About Me

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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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bearcats Win First Game In AAC Era Over Purdue

The Cincinnati Bearcats played its first ever game as a member of the American Athletic Conference.

UC trounced Big 10 Conferences' Purdue Boilermakers 42-7.

It was Purdue's worst opening game loss since 1996 when Michigan State beat them 52-14.

Cincinnati is now 80-38-10 all-time in season opening games.

Cincinnati starting quarterback Munchi Legaux threw an interception on the first offensive play  of the year.

That play immediately followed an interception by Nick Temple on the Bearcats first defensive series of the season.

Purdue had a first and goal at Cincinnati's five yard line and it looked like the Boilermakers' day, but B.J. Knauf was thrown for a two-yard loss by Jordan Stepp and Jeff Luc.  Purdue quarterback Rob Henry was sacked for an 8-yard loss by Silverberry Mouhon.  Henry fumbled but Purdue recovered on the 16.  A delay of game penalty pushed Purdue back to the 22 yardline.

Paul Griggs missed a 39-yard field goal attempt.

Purdue's first year coach Darrell Hazell brought in a new offense.  Purdue had problems executing it the entire game.

"We didn't execute in all phases," Hazell said.  "We had communications problems  We took too long in the huddle which caused us to rush."

Legaux sprinted into the endzone from 10 yards out with 13:39 left in the second quarter.

The teams played evenly for 10 minutes but Purdue broke through with a score with 3:26 left in the half.

With Purdue pinned down on a fourth and 17 on its own five, Cody Webster launched a 73-yard punt that Anthony McClung had to sprint toward his own goal line to field.  The punt was off his fingertips and Jesse Schmitt won the scramble for the loose ball at the Cincinnati 11.

Akeem Hunt picked up four yards.  Henry scored Purdue's only points of the game with a 7-yard run.

Legaux led UC on a 75-yard drive in seven plays, completing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Blake Annen with 17 seconds left.

The Bearcats turned the game into a rout the second half, scoring two touchdowns in each quarter.

Ralph David Abernathy IV seored on a 3-yard run midway through the third quarter.  Two minutes later Adrian Witty returned an interception 41-yards for a touchdown.

Purdue managed just 33 yards of offense in the third quarter.

"We only ran 60 plays all game," Hazell said.  "We had too many three and outs."

Hosey Williams, a junior college transfer from Miami, Florida, scored on a 30-yard run with 13:31 left in the game.  Tion Green, a sophomore from Sanford, Florida capped the scoring with a 1-yard run with 6:50 left.  Brendon Kay's 51-yard pass to Chris Moore set up the score.  Green carried the ball for 27 yards on four straight runs.

Purdue's last drive of 54-yards in nine plays ended on a fourth and nine, incomplete pass.

Bearcats In Command Over Purdue

Cincinnati scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take command of the game against the Purdue Boilermakers.

Ralph David Abernathy IV scampered over left guard to score from three yards out.

Adrian Witty returned an interception 41 yards for another score.

Tony Millano is 4-for-4 on extra-point attempts.

The Bearcats have 293 yards of total offense to Purdue's 111 yards.

The Bearcats take a 28-7 lead into the fourth quarter.

UC Takes Halftime Lead

Munchie Legaux scored on t 10-yard run in the second quarter to give Cincinnati a 7-0 lead over Purdue.


The Cincinnati stopped the Boilermaker offense to setup the go-ahead score.  Putdue had a first and goal from the UC five but lost 17 yards in three plays.  A 39-yard field goal attempt by Paul Griggs was wide left.

Legaux ran the ball into the endzone to capitalize on the opportunity.

The Cincinnati defense pinned the Boilermakers inside its own 10 with three minutes left in the half.

A booming punt by Cody Webster sailed over the head of Anthony McClung'x head.  The wide receiver/return man couldn't make an over the shoulder catch at the UC 20. The ball rolled off his fingertips with Purdue recovering the fumble at the Cincinnati seven.

Purdue quarterback Rob Henry scored on a keeper on the first play.

Leguax led the Bearcats on a 75-yard drive on seven plays.  He tossed a touchdown pass to Blake Annen with 17 seconds left in the half to provide UC's 14-7 halftime lead.

Cincinnati Hosts Purdue In The Season Opener

The University of Cincinnati Bearcats starts its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference.  The Purdue Boilermakers provide the oppositions.

The two teams met one time before.  Purdue won a 19-14 decision on September 2, 2001 at Nippert Stadium.

Both coaches are new to their respective programs.

Tommy Tubberville has 17 years of head coaching experience, the last three at Texas Tech.

Darrel Hazell was the head coach at Kent State the last two season, leading the Golden Flash (11-3) to its first bowl game in 40 years.

Colerain Gets Off To A Fast Start Against Florida Opponent

Colerain hasn't changed a bit according to Brian Dodds. Dodds, now the coach of the Park Vista Cobras from Lake Worth, Florida, saw enough of the Colerain option while coaching at Princeton High School.

 "We were worried about their option," Dodds said after Colerain rushed for 470-yards and five touchdowns in 45-27 Colerain win in the Skyline Crosstown Showdown.

Senior and first-year quarterback Kelvin Cook scored two rushing touchdowns and threw for a third.

"We don't see a lot of option in Florida. It is very hard to simulate in practice. We tried to score with them but with the talent they have. We just weren't able to do it," Dodds said.

Colerain scored three touchdowns before Park Vista's Emmanuel Smith returned a kickoff 93 yards for its first soore.

Smith provided 198 yards of total offense with three touchdown. The senior ran 41 yards for one score and caught a pass from Qwad Martin that covered 62 yards.

The Cobras traded touchdowns with the Cardinals the rest of the game, never getting to within the one score that Dodds felt would give his team a chance.

"We tried ro score with them," Dodds said.  "We wanted to get within one score and put pressure on them to make a mistake.  We made two mistakes and they didn't make on all night."

Cook attempted three passes with one completion but that was a 15-yard scoring strike to TJ Dula.

The Cobras struck quickly with the long pass from Martin to Smith, to close to within 28-13, then had a chance in Colerain territory to tighten the game two minutes before halftime.
Ryan Williamson intercepted Martin's pass to stop the Cobras threat.

Cook ran for 169 yards and DeTuan Smith carried 26 times for 223 yards for the Cardinals, making a success of Cook's first varsity start at quarterback.  He started at wide receiver last season as a junior.

