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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, May 30, 2015

Bryce Harper Sits Zack Cozart Hits In Reds Comeback

Zack Cozart doubled with the bases loaded to give the Reds the coveted lead they needed as he Reds battled back for the second day in a row to take a 8-5 verdict.

Raisel Iglesias was battling the Washington Nationals in a close game but young Michael Taylor impersonated teammate Bryce Harper with a long home run to break open a 2-2 game.

"I try to learn from my mistakes," Iglesias said. "It was supposed to be a fastball down and away and it cut back to the plate. I focus on the positive side."

The blow hurt but the bullpen didn't let the game slip away with 3 1/3 scorless innings.

"It was a game that could have slipped away but our bullpen did a nice job of keeping us in it until we could rally. Iglesias was terrific. He made the mistake to Taylor but for a guy in his first full year in the US who had been a reliever in International baseball, he was very good."

Clint Robinson singled with one out. One out later Danny Espinosa singled off the base of the rightfield fence. Taylor, playing in place of a sore Harper, took a strike then hit his fourth home run off the facing of the upper deck.

Harper was in the original lineup but was a late scratch.  His back didn't respond well to being drilled on Friday night between his back numbers by Tony Cingrani.

Robinson and Taylor are getting more playing time with Jason Werth out indefinitely with a broken wrist.
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Gio Gonzalez started for Washitngton. In five career starts against Cincinnati, Gonzalez had never allowed more than two runs.  He was 2-1 with a 1.06 ERA lifetime against the Reds.

The Reds got two in a hurry.  Billy Hamilton singled, stole his 20th base and trotted home on Joey Votto hit his ninth home run and second in two days.

The Nationals scored in the first inning after two were out.  Yunel Escobar doubled and Ryan Zimmerman singled.

Washington tied the game in the fifth. Espinsosa singled.  Gonzalez was hit by an Iglesias pitch. Dennard Span singled to drive in Espinosa.  Iglesias also hit Gonzalez after Taylor's home run.

"It wasn't meant to be," Iglesias said. "It just slid out of my hand."

Todd Frazier began yelling towards Washington's bench as Ryan Mattheus replaced Iglesias.

Gonzalez appeared to be in control until Votto walked to start the sixth.  Frazier doubled to put runners on second and third. Jay Bruce drove in Votto with a ground out. Frazier scored on a single by Brayan Pena.

The Reds loaded the bases twice with little to show before Cozart's long double off Casey Janssen.

In the first inning, Pena lined to Ian Desmond at short who walked to second to double up Frazier.

In the eighth it had an eerily similar feeling. Frazier was inches from hitting a game tying home run that bounced off the top of the bullpen fence and stayed in play with one out. Bruce walked.  Pena hit a hard grounder off Zimmerman's glove at first. Dan Uggla, who came in the game after Escobar was ejected fielded the ball but Janssen didn't cover first.  Marlon Byrd provided a deja vu moment lining out to Uggla and left the game up to Cozart, who hit a fly 400 ft and over Span's head to score two.  Hamilton singled to add to the lead.

"I thought I hit the ball better yesterday off Strasburg and Span ran it down.  I didn't hit this one as well and I thought he might get there but I was happy to see it bounce," Cozart said.

"It is good to see someone so invested have success," Price said. "I'm proud of our guys for battling back."

"A week ago when they got ahead 5-2 it would have ended 5-2," Cozart said. "We were pressing. We decided to trust in our ability and just play.  We weren't getting a lot of two out hits during the (nine-game losing) streak. When you get them you win games. That's what happened the last two days."

Aroldis Champman earned his ninth save of the season with a scoreless ninth, walking two and striking out Zimmerman to end it.

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