CINCINNATI (AP) — Davis Schneider hit a tiebreaking solo homer and Jordan Romano worked out of a jam in the ninth inning, sending the Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-3 victory over Elly De La Cruz and the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night.
Chris Bassitt pitched six efficient innings as Toronto (68-56) rebounded from a stretch of five losses in seven games. All-Star Bo Bichette hit an RBI single in his first big league game since July 31.
De La Cruz had two hits for Cincinnati (64-60), including a wild run around the bases in the fourth. TJ Friedl homered, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand collected two of the team’s six hits.
Schneider went deep against Brandon Williamson (4-3) with one out in the fifth, giving Toronto a 4-3 lead. It was Schneider’s third homer of the season.
“I missed a couple of pitches the first time up, but I was seeing it well,” said Schneider, who struck out his first two times up. “The second time, I made a couple of mistakes. The third time, I got a fastball and then a changeup up and I didn’t miss it.”
Cincinnati put runners on second and third with one out in the ninth against Romano, but the All-Star closer struck out Henry Ramos and retired Stuart Fairchild on a grounder to third for his 30th save.
“The bullpen was great,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “That was a big home run by Davis. We got the momentum back, but it came down to the bullpen. The bullpen kind of lined up.”
Bassitt (12-6) was charged with three runs, two earned, and three hits. He struck out six and walked one.
After Bassitt departed, Trevor Richards, Tim Mayza, Jordan Hicks and Romano combined for three scoreless innings. Hicks surrendered Encarnacion-Strand’s game-ending homer in the Blue Jays’ 1-0 loss on Friday in the opener of the weekend series between playoff contenders.
Toronto scored three times with two out in the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Daulton Varsho, Whit Merrifield and Bichette each hit an RBI single.
Bichette went 1 for 5 in his return to the lineup after he was sidelined by a right knee injury. Veteran infielder Paul DeJong, who was acquired in a trade with St. Louis on Aug. 1, was designated for assignment to make room for Bichette on the roster.
Cincinnati tied it at 3 with three runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Friedl led off with his 11th homer after the Reds went down in order in each of the first three innings. McLain then walked before De La Cruz hit a liner that caromed off the bottom of the wall in right.
McLain scored easily on the triple. Right fielder Cavan Biggio retrieved the ball and fired wildly back to the infield. The throw trickled through to foul territory beyond the third-base line, and De La Cruz raced home, beating third baseman Matt Chapman’s flip to the plate.
“I was running hard to third base and once I saw that ball was in the middle of nowhere, I knew I had to run hard to get to home plate.” De La Cruz said through an interpreter. “I was looking to see if they were sending (Matt) McLain home. When I saw that, I knew I had to go.”
Williamson was charged with four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. The rookie left-hander went 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA in his previous seven starts.
First baseman Joey Votto helped Williamson escape a bases-loaded jam in the second with a leaping grab of Merrifield’s two-out line drive.
ON THE BALL
Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. pointed out to plate umpire Phil Cuzzi in the ninth that the pitch timer had gone past zero, earning an automatic ball. Guerrero called time, stepped out of the batter’s box and pointed to his left wrist.
Blue Jays: OF George Springer (left ankle) was held out. He got hurt recently trying to beat out a double play. … RHP Chad Green (concussion) is expected to throw at Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday and Tuesday.
Reds: INF Kevin Newman (strained left oblique) was placed on the 10-day injured list, and INF Noelvi Marte was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. Marte, one of the team’s top prospects, made his big league debut as a pinch runner in the ninth.
Reds RHP Hunter Greene (2-4, 3.93 ERA) is expected to come off the injured list and start Sunday. He had been sidelined by a hip issue. LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (1-1, 2.57 ERA) is expected to start for the Blue Jays.