“I was feeling normal,” Cook said. “Just this being my first game, I had butterflies and everything. Our plan was to get the lead and keep running up the score. They got a couple scores, but the defense played really good."

Senior linebacker Aric Johnson intercepted Park Vista senior quarterback Qwad Martin at the Colerain 15 with 8:19 to play in the fourth quarter to squash a bit of momentum for the Cobras in what was then a 35-20 game.

Park Vista had just moved inside the Colerain 30 after an offisides penalty on the Cards and had a third-and-5 at the 25 when Martin’s pass was tipped near the line of scrimmage. Johnson corralled it and moved to the 28.

Several plays later, senior fullback DeTuan Smith carried through the middle for a two-yard touchdown run to make it 42-20. A late Park Vista touchdown cut the lead to 15 again, but that was as close as the Cobras got.

“I love giving it to DeTuan,” Cook said. “I can trust DeTuan.”

Friday, August 30, 2013

Colerain Leads At The Half

TJ Dula caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kelvin Cook to put Colerain up 28-7

Senior quaterback Qwad Martin found Emmanuel Smith for a 62-yard pass play with two minutes left in the half.  The kick failed.

Colerain 28
Park Vista 13

Colerain and Park Vista Trade Touchdowns

DeTuan Smith Moore scored on a 1-yard run.
Zack Gehner's third extra-poin was good.

But Emmanuel Smith returned the kickoff 93-yards to put the Cobras on the scoreboard.  Gabe MOntes converted from placement to make the score

Colerain 21
Park Vista 7

Colerain Scores Again

Kelvin Cook scored his second touchdown of the game on a 7-yard run. The Cardinals drove 47 yards in five plays with 10:34 left in the first half.

Zack Gehner's kick was good.

Colerain 14
Park Vista 0

Colerain Takes An Early Lead

Colerain scores first against Park Vista, Florida.
Kelvin Cook completes a 60-yard drive with a 3-yard run.

Zack Gehner's kick was good.

Colerain 7
Park Vista 0

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Brewers Send Reds To St Louis With Frowns

Every series, every game is big this time of year.

The Reds came off a successful four-game series against Arizona.  The Reds daylight between themselves and the Diamondbacks for the last NL wild card spot by winning three of four games this week.

The next project is to catch the St. Louis Cardinals, who are tied with Pittsburgh for the NL Central lead, just 2-1/2 games ahead of Cincinnati.  The Reds play seven out of its next 10 games against the Cardinals.

But there was a matter of the Milwaukee Brewers between the Reds and its big adventure.

The two teams split the first two games.  The Brewers prevailed Sunday with a 3-1 win.

The Reds sent Greg Reynolds to the mound replacing the injured Tony Cingrani, who was replacing the injured Johnny Cueto.  Reynolds mission was to save the bullpen for St. Louis, oh and by the way, beat the Brewers.

He was pretty close to accomplishing both.  Unfortunately, the Reds hitters were facing the good Marco Estrada, as opposed to the bad Marco Estrada.

The Mexican born pitcher, who attended Cal State Long Beach, returned to the mound August 6 after recovering from a strained hamstring.  In four starts, including Sunday's, Estrada has a 2-0 record with a 1.88 ERA.

The Reds had a chance to jump on Estrada in the first inning.

Shin-Soo Choo opened the game with a single.  He stole second after Todd Frazier flied out.  As Joey Votto was drawing a walk, Choo stole third.  The Reds centerfielder knocked the ball out of thirdbaseman Aramis Ramirez hands.  With Ramirez laying on the turf in foul territory, Votto took second.  Brandon Phillips lined out to a charging Carlos Gomez in center.  Choo started to go home after the catch but stopped.  The throw skipped past the catcher Jonathan Lucroy.  The ball bounced off the backstop right to Estrada, backing up on the play.  Choo was thrown out at home to end the inning.

The Reds wouldn't see another baserunner for five innings.

Estrada retired 16 batters in a row starting with Phillips, including six in a row by strikeout.

"Estrada had a good change up today," Dusty Baker said.  "We knew it was coming but it was a good one.  When I played, I knew Mario Soto had a good one too.  Next to a well placed fastball, a good change up is the best pitch in baseball."

Reynolds was pretty good himself but not quite as sharp as Estrada.  He hit Gomez with a pitch then gave up a home run to Caleb Gindl.  Gindl homered in his second straight plate appearance.  He hit one as a pinch hitter against Bronson Arroyo on Saturday.

"It was a cutter.  I was trying to get it inside a little more," Reynolds said.

Reynolds pitched six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, a hit batter and two walks.  His mission to save the bullpen was a success.  Baker had to cover three innings with his bullpen.

"I could have been a little better at executing pitches," Reynolds said.  "I threw more balls than I'm used to.  I was falling behind a lot."

The Brewers added a run of Manny Parra on a leadoff, seventh inning single by Yuniesky Betancourt, a sacrifice and single by Jean Segura, which came of Sam LeCure.

Estrada had enough after seven innings.  He allowed one hit and two walks.

"Estrada made his pitches today," said Jay Bruce, who has four home runs off Estrada and a .429 batting average.  "When he does that he's tough.  In my first at-bat I chased a few pitches.  I my second at-bat, I didn't finish it.  That has been my problem lately.  I foul off pitches, I should hit."

Bruce hit a long line drive that hooked foul just before clearing the fence.

"We didn't make him pitch from the stretch," Zack Cozart said.  "He was pretty comfortable out there.  We didn't have a lot of base runners."

The Reds' opened the eighth with two hits off Brandon Kintzler by Devin Mesoraco and pinch hitter Ryan Ludwick but Cozart bounced into a force out.  Chris Heisey and Choo struck out.

The Reds only score came on Votto's 20th home run in the ninth inning off Jim Henderson, who has converted his last 11 save opportunities.  Votto is now alone in 15th place on the Reds all-time list with 152, one ahead of Joe Morgan and Pete Rose.

Cervilio Amador Throws To Aroldis Chapman On Sunday

Two Cuban performers were 'on stage" at Great American Ball Park Sunday.

Aroldis Chapman adopted a much different position other than his customary spot on top of the mound.  This time he faced the bump from a squat behind home plate.

Fellow Cuban Cervilio Amador was in Chapman's normal spot.

Amador is the principal performer for the Cincinnati Ballet.

