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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ohio State Buckeye Urban Meyer Country Music Star Cole Swindell To Play At All-Star Game

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and country music star Cole Swindell will play softball at Great American Ball Park on Sunday alongside, Ozzie Smith, Vladimir Guerrero and Rollie Fingers on Sunday July 12.

The celebrity softball game will follow the Future's Game featuring the top minor league stars.

Snoop Dog, Josh Hutcherson, Anthony Anderson, Rob Riggle an Miles Teller from the world of entertainment will participate with Sean Casey, Eric Davis, Paul O'Neill, Aaron Boone, Andre Dawson and Fred Lynn.

Gold Medal softball player Jennie Finch will also play.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Reds Topple Twins In Slugfest

The Reds had trouble hitting the New York Mets pitchers over the weekend scoring just four runs in 31 innings.

They took out their frustrations on former Mets' pitcher Mike Pelfrey, scoring eight in the two plus innings he worked on their way to an 11-7 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Unfortunately, Mike Leake was a little too generous in his 16th start of the season.

"I don't think Mike had his grade A command," Bryan Price said. "The key was we didn't let the game get away from us."

The Reds jumped on Pelfrey in the first inning with both feet. Billy Hamilton bunted for a single.  Ivan De Jesus Jr., subbing for Brandon Phillips, who has injuries on both hands, singled to put runners on the corners. Pelfrey walked Joey Votto.  Todd Frazier, who is closing the gap in the All-Star vote for thirdbasemen, singled to plate Hamilton.  Jay Bruce lifted a sacrifice fly to center.  Tucker Barnhart singled with two outs to score Votto.

Leake retired the side in order in the first but Trevor Plouffe led off the second with a double. Eddie Rosario's soft single to right put runners on first and third for the Twins.  Plouffe scored as Leake turned a one-hop comebacker into a double play.

The Reds got the run back in the second.  Hamilton walked and stole second and third, forcing Minnesota to pull its infield in.  De Jesus Jr. hit a high chop over Danny Santana at shortstop to reinstate the three-run lead.

The Reds piled on Pelfrey in the third.after Leake struck out the side in the top half.  Bruce doubled to open the inning. Marlon Byrd singled Bruce to third.  Barnhart singled to score Bruce.  Eugenio Suarez doubled home Byrd and Barnhart. Greensburg Indiana native Alex Meyer replaced Pelfrey.  Leake's sacrifice bunt moved Suarez to third.  Meyer walked Hamilton and De Jesus Jr.  Votto hit a line drive directly over the head of Eduardo Escobar in left.  Suarez scored but De Jesus with Votto on his heals stopped at second. Votto was forced to return to first.  Meyer got two outs but the Reds led 9-1.

Leake nearly gave it up as the Twins scored six runs to close the gap to 9-7. Tori Hunter doubled. Plouffe singled. Rosario singled for one run. Leake struck out catcher Kurt Suzuki but  Escobar doubled. Danny Santana singled. Brian Dozier hit his 16th home run . Joe Mauer singled before Leake got Hunter to ground out to Frazier to end the inning.

"I elevated some pitches and they took advantage of them. They put a nice inning together," Leake said.

Hamilton stole second and third after opening the fifth with a single to give him 40 stolen bases on the year and four in the game.  His mates couldn't get him home though.

Hamilton was back in the leadoff spot after batting ninth the last month.

"I tried to be as aggressive as I was in the ninth hole," Hamilton said. "It was fun getting four stolen bases. I got two hits and walked.  I've been swinging at too many bad pitches this year."

"Billy reeks havoc when he's on base," Price said.  "The Twins were very quick to the plate but Billy still made things happen."

The bullpens took over

Nate Adcock worked around a pair of walks to throw two scoreless innings to earn the win.  Manny Parra pitched two scoreless innings.

Adcock's only other Major League win was against the Twins in 2011 when he pitched for Kansas City.

"I knew going in that I had to pitch more than one inning," Adcock said. "I just wanted to keep the ball down and keep the game where it was."

The Reds scored off J.R Graham in the sixth.  Byrd singled with one out. Barnhart doubled Byrd to third. Suarez singled to score Byrd.

Bruce doubled with two outs to score De Jesus Jr. in the bottom of the seventh. Bruce raised his average to .243 with two doubles in four at bats plus a sacrifice fly. Barnhart had four hits, raising his season average to .308.

