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'Whatever it takes' -- Reds off to 3-1 start after extra-inning victory

Apr. 2—The Cincinnati Reds won more often than not when games went to extra innings in 2023 and picked up right where they left off in their first extra-inning game of 2024 on Monday in Philadelphia.

Spencer Steer hit a grand slam in the 10th inning to lift the Reds (3-1) to a 6-3 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies (1-3).

"Whatever it takes," manager David Bell told reporters in Philadelphia after the game. "Whatever it takes."

The Reds were 10-5 in extra inning games last season. Since 2020, when Major League Baseball instituted the rule of teams starting extra innings with a runner on second base, the Reds are 28-18.

Bell credited the six pitchers who limited the Phillies to seven hits and two earned runs in 10 innings. Andrew Abbott allowed two earned runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings in his first start of the season.

"Andrew Abbott was great today," Bell said. "It was good to see him back and to see his fastball back to where where we've seen it when he's really good. He had both breaking balls working. Then our bullpen kind of took over from there and stepped up."

Alexis Diaz entered the game with runners at first and second and one out in the eighth inning. He got the second out by picking off by picking off the runner at second and got out of the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.

Diaz then pitched a perfect ninth. He earned the victory after taking the loss Saturday when he gave up three runs in the ninth inning in a 7-6 loss to the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park.

"The game's on the line there," Bell said. "The best hitter's coming up. We also had some guys that had pitched a lot over the last few days. We were trying to stay away from some of our pitchers. Ideally, you know, we're able to end the game while while Diaz is pitching but it took a little bit more."

In the 10th, with the Reds leading 6-2 after the grand slam by Steer, only the runner who started the inning at second base scored against Tejay Antone.

"Tejay stepped up and got the job done there after Diaz," Bell said, "but Diaz did a great job. It's a lot to ask, and he definitely came through."