Amador to Chapman
Al Berhman AP
On Sunday Amador threw out the first pitch after showing the "tourn en l'air" move on the mound. Chapman caught the throw.

Amador and Chapman both defected from Cuba.  Amador left the island in 2003; Chapman in 2009.

They met at a birthday party of an mutual friend.  A couple of Cuban natives, working for Proctor and Gamble have reached out to Amador and Chapman to form a tiny Cuban sub community in the Queen City.

Dusty Baker has visited Cuba a couple times.  Baker paid attention to the Cuban culture while there.

"The arts are big in Cuba," Baker said.  "They take kids at an early age and put them in schools for the arts."

Baker also respects the art of ballet.  He suggested that Todd Frazier seek a ballet dancer to help develop his footwork.

"Pound for pound ballet dancers and gymnasts are the strongest people that I know about," Baker said.

Brewers Now But Cardinals Are In The Bushes

Dusty Baker is gearing up for the coming week, even though the Brewers are on the front burner.

Seven of the Reds' next ten games are against their arch enemy, the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinal is a bird that lives in the hedges on the outside of the forest.  The Reds hope to shake those bushes for a couple wins.

The Reds leave for St. Louis after they play the Brewers in a three-game series.  They get their first day off after a stretch of 20 in a row, then play three games in Colorado. After a 4:10 (Cincinnati time) game in Denver, the Reds open with a Labor Day 1:10 game to open a four-game series against the Cards.

Baker is setting the Reds up for the Cardinals.  

Xavier Paul is in the lineup today to stay sharp.  

"All the pennant winners I've been on you win from your bench.  They can either stop a losing streak or help maintain a winning streak.  I remember the strike year in '81, Jay Johnstone helped win both games of a doubleheader the last few days before the strike.  It allowed us (LA Dodgers) to be up by a half game over the Reds. Houston won the second half.  The Reds had the best record in baseball and didn't go.  We went on to win the World Series."

"He probably won't start in the Cardinals series but he will be in the equation," Baker said of Paul.  "You have to play them sometimes to stay sharp.  Those 0-for-1s are tough, real tough.  Most of the time you're facing one of their better pitchers out of the bullpen."

On Saturday he gave Jay Bruce a rest.  Ryan Ludwick played three days in a row and seems to have found his stroke but he is less than two weeks removed from the disabled list and is not in playing shape yet.  Ludwick is not in Sunday's lineup.

"You're not supposed to look ahead but it is a reality," Baker said.  "It's going to be a tough turnaround on Labor Day.  We get in late and start early."

Baker would rather face the teams closest to him.

"You'd rather have it like that than depend on somebody else," Baker said.

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Greg Reynolds Will Pitch For The Reds On Sunday Tony Cingrani Will Go On DL

Greg Reynolds will start for the Reds' against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

"It will give Cingrani a chance to throw a couple bullpens and get his back some treatment so he can start against the Cardinals on September 5th," Dusty Baker said after the Reds' 6-3 win over the Brewers.

Bronson Arroyo And Reds Comeback Strong

It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville Nine that day.  Bronson Arroyo knew the feeling but then he's been there before.  The Reds scored a 6-3 win that looked doubtful in the early innings.

After an easy first inning against the powerful Milwaukee Brewers, Arroyo was pounded in the second inning and was fortunate to hold Milwaukee to two runs.

Aramis Ramirez singled hard to open the frame.  Carlos Gomez, who was scalding the ball before an injury intervened, scalded another pitch to centerfield for a single.  New Reds' killer, Kris Davis hit a line drive just short of the seats in left to score Ramirez, leaving runners on second and third with no outs.  Scooter Gennett picked up Gomez with a sacrifice fly to center.  Arroyo got Martin Maldonado on a pop fly to thirdbaseman Jack Hannahan who was drawn in and had to sprint to make the catch.  Wily Peralta, the Brewers starting pitcher struck out.

"It started out a little rough.  Bronson can do that sometimes and settle down and the next thing you know you're in the seventh," Dusty Baker said.  "His pitch count was relatively low but we also know that he can unravel rather quickly."

As Arroyo was settling in, allowing just two base runners over the next five innings, the Reds were hitting the ball hard but frustrating themselves.

Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips singled with two outs in the first off Peralta but ended up with nothing to show for it as Ryan Ludwick popped out to shallow left.

"The first at-bat it was a curve ball.  My eyes saw it as a hanger.  My body leaked.  It's rhythm and timing," Ludwick said.

Ryan Hanigan added a two-out single in the second.

Shin-Soo Choo walked to open the third but was thrown out attempting a steal.  Chris Heisey followed with a single but was stranded.

Ludwick opened the fourth with a single.  Hannahan hit s shot to the left centerfield gap but Gomez and shortstop Jean Segura threw Ludwick out at the plate.  Zack Cozart hit a hard one-hop ground ball to a drawn-in Ramirez at thirdbase.  Hanigan was hit by a pitch but Arroyo grounded out.

"After I broke my bat getting that hit, I thought they would try to pitch me in," Ludwick said.

"It was frustrating on my part. We had that runner on third and I didn't get him in," Cozart said.

Heisey hit his eighth home run of the season off Peralta in the fifth.  Peralta completed the inning out but was finished for the night.

The home team teed off on John Axford.  Ludwick hit his first home run of the season to start the sixth.  Hannahan singled.  Cozart put the Reds on top, 4-2 with his 10th home run.

"It was amazing after that at-bat I felt like Superman," said Ludwick, who will get Sunday off after playing three games in a row.  "I was actually more thrilled about the ball I hit at the shortstop (line-out in the seventh) than I was the home run.  I hit it harder than the home run. It was more pure.  I stayed behind the ball; there was no hook or sink to it. That's my swing.  The home run's not my swing.  I got around the ball and had top spin."

"I haven't done to well off Axford," Cozart said.  "I don't think I've had a hit off him my whole career.  I was just trying to battle and put a ball in play much less hit a home run.  It's cool to contribute like this."

It was an encouraging sign for Baker and his teammates.

"It was big to see Cozart come through," Baker said. "He's been getting a lot of criticism and that kind of  bothers him.  You know and I know that he's better than he's been playing and it will be good to get him hot down the stretch.  Heisey is getting hot too.  We hope to get everybody clicking."

