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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.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Matt Adams Takes Advantage Of Opportunity In A Game Of Missed Opportunities

Former Reds' manager Jack McKeon used to say it all the time," When Mr. Opportunity knocks, you open the door and say  Come on in.' "

Matt Adams snapped an 0-for-17 slump with his 10th home run of the season off Alfredo Simon in the 14th inning, then hit his 11th of the season in the 16th inning to beat the Reds 5-4.

Both teams had plenty of chances to end the game before midnight but only Adams actually accomplished it as a replacement for the injured Allen Craig. Craig was sent back to St. Louis after the game with a sprained left ankle.

The inning after, the Reds had rookie Carlos Martinez on the ropes.  Adams delivered for the second time.

The Reds had Shin-Soo Choo on third and Jay Bruce on first with two outs when Chris Heisey decided to bunt for a base hit.  Choo was caught off third to end the inning.

"We had a lot of opportunities and they did too," Dusty Baker said.  "Heisey saw the thirdbaseman was back and thought he could beat one out.  Choo was caught in no-man's land."

After Adam's first home run in the 14th inning, Ryan Ludwick hit a pinch hit single off Cardinal closer Edward Mujica.  Billy Hamilton pinch ran for Ludwick, as he did on Tuesday, and beat Yadier Molina's throw for his second steal.  After failed attempts to bunt him to third, Zack Cozart singled up the middle to tie the game with no outs.  Devin Mesoroco forced Cozart at second on a bunt. Jack Hanahan hit into a double play to end the inning.  It was Mujica's third blown save in 38 chances.

"It sucks to lose any game," Brandon Phillips said.  "We made some mistakes at the end but it shouldn't have even gotten to that."

The Reds had rookie Shelby Miller squirming in the first inning.  Shin-Soo Choo started the inning with his now customary walk.   St. Louis thirdbaseman Matt Carpenter was drawn in for a bunt.  Brandon Phillips shot  a hot one-hopper past him for a double.  Miller regrouped and struck out Joey Votto swinging.  He pitched around Jay Bruce to load the bases.  Chris Heisey popped out meekly to Allen Craig at firstbase.  Todd Frazier flied out to shallow center.

The Reds threatened again in the second.  Zack Cozart extended his hitting streak to nine games with a sharp single.  Ryan Hanigan singled behind Cozart.  Bronson Arroyo added to his National League lead with a sacrifice bunt, his 13th of the season.  Choo ground out to Kolten Wong at secondbase as Cozart scored.  Hanigan trotted home on a wild pitch.

Arroyo allowed a single to the red hot Carpenter in the first but Carlos Beltran's double play grounder to Cozart began a string of eight straight batters retired.

Carpenter struck again in the fourth with a single to right.  This time Beltran's ground ball eluded Phillips and trickled into centerfield.  Mat Holliday hit a sacrifice fly to center.  Choo's throw was over Phillips head, allowing Beltran to move up to second.  Craig hit a ground ball wide of first.  Votto made a diving stab but overthrew Arroyo covering.  While the error cost the Reds a run, the play cost the Cardinals its cleanup hitter.  While Beltran scored, Craig appeared to twist his left ankle.  He fell to the ground in pain as Votto tagged him out.  Craig left the game in favor of Adams.

The Cardinals announced that it was a left foot sprain that will be re-examined on Thursday.

Phillips touched Miller with his 18th home run, leading off the fifth to put the Reds back on top.  It was his 100th RBI of the season.  He is the first Reds' secondbaseman to drive in 100 runs since Joe Morgan drove in 111 in 1976.  He is four shy of the NL lead.  No Reds' secondbaseman has ever led the league in RBI.

Carpenter led the Cardinals right back by hitting a double to open the sixth inning.  Beltran's second single of the game tied the game at 3 runs apiece.

The Reds put two on again in the fourth and sixth. Frazier led off both innings with a single.  Hanigan walked both times.  Arroyo laid down his 14th and 15th sacrifice bunts of the season.  However, Choo grounded out to firstbase on both occasions.

The game was turned over to the bullpens.  Randy Choat induced  Choo's second ground-out after Miller left after 5-2/3 innings.  Miller allowed six hits and three earned runs.  He walked four and struck out three.

Arroyo turned the game over to Sam LeCure.  Arroyo pitched seven frames, giving up seven hits and three runs (two earned).  He issued no walks and struck out four.

LeCure, Zach Duke, Aroldis Chapman and J.J. Hoover pitched the Reds through the 11th.  Simon added two scoreless innings before Adams beat him in the 14th.

Duke struck out Adams with two on in the eighth.  Hoover gave up a walk to Holliday and a single to Molina with two outs in the 11th but got Jon Jay to bounce out to the mound.

The Cardinals left two men on in the eighth and the 11th.

The Reds' three, four and five hitters were a combined 0-for-19 with Votto and Heisey each 0-for-7.  Bruce walked twice but was 0-for-5.

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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