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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mariners and Aaron Harang Sink Reds

Aaron Harang pitched six innings in a triumphant return to Cincinnati in a 4-2 win for Seattle.

The big right-hander was in tears when it became clear that he would leave the Reds after the 2010 season.

"My little girl calls Cincinnati our baseball home," Harang said at the time.

Harang won 16 games for the Reds in 2006 and 2007 but his last three seasons were rough on him.  As a fly ball pitcher, short porch Great American Ball Park did not fit his style.  He pitched one season in his native San Diego before landing with the Mariners in April of this season.


Harang caught Mike Leake on an off night.

Brad Miller tripled to lead off the game.  Nick Franklin followed with a home run.

"They came out smoking," Dusty Baker said.  "Leaky was getting the ball up.  They had a lot of lefties and a lot of young hitters that you don't know how to set up."

Michael Saunders homered in the second and the Mariners scored their final run in the fourth when Saunders hit a sacrifice fly.

Harang allowed six hits in a walk but the Reds scored just twice. Devin Mesoraco singled with two outs in the fifth.  Pinch hitter Jack Hannahan followed with a single.  Shin-Soo Choo doubled down the leftfield line to score Mesoraco and put runners on second and third.  Zack Cozart grounded out.

"We had action but couldn't get the two-out hit.  That has haunted us all year," Baker said.

The night belonged to Harang.  It was the first time that he had been able to pitch on the Great American Ball Park mound on which he had so much success in his career.

"I finally got to start on the opposing side from this mound," said Harang, who still keeps in touch with his former teammates.  "I was a little nervous but it wasn't too bad.  I give credit to Bud Black in San Diego.  He rearranged the rotation in spring training that first year so I could face the Reds.  He told me  that i would be a nervous that first time and he wanted to get it out of the way in spring training.  I faced the Reds in San Diego later that year."

Joey Votto hit a home run off Harang to lead off the sixth and that was the extent of the Reds' offense.

"I still have a lot of friends here.  I still keep in touch with my neighbors.  My wife couldn't make it and she was bummed but it was too close a turnaround," Harang said.  "I text Ludwick all the time to see how he's doing.  We were roommates at Midland (in the Oakland A's organization). I was got a no-hitter alert on my phone Tuesday and watched the end of Homer's no-hitter.  I got to see him grow up.  He was so young and tried to do everything himself.  Now he asks questions and really wants to get  better."

Three Seattle relievers finished up for Harang.

Oliver Perez struck out the side in the ninth to get the save.

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