Votto hit his 19th home run of the season off Mike Gonzalez. It was the 152nd home run of Votto's career, putting him in Big Red Machine company with Joe Morgan and Pete Rose in a tie for 15th place on the Reds' all-time list.

Arroyo went out for the eighth inning but it was evident that he was out of gas.  Pinch hitter Caleb Gindl homered to right.  Norichika Aoki singled.  That hit signaled the end for Arroyo, who notched his 13th win of the season, besting last year's win total with six starts left.

"It was a good win for us as a whole the bullpen got some rest," Arroyo said.  "That second inning they hit some balls that surprised me that they hit.  Some were hit hard.  Luckily, I salvaged that inning by only giving up two runs.  If you give up the third one it makes a bit of a difference.  We stayed steady, steady, steady and took the lead.  Sometimes it can be more satisfying than taking the lead right off the bat.  You kind of Dusty likes to call it 'slow walking' somebody."

J.J. Hoover replaced Arroyo but gave up an infield hit to Segura.  Hoover coaxed Jonathan Lucroy to hit a weak ground ball to Phillips at second.  It was hit too slowly for a conventional double play but Phillips ran at Segura causing him to retreat before throwing to Votto to retire Lucroy.  Votto, Cozart and Phillips had Segura in a rundown as  Aoki eyed home plate.  Phillips applied the tag to get Segura.  He had ideas of throwing to third to complete a triple play but wisely held the ball.   Hoover finished the inning, getting Ramirez to ground out to Cozart.

"It was a heads-up play by Phillips," Baker said.

Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the top of the ninth to notch his 33rd save in 38 chances.  Chapman hit a batter but struck out the side.

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Greg Reynolds Plays Geico For Reds

The Reds don't know how Tony Cingrani is going to respond to treatment.

Cingrani the Reds' rookie lefthander, who is already in the rotation because of an injury, may not be able to make his scheduled Sunday start against Milwaukee.  Cingrani made an early exit from his start Tuesday with a strained lower back.

Greg Reynolds pitched for the Reds in San Francisco when the Reds played a makeup game on the coast.

The Reds brought him to Cincinnati in case Cingrani is not available.

"He's our guy if Cingrani can't go.  We will make that decision probably tonight after we see how his treatment goes," Dusty Baker said.  "If he starts tomorrow, Reynolds could be here to make the next start.  We can't really afford for something to happen to Cingrani and he has a short outing.  We don't want to use up our bullpen going into St. Louis."

Reynolds has made 21 starts in Louisville and has fashioned a 12-3 record with a 2.42 ERA.  His last start was a complete game win over Rochester that stopped a 12-game losing streak for the Bats.

His regular turn would be Sunday.

"I'll be ready if they call my name for sure," Reynolds said.  "We are all about routines.  Sometimes when you have an extra day off you're not as sharp."

The game near his hometown was filled with adrenaline and off-field distractions.

"I will be a little more comfortable this time," Reynolds said.  "Just from having met the guys.  In San Francisco things were moving a little fast in that first inning.  I don't anticipate that will be an issue again.  There will be some adrenaline but I'm sure I'll be able to handle it just fine.  There was a lot of other stuff that went along with that start.  Family was there.  There were a lot of friends coming out to the game.  There was definitely a lot of stuff going on."

Reynolds allowed three first-inning runs in his July 23 start against the Giants in the second game of a doubleheader.  He finished five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk.  He also hit a batter that caused his first inning to go sour on him.

Reynolds, a 28-year old 6'7" righthanded pitcher from Stanford University,  was the first pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2006.  He was the second player taken overall in that draft.

Shoulder problems derailed his career.

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Jay Bruce Gets Rare Day Off

Even though Jay Bruce is struggling and has played more innings of baseball than anyone else in the major leagues, the Reds' rightfielder voiced a mild objection to getting a day off.

"I protested a little bit," said Bruce of his Friday night post-game meeting with Dusty Baker in the manager's office.  "I would never ask for a day off but he explained it and I appreciate it."

Baker has noticed a slightly slower bat but knows from his playing days that fatigue leads to a lack of concentration.

"I talked to him last night.  He wanted to play but he understood," Baker said.  "Off days are coming up every Thursday except one.  The magnitude of the series we're playing, we couldn't afford to give him an off day then.  It's as much a mental off day as much as anything else.  When you're fatigued you start missing pitches or fouling pitches off.  There is less than a tenth of an inch between a pop up or foul ball and a home run."

Bruce admitted that a day off could help.

"I felt great all year but he told me to come in a little later and not do much.  He's pretty adamant about giving guys a rest when he thinks they need it.  I respect that.  An off day could definitely help.  It is just hard to take one off when every game is so important," Bruce said.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Brewers Big Eighth Bust Reds

Homer Bailey started for the Reds.  He kept the Brewers quiet for two innings but local kid, Scooter Gennet singled to open the third.  Yovani Gallardo bunted Gennett to second.  Norichika Aoki singled to put the visitors on the scoreboard.

Brandon Phillips singled and Ryan Ludwick walked in the fourth inning.  Zack Cozart hit a line drive into the gap in leftcenter.  Carlos Gomez fumbled the ball, allowing Ludwick to score along with Phillips to put the Reds up 2-1.

Khris Davis hit the first of his two home runs off Bailey in the sixth inning with Aramis Ramirez on base, giving the Brewers the lead back.

Phillips hit a long home run to center to tie the game in the sixth.

Logan Ondrusek pitched a scoreless seventh inning but was removed for a pinch hitter.

Alfredo Simon walked Ramirez to open the eighth.  Davis struck again with his second two-run home run of the game, his eighth of the year..  One out later, Gennett lined a disputed home run into the first row of seats in righfield.  Dusty Baker asked for a review but the call on the field was confirmed 2:55 later by replay.  Simon gave up a double to pinch hitter Yuniesky Betancourt before Baker brought in Nick Christiani to make his major league debut.

"Homer missed his location a couple times," Dusty Baker said.  "We contemplated sending him out for one more inning.  The last time out he threw 118 pitches and this would have been a lot of pitches back-to-back.  He usually fights you (to stay in the game) but he didn't this time."

Bailey threw 100 pitches in six innings before Baker removed Bailey from the game after the sixth.  He pitched four innings allowing six hits and three runs.  He walked two and struck out five.

"Physically, I felt fine," Bailey said.  "I cruised through four innings.  One of the mistakes I made ended up costing me.  We got Davis out a couple times going inside.  Well, one time he walked on a checked swing that was a questionable call to say the least.  I decided to stick with the plan.  I should have done a better job of mixing up pitches.  It is probably my fault.  I'll know for next time."