"It was awesome," Barnhart said. "It was my first  (four-hit game) and it came in a win. Hopefully it won't be my last. I'm just working on drills every day and trying to get better."
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"Tucker seems more confident at the plate," said Price, who has sent pitchers up to pinch hit in front of him because he is the only other catcher besides Brayan Pena. "He doesn't get too many at bats from the right side and that's his natural side.  He got one from the right side tonight by staying up the middle.  That's what he's been working on."

Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth in a non-save situation. He fanned Santana, Dozier and Mauer with several pitches at 102 mph.

All-Star Thirdbase Race Heats Up For Todd Frazier

Todd Frazier is gaining on St. Louis thirdbaseman Matt Carpenter in the race to be the starting thirdbaseman in the All-Star game to be played at Great American Ball Park in two weeks.

Last week Frazier was about two and a half million votes behind Carpenter as of June 16. With the aid of a campaign by the Reds to stump for the fan vote, Frazier is now just 63,000 votes behind. (6,252,327 - 6,189,347).  Voting ends at 11:59 ET on Thursday July 2.

Frazier is hitting for a .290 average. He is second in the Major Leagues with 25 home runs and fifth with 54 runs scored and 53 RBI.  Frazier hit 21 doubles and one triple in leading the Major Leagues with 47 extra-base hits.

Carpenter is hitting .279 with eight home runs and 37 RBI. He is tied with Frazier with 21 doubles.

“Well, we want Frazier to start because he deserves it, not just because he’s from Cincinnati," Bryan Price said. "That’s the way the All-Star Game is supposed to be. You earn your way on to the team. Where we get to one person can have 35 votes. I just think the best players should get a spot. With home field advantage being on the line, I don’t necessarily like the format.”

Frazier was critical of the vote when he was behind on July 16 and third in the voting, but the "Vote Frazier" campaign has him enthused about the process and the fan support.

“It's pretty cool. I just found out a couple seconds ago. Exciting. Still got a couple of days left. To see the fans going out there and voting, I’m very proud. Proud to be from Cincinnati,” Frazier said.

The city has rallied around him.

“Huge. Huge. I saw ‘Vote Frazier’ at a McDonald’s. I’m getting big around here, especially in the French fry business. I just thank everybody. I think it’s big to see the zoo has my back. You’ve got walruses holding up ‘Vote Frazier’ signs at the aquarium. You’ve got elephants. It’s nice to see that.," Frazier said.

Frazier has been receiving support outside of Cincinnati too.
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“It’s awesome. When I first got called up, I just wanted to play baseball and play in the major leagues, trying to make a name for myself and get a position. Now, third base is basically my spot now. It’s a lot of fun being able to come to the ballpark knowing you’re that guy. I’m just trying to help this team out and playing the game the right way. I thank my father for that.," Frazier said.

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Rasiel Iglesias And Tony Cingrani Prepare For Return.

Rasiel Iglesias is scheduled to pitch two innings in a rehab stint with Triple A Louisville.

Iglesias, a member of the Reds' "Kiddie Corp" of rookie starters has been on the shelf since June 5 with a strained left oblique.

“I’m guessing Iglesias will pitch a couple of innings and somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 pitches. That first one is just checking to make sure everything’s OK. I think he’s fine. He hasn’t had any recurring since he started throwing. He’s been throwing for a while. Now more than anything it’s about building up the resiliency. It’s going to take 2-3 outings to get him up to 90 pitches<" Bryan Price said.

Tony Cingrani has been nursing a strained left shoulder since June 15.  He is scheduled to go on a rehab assignment on Saturday also with Louisville.

"He’s scheduled for a bullpen today in preparation for that game on Saturday," Price said. "With Tony, it’s still a day-to-day. He’s been throwing a lot, but he has to be reintroduced to the mound. The bullpens have to go well before we can sign off on that Saturday outing.”
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pete Rose Revelation Damage Hall of Fame Chances?

The timing may be suspect and the evidence is anti-climactic. Does the newly found evidence that Pete Rose bet on baseball as a player hurt his chances for reinstatement?

Frankly, there was not much chance of his reinstatement before Mike Bertolini's cryptic notes were released to ESPN. Even in a court of law, the scrawled "Pete" in Bertolini's notebook would not pass scrutiny.  If I'm Rose's defense attorney, I could shed doubt easily. For all anyone know it could refer to Pete Gray, not Pete Rose.

Pete Rose cannot be trusted in any position in baseball.  Regardless of his age, he would not be hired by any team in any capacity that would influence the fortunes of a team.

That was not going to happen.  Rose, though popular with fans of the game, has proven that he can't be trusted, period.

