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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.

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."

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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