Simon made his 10th appearance for August.  Coming into the game, Simon pitched 11-1/3 innings for the month, allowing two earned runs for a 1.59 ERA.  The Reds have played 20 games in August with three days off.

"It was uncharacteristic of Simon," Baker said.  "It may be a sign of fatigue.  It may be a sign of the guy over there.  Davis has some pop in his bat.  He's one of the best young players to come into the league."

Jonathan Broxton Is Out For The Rest Of The Season

Jonathan Broxton is finished for the year.

He had surgery to repair the torn flexor mass in his right forearm this morning.

Dr. Timothy Kremchek performed the surgery which will require a six month rehabilitation period.

"It could have been more severe," said Dusty Baker, looking on the bright side.  "If there is a silver lining it is that it wasn't in his elbow."

Baker was asked if the development would cause acceleration of Sean Marshal's program to fill the void.

"You can't put him on the fast track because someone else got hurt," Baker said.  "You would just take the risk of hurting Marshall worse. It's not the uniform it is the people in the uniform.  Some people think the uniform is superman's cape."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sam LeCure Rescues Mat Latos And The Reds

Dusty Baker didn't know before the game who his closer would be. His eventual choice came through. 

Sam LeCure survived two ninth inning hits to save the game for Mat Latos and the Reds.

Shin-Soo Choo scored in the eighth inning on Arizona's fourth wild pitch of the game, and the Cincinnati Reds raced to an improbable 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Thursday. Choo scored both Cincinnati runs, helping the Reds to their third win in the four-game series. Cincinnati (73-55) improved to a season-high 18 games over .500 and increased its lead over Arizona to seven games in the race for the National League's second wild-card playoff spot.

Choo singled to lead off the eighth against reliever Eury De La Rosa (0-1) and moved to second when De La Rosa's pickoff attempt rolled away from first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Todd Frazier sacrificed Choo to third, and Choo scored when ball four to Joey Votto was a wild pitch.

Mat Latos (13-4) went eight innings in spite of getting sick before he took the mound for the win. In his previous three starts, Latos had received only five runs of offensive support.

Baker was forced to use his closer Aroldis Chapman for two innings Wednesday night, making him unavailable Thursday.

LeCure was brought on to earn his first major league save.

"Sam is our utility guy. He can go long or short. He has big...lot of guts," said Baker as he caught himself.

Latos made the most of two runs on Thursday, allowing just one run and five hits to Arizona. Latos struck out seven, didn't walk anyone and hit one batter with a pitch.

"I was sick right before the first inning," said Latos, who couldn't even keep water down. "I was sick again in the fifth inning. It's gone now but I didn't have anything left in the tank."

Latos managed to save the bullpen.

"Latos gave us what we wanted," Baker said. "A security guard told me he was vomiting underneath the stands."

Arizona starter Trevor Cahill, in his second start since coming off the disabled list, allowed four hits and one run. He walked three, struck out seven and threw three wild pitches - all in the third inning. 

"He struggled that inning," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "They scored two runs on four wild pitches and an error. It's very frustrating, disappointing."

Cahill allowed two hits but still faced the minimum 12 batters over his final four innings, with help from a caught-stealing and a double-play ball.

In the third, the Reds put runners on second and third with one out. Brandon Phillips jumped on the opportunity with a run-scoring groundout for a 1-0 lead. Cahill entered the game with 11 wild pitches this season, and now has a major league-high 14.

The Diamondbacks took a more conventional route in getting even 1-1 in fourth. Adam Eaton and Goldschmidt led off with singles, Arizona's first hits off of Latos. Martin Prado hit into a double play, but Aaron Hill rapped a sharp one-hopper that third baseman Frazier couldn't handle. Hill was credited with a run-scoring infield hit.

LeCure told himself he needed three outs like any other inning.

"I didn't want to even let myself think of being the closer. I knew there was a possibility," LeCure said. "Chapman is our closer but I did tell him to watch out."

Baker selected LeCure because he is fearless.

"He doesn't have the best stuff but he's not afraid," Baker said. "Sam was the best man. He knows how to pitch. I knew he wouldn't get rattled if there were runners on."

 NOTES: Cincinnati RHP Jonathan Broxton is expected to have surgery after he was placed on the disabled list with a strained right forearm. ... The Reds moved RHP Johnny Cueto to the 60-day disabled list to open a roster spot for RHP Nick Christiani, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville. ... Arizona C Miguel Montero was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. INF Willie Bloomquist was 2-for-3 with a run scored on Wednesday while on rehab assignments with the team's rookie-level Arizona League affiliate. ... LHP Wade Miley (9-8) is Arizona's scheduled starter in Friday's opener of a three-game series at Philadelphia ... RHP Homer Bailey (8-10) is due to start at home for the Reds against Milwaukee.

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Jonathan Broxton Disabled - Johnny Cueto Moved To 15-Day DL - Nick Christiani Contract Selected

Dusty Baker's nightmare continues.

The Reds were forced to place Jonathan Broxton on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor mass strain in his right forearm.  Broxton will need surgery.

The Reds transferred Johnny Cueto from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

The move allows the Reds to select the contract of RHP Nick Christiani from Louisville.

Christiani was the Reds' 13th round pick in the 2009 draft.  The 25-year old was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey and lives in Linden, New Jersey.  Christiani is a 2005 graduate of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, New Jersey.  He was drafted by Cleveland out of Vanderbilt University in the 32nd round but did not sign.

Christiani was 6-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 47 relief appearances for Louisville this season.  He has pitched 53-1/3 innings with 46 strikeouts and 15 walks.

"Christiani has been throwing the ball well," Baker said.  "Curtis Partch is just coming back from a triceps injury."

Baker had to pull Tony Cingrani out of a start on Tuesday with a lower back strain.

"This Broxton thing is kind of a downer," Baker said.  "But you can't stay down too long.  It's a pretty big blow.  He was throwing 97, 96."

Baker had to use Aroldis Chapman to complete a two-inning save on Wednesday.

"I don't know who the closer is today but it won't be Chapman," Baker said.

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Shin-Soo Choo And A Full Moon Combine For Strange Reds Win

The game was played under a full moon. Shin-Soo Choo led off the game with a home run that was barely fair down the leftfield line.  The game continued to take strange turns.

