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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.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mariners Justin Smoak Send Arroyo Up In Flames

The Seattle Mariners hit home runs in the first inning of all three games of the series.

Nick Franklin hit the sixth home run of his 36-game career off Bronson Arroyo to jump start the Mariners in a 3-1 series finale win over the Reds.


Justin Smoak hit a home run to leftfield to provide all the offense that veteran Joe Saunders would need to defeat the Reds for the first time in his five career starts against them.

Arroyo finished with a quality start, allowing just the thre.e runs on five hits but didn't get any help from the Reds offense.

Saunders spread six hits over seven innings and turned the game over to Charlie Furbush and Tom Wilhelmsen, who slammed the door in the Reds' ruddy face.

Franklin hit a two-run home run in the first inning on Friday night.  Kyle Seager hit a two-run home run off Mat Latos on Saturday afternoon.

Franklin, the secondbaseman and Brad Miller, the shortstop both made their Major League debut since May.

“It didn’t surprise me," said Arroyo, who depends on setting up hitters which requires knowledge of the hitters habits. "They had a bunch of unknown guys. We don’t see a lot of the American League, especially the West. They came out and hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Still Arroyo didn't have the command that he requires to be successful.

“I was never really in a groove. It was a hard-fought battle," Arroyo said. "They had eight left-handers in the lineup. I needed a lot of max-effort pitches. I had to take every inning as a do-or-die effort just to give us a better shot at getting back in the game.”

Dusty Baker held Chris Heisey, who is coming off a strained hamstring injury, out of the lineup until today to match him with the left-handed Saunders.  Heisey hit two doubles and drove in Todd Frazier, who also doubled, to drive in the Reds' lone run.

A rain out Thursday moved the starting pitchers back a day.  Homer Bailey was originally scheduled to make his first start after his no-hitter Tuesday.  After a discussion with pitching coach Bryan Price the Reds decided it would be best in the long run to keep the pitchers in rotation.

The resulting match up worked against the Reds.

“We knew coming in that that would be a key," said Baker, who understands Arroyo is prone to the home run.  In fact Arroyo took over the Reds' all-time lead for home runs allowed. Arroyo passed Tom Browning and now has allowed 236 home runs in his Reds' career.

"Home runs are a big part of their offense," Baker said. "It’s an American League lineup – full of left-handers. We didn’t match up right. It didn’t work out right.”

Baker watched the Reds wilt in the sun after a week full of rain.

"We couldn’t get anything going," Baker said. "We hit the ball a lot harder than the scorebook showed. We didn’t have a lot to show for it.”

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