout innings to extend his impressive debut run, Joey Votto led an early homer barrage and the Cincinnati Reds beat the slumping Arizona Diamondbacks 14-8 Tuesday night.
Votto hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and Brandon Drury and Matt Reynolds added two-run drives within the first three innings for a 9-0 lead. The advantage stayed there until the game was delayed 63 minutes by rain after seven innings.
Tommy Pham contributed a solo homer and Tyler Stephenson a two-run blast in a five-run eighth for the Reds that ended with third baseman Jake Hager coming in to get the final out.
Ashcraft retired his first 10 batters after rotation-mate Hunter Greene retired his final 20 in Monday’s 7-0 victory. Pavin Smith singled off Ashcraft with one out in the fourth but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Ketel Marte followed with a clean single to end Arizona’s slump.
“I feel great,” Ashcraft said. “There is really not much more I can ask for. I’ve got guys making great plays behind me. I have a lot of support between family and teammates. I’m very happy with the things I’ve been doing and very grateful.”
Ashcraft (3-0) lowered his ERA to 1.14 over his first four major league starts while allowing three hits with four strikeouts.
“I’d like to think you can expect these kind of outings every time,” Ashcraft said. “I’m really just out there, giving it all I’ve got and throwing the dickens out of it.”
Ashcraft logged 11 groundball outs.
“It is really fun watching Graham pitch because he really is enjoying the competition,” manager David Bell said. “He takes it very serious and knows how tough it is but finding a way to enjoy what he’s doing.
“In some ways he gets better each time he goes out. The fastball is…