Choo went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs to spark Cincinnati's offensive outburst in a 10-7 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

The Reds opened an 8-0 lead through four innings but had to hold on tight at the end.

"It was the epitome of a full moon," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.  "We were riding easy 8-0, then all the sudden it was 8-4. A lot of stuff happened.  Those guys (Diamondbacks) didn't give up.

The Reds opened up a six-game lead over Arizona in the race for the National League's second wild-card spot.

Cincinnati remained third in the NL Central, but moved to 2½ games behind first-place Pittsburgh, who lost at San Diego.

Mike Leake allowed four runs in the fifth inning, but was dominant in his other five innings for first win in his past five start

Leake (11-5) allowed six hits and four runs with no walks and three strikeouts while the Reds were building an 8-0 lead.

"I was mixing and matching and keeping them off balance," Leake said. "Two pitches got me. Sometimes that happens. Fortunately, we had an eight-run lead. It ended up being a stressful game."

The Diamondbacks added three runs against the Cincinnati bullpen before Aroldis Chapman finished for his 32nd save and first career two-inning save.

Baker was forced to take Jonathan Broxton out of the game in the eighth inning with soreness in his elbow. Broxton spent five weeks on the disabled list, returning on August 6.

"It was disheartening to go get Broxton," said Baker, who went to his closer Aroldis Chapman an inning early. "I went out with (pitching coach) Bryan Price. BP said, 'he's done.'"

The umpire asked Baker who he wanted and he indicated that he wanted Chapman. That answer prevented Baker from making a double-switch with the pitcher's spot due up third in the bottom of the eighth.

"That's the first time I've ever experienced something like that," Baker said. "I was so worried about Broxton."

Ironically, Kirk Gibson and Baker had a heated discussion in March about use of the designated hitter in a spring training game.

Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips added RBI singles in the eighth, giving the Reds their highest run total since winning 11-0 at San Francisco on July 22.

Frazier fought off a bad pitch that landed out of the reach of shortstop Didi Gregorius.

"It was an ugly swing with good results," Baker said.

Frazier was as surprised as anyone the ball fell for a hit.

"It's crazy," Frazier said. "I was talking to (Will) Nieves at the plate about what a game it was. We were laughing at each other.  It's humbling. It's weird. It's confusing at times. No matter what, you get a W at the end, you're happy.  I don't know what I was doing, man. I was confused. He (Brad Ziegler) has a nasty slider. It started two feet behind me and I thought that's going to come back in. I kind of jumped out of the way. My body did its own thing and away it went."

Choo hit Brandon McCarthy's second pitch of the game 337 feet down the left field line, where the ball appeared to hit the lens of a TV camera just inside the foul pole.

The homer was Choo's 16th of the season, his sixth leadoff homer of the season and 11th of his career.

The Reds had four straight two-out hits to open up a 4-0 lead in the second. Leake lofted a ground-rule double down the right field line that bounced into the netting above the visitor's bullpen to drive in one run, and Choo drove in two more with a single to center.

Chris Heisey added an RBI double and Devin Mesoraco made it 7-0 with a two-run single up the middle through a drawn-in Arizona infield. That knocked McCarthy (2-8) out of the game after a season-low 2-1/3 innings.

He allowed eight hits and a season-high seven runs with one walk and two strikeouts while slipping to 0-5 in his past seven starts.

Choo narrowly missed hitting his second home run of the game leading off the fourth inning, settling for a double off the top of the left field wall and scoring on Joey Votto's single.

The Diamondbacks broke through against Leake with four runs in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Jason Kubel delivered a two-run single and Adam Eaton followed on Leake's next pitch with his second homer of the season, a 367-foot drive into the visitors' bullpen.

Prado added a run-scoring single off J.J. Hoover in the seventh and Gerardo Parro led off the eighth with his ninth homer, a fly ball off Jonathan Broxton that hit the top of the left field wall and bounced back onto the field. before the umpires ruled it a homer after a 3:02 replay delay.

"We played our tails off," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said of his offense. "They did a heck of a job."

Chapman pitched more than one inning for the first time this year. He also struck out in his first major league at-bat.

"He has to work on his bunting," Baker said.  "We let him swing away. He's a good athlete.  He can swing the bat and is probably one of our fastest players. We hoped that he would hit one in the gap so people could see it."

Notes: Chapman struck out in the eighth in his first career plate appearance. ... Broxton, who missed almost two months this season with an elbow injury, walked off the field with a Reds' trainer after facing two batters in the eighth. ... Cincinnati LHP Tony Cingrani is scheduled to make his regular start on Sunday despite leaving Tuesday's game in the fourth inning with a lower back strain. ... Reds RHP Johnny Cueto, who's in his third stint on the disabled list with a strained muscle behind his right shoulder, played catch Wednesday, the first time he's thrown since going on the DL on June 29. ... RHP Trevor Cahill (4-10), who snapped a six-game losing streak with a win in Pittsburgh in his previous start, is Arizona's scheduled starter in Thursday's series finale against RHP Mat Latos (12-4).

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Johnny Cueto Begins To Throw - Tony Cingrani Sees A Doctor

The win-one-lose-one Reds are hoping to break even.

The reference is to starting pitchers, not the pennant race itself.

Johnny Cueto reported that he is no longer feeling pain when he runs or does non-baseball activities.

"I talked to Paul (Lessard) today. I told him I didn't feel anything when I exercised he told me I could throw," Cueto said.  "I feel really well, today. I feel way better than I did the last two times. I think I can help the team."

 Bryan Price mentioned that there would be a point in time that Cueto could not build his arm strength enough to start games.

 "I don't know," Cueto said about moving to the bullpen.

 Tony Cingrani is still scheduled to make his next start on Sunday. He went to the doctor to have his lower back checked out. Cingrani left the game in the fourth inning on Tuesday with a strained lower back.

 "We have to hear what the doctor said," Dusty Baker said. "We don't have a lot of options."

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paul Goldschmidt Turns Close Game Into A Rout In Diamondbacks Win

The National League leader in RBI met a pitcher that had not allowed a run in 23 appearances with the bases loaded in a 1-0 game.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a 3-2 fastball from J.J. Hoover into the leftfield seats with the bases loaded as Arizona took the second game of the series, 5-2.

The matchup between Hoover and Goldschmidt has played out in the minor leagues over early years of each player's career.

