SAN DIEGO – In a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning, Cincinnati Reds reliever Heath Hembree thought he was going to silence the crowd.
With San Diego Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim at the plate with two outs, the San Diego Padres’ near sell-out crowd chanted ‘Let’s go Kim.’ Hembree dialed up a slider, which has been his best strikeout pitch this season.
Instead, Hembree allowed a two-run home run and took the loss in the Reds 7-5 loss to the Padres on Saturday. While Kim got a curtain call after rounding the bases, the Reds lost their third straight game and their bullpen allowed its 11th run over 9 ⅓ innings during this series.
“Honestly before I threw that pitch to Kim, I was excited about it,” Hembree said. “I thought I was going to shut up the whole stadium and sit everybody back down. But it didn’t go my way. I gave him a pitch to hit and he had a cool moment for himself.”
For the second time in the last three games, the Reds' offense rallied and put the game in the hands of its bullpen. On Saturday, Reds third baseman Eugenio Suárez hit a two-run single that tied the score at five runs in the fifth inning.
Hembree has been one of the Reds primary set-up relievers since Tejay Antone went on the injured list, but Hembree didn’t execute in the eighth inning versus the Padres.
“I think with Heath his stuff is really good when he executes it,” manager David Bell said. “That one looks like it just got too much of the plate. That's going to happen.”
In the first inning, Reds first baseman Joey Votto and manager David Bell were both ejected from the game.
In his first at-bat, Votto thought he checked his swing on a ruled strikeout swinging. Votto walked down the third base line and said something to third base umpire Chris Guccione. Then Votto appeared to hear something from home plate umpire Ryan Additon, and Votto turned around. A minute later, Votto and Reds manager David Bell were both ejected from the game.
“It looked like something happened where the home plate umpire may have said something to Joey,” Bell said. “Joey turned around and I just went out to try to keep Joey in the game. That was my goal.”
After they were ejected, Votto was face-to-face with home plate umpire Ryan Additon. Bell tried to box Votto out of the way. Multiple times, Votto tried to maneuver around Bell to make his point to the umpire.
Bell said he didn’t know what Additon said to Votto, but Additon’s words clearly sparked a reaction.
According to crew chief Jim Reynolds, Votto was ejected for his response to the home plate umpire.
“His actions were clear, he just lost control,” Reynolds said in a pool report. “I'm not quite sure what was said. I didn't get there in time for the ejection. Certainly, Joey's actions, to me, called for an ejection at that point.”