Rose is someone who can speak candidly about the game and his role with Fox Sports as a commentator is perfect for him.  As long as he is an outsider, with insight, he will be informative and entertaining.  He should stop there.  On any other subject, he will flat out lie.  When the subject is baseball and in particular the playing of the game, he is brilliant and a valuable source of information.

When that turns to the business of the game, he is a poor source.  He not only a degenerate gambler, he is a bad gambler.  Not only is he a poor business man, he is an untrustworthy and a pathological liar.

Case in point, my friend Steve Watkins was turned down by Rose for an interview on a book written about him by Kostya Kennedy. Rose required $500 for a 10 minute interview.  See link below:


Then when called on it like bad gamblers often are, he threw his publicist under the bus and reversed his decisions.  Pete Rose does what's good for Pete Rose and cares nothing about anyone but himself.

Still, with all this said, the Hall of Fame means nothing without his membership.  How can baseball have a museum that maintains its history leave out one of its most historical players.  It is a museum, not a referendum of morality.  Baseball should be strong enough to admit its darker sides.  It should acknowledge the steroid players like it does its players and executives from the past that also had character flaws.
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Babe Ruth was a heavy drinker.  Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis was a racist, who systematically kept blacks out of the game for 27 years, besides being a corrupt judge, drunk with power.  Talk about the integrity of the game, how can baseball claim to be the best in the world while excluding such talented players as Sachel Paige and Josh Gibson.  It can't.

Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, period, if for no other reason than to be the subject of a cautionary tale to players yet to be born.

The irony is that Rose himself couldn't give a damn about membership in the Hall.  He can't make money off it to offset his gambling losses.  He can stick it to baseball every year by gauging for autographs during the annual induction ceremonies.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier Homer In Michael Lorenzen's Win

Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier provided the power.

Michael Lorenzen provided the pitching.

Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton provided the defense as the Reds put a total game together to provide manager Bryan Price with a 5-2 win.

"Baseball is broken down by pitching, fielding and hitting," Lorenzen said. "We've had games when we beat the other team in one out of three, or two out of three.  Today we played better in all three."

Lorenzen started out rough.  Dee Gordon and Derek Dietrich singled to open the game.  Gordon stole second but Dietrich's single was hit hard and right at Hamilton. Gordon could only move up one base.  With one out, Giancarlo Stanton drove in his National League leading, 64th run on a ground out to Phillips.

Lorenzen flew his father Clif in for the game. It was just the second time his father has seen him play in person since he was nine years old.

"There was a lot of fighting in our family when I was younger," Lorenzen said. "He left when I was nine. He follows me on TV.  We talk on the phone.  He still doesn't have a lot so I flew him in for Father's day."

Joey Votto walked and Todd Frazier's 23rd home run off David Phelps put the Reds up 2-1 in the bottom of the first.

"Fraziet has been fun to watch in June. It hasn't just been home runs. It's been a hard single or a walk to set up an inning.  He is really become comfortable as a middle of the lineup producer," Bryan Price said.

Justin Bour hit a long home run off Lorenzen to tie the game It was Bour's 6th long ball of the season.

The Reds loaded the bases in the second with hopes of breaking the game open. Marlon Byrd and Eugenio Suarez singled to open the inning.  Lorenzen bunted them up a base.  Phelps hit Hamilton with a pitch to load the bases. Phillips lined a one hopper to Adeiny Hechavarria at short, who gloved it and turned it into a double play.

Lorenzen loaded the bases with Marlins in the fourth but struck out the side to get out of the jam.

Hamilton saved a run in the fifth.  Gordon hit the second of his three singles, leading off.  Dietrich doubled over Hamilton's head.  Hamilton played it off the base of the fence, then hit Suarez, who threw home to Pena in plenty of time to tag Gordon out at the plate.  The Marlins wasted their challenge as the call was upheld.

Bruce followed Votto's single with his 11th home run to put the Reds up 4-2 in the sixth.  With two outs and the bases empty, the Reds got to Phelps again. Consecutive singles by Byrd, Suarez and Lorenzen gave the Reds the three run lead.

Bruce has struggled as much as anyone.

"I started out slowly," Bruce said. "We've all had obstacles we've had to overcome. We're playing better baseball now. It was good to have that separation. Michael settled in after the first two innings."

Lorenzen left the game in the capable hands of J.J. Hoover after pitching seven innings. Lorenzen allowed two runs on eight hits.  His lone walk was intentional and her struck out five.

Lorenzen was battling strep throat but at no time did he consider sitting the game out.