Hoover was working on a string of 26-1/3 innings of shutout baseball over 23 appearances before an elevated fastball to the Diamondback's firstbaseman resulted in his third grand slam of the season and extended his league-leading RBI total to an even 100.

The game started as a matchup between two of the best young pitchers in the game.  Tony Cingrani has excelled in place of the injured Johnny Cueto for the Reds.
Patrick Corbin started the season 9-0 for Arizona.  In his 25 starts, Corbin has allowed two or fewer runs in 19 of them.

Both pitchers threw blanks at the opposition until the fourth inning.

Cingrani retired the first 10 Arizona batters.  Corbin got the first six Reds until Devin Mesoraco led off the third with a double.  Mesoraco advanced to third with two outs but Shin-Soo Choo grounded out to Goldschmidt.

Martin Prado hit his 12th home run of the season in the fourth.

Cingrani left the game with a strained lower back.

"I've felt it before," Cingrani said.  "It came on gradually.  I wanted to pitch through it but they didn't want me to."

"Cingrani was throwing the ball as well as he has all year," Dusty Baker said.  "We didn't want to go to the bullpen that early.  He said it's been bothering him for a couple weeks but he didn't say anything. Young pitchers don't want to come out of the rotation.

The Reds did little with Corbin, who notched his second complete game.  Corbin started the eighth inning with a single that set up Goldschmidt's home run.

The Reds tried to get two innings from Sam LeCure but Corbin singled on an 0-2 pitch with one out. A.J. Pollack singled to right.

"The Diamondbacks have a couple hot hitters, Prado and Goldschmidt," Baker said.  "We didn't want to bring in Hoover in that situation.  We were trying to get a double play out of Prado.  He has hit into 21 of them."

They got a ground ball from Prado but it found the hole between first and second.  The single loaded te bases.

Hoover was brought to the mound to face Goldschmidt.

"I left a ball up to him," Hoover said.  "I faced him a lot in the minors and you can't leave a fastball up to him on a 3-2 pitch.  I'm just going to go back to what I've been doing, attack with my fastball."

Chris Heisey, who was brought in on a double switch with Hoover, hit his seventh home run with Zack Cozart on base to spoil Corbin's shutout.

Reds Last In Double Plays For Good Reason

The Reds rank last in the National League with only 88 double plays turned in spite of the acrobatic double play that Zack Cozart and Brandon Phillips turned Monday night in the ninth inning against Arizona.

Seen below:

There is good reason and that reason has very little to do with the fielding prowess of the keystone players.  Phillips has won a Gold Glove.  Cozart is close and according to Scott Rolen, who knows a thing or two about infield play, could have won the honor last season.

The real culprit is the Reds' pitchers.

Cincinnati pitchers have allowed the fewest baserunners per nine innings in the National League.

Reds' pitchers have walked just 334 batters in 2013.  Only Washington and Atlanta have walked fewer.

The staff has allowed just 998 hits. Only Pittsburgh's, 979, is lower.

In terms of walks and hits per innings pitched the Reds' staff has the lowest WHIP in the NL at 1.175.

With fewer baserunners, there are fewer chances for a double play.  Then when there are runners on base the Reds' pitchers don't allow teams to put the ball in play as much as other teams do.

On top of these numbers, ne reasons, the Reds' pitchers have the most strikeouts at 1,040.  The Giants' staff is a distant second with 990.

If this wasn't enough evidence, the Reds fielders are victims of their own success.  Reds' fielders have committed 60 errors. Arizona with 58 and St. Louis with 56 are the only teams with fewer miscues.

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Bearcat Football Is A Hot Ticket

The collapse of the Big East Conference that led to membership in the nondescript American Athletic Conference or AAC, did not hurt the football program at the University of Cincinnati.

Steve Watkins of the Business Courier reports that the Bearcat ticket office is doing a brisk business leading up the season opener against Purdue at Nippert Stadium on August 31.

See Watkins report.......



Monday, August 19, 2013

Reds De-Fang Diamondbacks - Tighten Division Race - Add Distance To Wild Card

The Reds jumped on Randall Delgado for three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth.  Bronson Arroyo and the bullpen held the fort in the Reds' 5-3 victory.

At the moment the Reds are two games behind the Pirates in the National League Central and one behind the Cardinals.  Arizona falls six games behind the Reds in the Wild Card race. Pending, of course, games played later.

Brandon Phillips got the first of his three hits, leading off the second inning.  His line drive to center hit the base of the fence and Adam Eaton had to chase the ball toward the infield.  The chase allowed Phillips to slide into third for a triple.  Jay Bruce drew a walk.  Ryan Ludwick, in his seventh game since emerging from a four-month stay on the disabled list, "gave away the at-bat."  Ludwick fouled out.  Zack Cozart delivered Phillips with a fly to medium center.  Phillips beat the throw to put the Reds on top.

Aaron Hill tied the game with a home run off Arroyo in the fourth.

The Reds went to work on Delgado.

Joey Votto, Phillips and Bruce singled to produce one run.  This time Ludwick came through with a big hit. Ludwick doubled down the thirdbase line, his third hit of the season and first extra-base hit.  The run batted in was the first of the season for the projected clean up hitter.

"I felt better tonight," Ludwick said.  "I don't know whether being at home did it or not but tonight I felt like I had a chance.  It is baby steps.  I wanted 10 home runs in my first 10 at-bats.  Dusty (Baker) and Brook (Jacoby) have been patient with me. It's a process. My pitch selection could have been better.  The first at-bat it was a hanging curve ball that I tried to get too big on.  I felt like I really gave away that first at bat."

Todd Frazier clubbed his 13th home run of the season and third in six games to give the Reds a 5-1 lead.

Arroyo won his 12th decision of the season and his third straight in spite of not having his best stuff.

"It was nice to get off to a good start (in this series) without my best stuff," Arroyo said.  "I gave up the ball earlier than I wanted to."

The Diamondbacks cut the Reds' lead with two runs off Arroyo in the sixth.

Gerardo Parra started it with a solid single.  One out later, the NL's leading RBI man, Paul Goldschmidt, rolled an infield single to short on one of Arroyo's better pitches of the night.. Hill was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Martin Prado fought off another good pitch for a two-run single to left.

"That infield hit by Goldschmidt started things to unravel for Bronson," Dusty Baker said.  "Bronson was struggling.  We got him out and the bullpen did the rest."

Manny Parra allowed a hit in his scoreless inning.

J.J. Hoover pitched a perfect eighth.  It was his 23 consecutive scoreless appearance, covering 26-1/3 innings.

Aroldis Chapman gave up two hits but escaped thanks to an acrobatic 6-4-3 double play turned by Cozart and Phillips.  Cozart short-hopped a slow ground ball toward the hole hit by Wil Nieves.  He flipped quickly to Phillips who got off a leaping throw to avoid Jason Kubel who opened the ninth with a single.  Phillips' throw nipped the Arizona catcher to complete the double play.

Former Red Didi Gregorius singled but Chapman earned his 31st save by getting pinch hitter A.J. Pollock to fly out to Shin-Soo Choo.

"We were able to string together consecutive hits," Baker said.  "That's something that's been missing in baseball.  It keeps their pitcher in the stretch and doesn't allow them to get someone ready in the bullpen."

The Reds' offense is starting to perk up a bit and it is no surprise to them.

'We've scored more runs of late," Arroyo said.  "It now feels like we have our whole team back."

The Reds are a season-high 17 games above .500 for the second time this season.

"Our best days are ahead of us," Baker said.  "If we continue to get good pitching we'll win a lot of games."

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Derrick Robinson Will Be Optioned To Louisville To Make Room For Ryan Ludwick

In the life is not always fair department, Derrick Robinson will be optioned to Louisville to allow Ryan Ludwick to rejoin the team.

Robinson provided speed and defense and chipped in with a .254 batting average and a .326 on-base percentage that is slightly behind Todd Frazier's .329 for fourth highest on the team.

The 25-year old speedster from Gainsville, Florida impressed the Reds after spending seven years in the Kansas City farm system.

It was a business decision.

Xavier Paul the Reds' other extra outfielder is out of options which means the Reds would have to expose him to waivers.

“That was a tough decision to send Robinson back,” Dusty Baker said. “But he will be back in a couple of weeks and on our playoff roster. His shoulder was bothering him some and we gave him a couple of days off. He was the only one who had options. Sometimes, you can’t make the moves that you want.”

Joey Votto Leads Reds As They Outlast Padres To Win The Series

It was a frustrating day for both managers.

Dusty Baker slammed the game stats in the trash.

Bud Black slammed a Bud, as in Budweiser, in the trash following his postgame press conference which he handled very professionally.

Baker's disappointment originated in the anemic offense and sloppy second inning defense that allowed the Padres to hold a 2-0 lead until the eighth inning.

Black's frustration boiled over when the Padres went 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position while stranding a whopping 15 baserunners.

Xavier Paul and Jack Hannahan were looking for opportunities to redeem themselves after making mistakes that helped cost the Reds a game on Saturday.

They didn't have to wait long.

Paul came off the bench to hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning and Hannahan scored the winning run on Joey Votto's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 13th to give Cincinnati a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Paul committed one error and made a terrible baserunning blunder on Saturday. Hannahan was charged with a career-high three errors and grounded into a double play in that loss.

"Live to fight another day," Hannahan said. "One of the best things about baseball is you can put a bad day behind you and show up the next day ready to win."

Hannahan drew a one-out walk from Tim Stauffer (1-1) and Shin-Soo Choo snapped a 0-for-16 slump with a one-out double to right field. Ryan Hanigan, pinch-hitting against a drawn-in, five-man infield and shallow two-man outfield, was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

The Padres went back to three outfielders with everybody drawn in, and Votto hit a fly to left field to drive in Hannahan from third base.

Paul tied the score with a two-run, pinch-hit homer off Ian Kennedy in the eighth and the Reds overcame two more errors for their fourth win in five games. They finished their eight-game homestand with five wins after starting 1-2 against St. Louis.

"After last night and making a few mistakes that some people say cost us the game, to be able to come back today late in the game and help put the team in position to win makes me feel good," Paul said.

The Padres, who've lost four of their last five games, were 1 for 17 with runners in scoring position and left 15 men on base.

"We're just having a bad stretch," second baseman Logan Forsythe said. "We're still playing good, fundamental baseball. There's just a couple of things we need to get better at, and one of them is good situational hitting."

Sam LeCure (2-1), Cincinnati's seventh pitcher, pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Kennedy was positioned to improve his career record against the Reds to 4-0 in four starts. Kennedy, in his second start for San Diego after being acquired from Arizona in a July 31 trade, allowed one hit _ pitcher Mike Leake's leadoff single in the third _ in 7 1-3 scoreless innings and retired 16 consecutive batters before pinch-hitter Zack Cozart reached with an infield single.

"Kennedy was dealing," manager Dusty Baker said. "I don't know if it was more him or us. We had to persevere. They threatened a bunch of times. It looked bleak for a while. Every time you turned around we were in trouble. It really taxed our bullpen heading to Chicago. We had to bear down to our last man today."

Paul tied the game with his seventh homer of the season, a 422-foot shot into the right-field seats on a 1-2 pitch. Paul has three pinch-hit homers this season and five in his career.

Leake allowed one earned run in seven innings, giving up six hits and two runs with three walks and four strikeouts. He also committed an error, the Reds' sixth in the last two games.

Manny Parra and J.J. Hoover pitched a scoreless eighth before Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth.

"We didn't get it done," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "It's a topic we talk about all the time. We got some good pitches to hit, but we didn't advance runners."

The Reds, who were charged with four errors in their 3-1 loss to San Diego on Saturday, committed another to help the Padres take a 2-0 lead on Rene Rivera's bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center field with one out in the second.

As Yonder Alonso scored from third, backup shortstop Cesar Izturis cut off Choo's throw, but Izturis' quick throw to second trying to get Forsythe going back sailed past Brandon Phillips into foul territory down the right-field line, allowing Forsythe to score.

Notes: Cedeno's second-inning single was his first hit in six at-bats since being called up by San Diego on Wednesday. Cedeno now has hits with each of the six major league teams for which he's played since breaking in in 2005. ... Votto went 0 for 4, ending his eight-game hitting streak. ... RHP Mat Latos (11-3) is scheduled to start Monday for the Reds at Chicago in the first game of a three-game series and seven-game road trip. ... San Diego's brief five-game road trip is scheduled to continue Monday at Colorado with RHP Edison Volquez (8-9) scheduled to start for the Padres.