"I had body aches. My throat was closed down. The training staff made sure I got enough fluids," Lorenzen said. "I don't think Nolan Ryan would miss a start because he was sick. You're going to have to really, really fight me to get me from playing."

"Never for a minute did Michael give us any indication that he wasn't going to do what he needed to do," Price said.

Hoover pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. He has not allowed a run in his last 12 appearances, covering 12 2/3 innings. Hoover has not allowed an earned run since, April 21.

Aroldis Chapman entered to pick up his 15th save in 16 tries.

The first three Marlins reached on an error, bloop single and a walk but Chapman struck out Donovan Solano, Gordon and Dietrich to end the game.

Votto or DeSclafani?

When it comes down to competition, you really do want to beat your friends.

Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani have grown up in baseball together. Riding minor league busses, getting chewed out by the same managers, being cheered and booed by the same fans will bring a young man ,competing for lucrative Major League employment, closer together.

Joey Votto, one of the best hitters in the game, was Nicolino's first strikeout victim in the Major Leagues and he has the baseball to prove it.

"I remember being in high school watching him play on T.V," said Nicolino, who grew up in Orlando, Florida but his parents are from Alliance, Ohio near Akron. Nicolino was born in Alliance.

"It was a true blessing to pitch in the big leagues," Nicolino said. "I don't punch out a lot of people. To punch out Joey Votto was an honor.  I have the scorecard, the baseball from the first pitch and the baseball from striking out Votto.

"It was even better to pitch against my best friend," Nicolino said. "I was mad when he got the first hit. That was the first hit I gave up in the big leagues. I was joking mad at him. That will be something we will talk about at the wedding. I couldn't believe he got a hit."

Nicolino's fans for his debut included his fiance, his parents, and his grandparents.

"It was crazy to see my friend and family," the 23-year old said.

Nicolino got the last laugh by pitching seven scoreless innings while his 24-year old friend gave up three in one bad inning.  Nicolino became the 10th Marlin pitcher to get a win in his debut and the first since DeSclafani himself did it last season.

The win not withstanding, DeSclafani cruelly attacked his friend in his at bat.  The Reds' hurler fed Nicolino a steady diet of sliders.

"I saw one fastball and I took it," Nicolino said. "Then he threw three sliders. I looked at him and said,'are you kidding me?' "

The pair were bonded together by another event early in their baseball careers.

Both were drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and worked out in spring training together. They played on the same minor league teams.

Both were included in a trade in which Miami sent "name players" Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, ace Josh Johnson and popular Emilio Bonifacio to the Blue Jays for prospects, no names, DeSclafani, Nicolino, Jeff Mathis, and Adeiny Hechavarria.

Miami fans did not take that well.

"I knew they didn't like it. They didn't understand that it was a trade for the future. Everyone has their point of view," Nicolino said. For me to be a part of that trade with the names involved was an honor."

It didn't make him any more competitive.

"You always want to go out and show your ability," said Nicolino, who is the last of that group to make it to the Major League level. "Sometimes you have to time those things out."

"Yesterday made all the bus rides, all the things that happened worth it," Nicolino said.
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The only thing that would make it perfect was to make his friend his first strikeout victim.

"If he didn't get a hit off me, I'd rather strikeout DeSclafani than Votto for my first one," Nicolino said..

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Anthony DeSclafani Bows To Former Mates

Anthony DeSclafani didn't know when he came to the ballpark this afternoon that one of his best friends would be his mound opponent.

The Reds got DeSclafani from the Marlins along with minor league catcher Chad Wallach in a trade for Mat Latos in December.  The 24-year old started the season with Double A Jacksonville last year where his roommate was Justin Nicolino, who pitched his team to a 5-0 win over the Reds.

Derek Dietrich provided the offensive.

When Tom Koehler could not pitch with a stiff neck that failed to respond to treatment, Nicolino was recalled from New Orleans to pitch against the Reds and his former teammate in Jacksonville.

"That's crazy. I'm happy for him. I know how hard he's worked," DeSclafani said.

"I think he was mad at me. He kind of stared at me when I was on base.I hit it good but I don't know what happened to Ozuna. I just saw the ball fall in. I was lucky"

"I think he was mad at me for throwing him three sliders. You have to do what you can to help your team win."

The Marlins took out their former teammate with a three-run fourth.

Dietrich began DeSclafani's demise with his second home run of the season to rightfield to open the fourth. It was the first run Reds' pitchers allowed in 17 innings.  Christian Yellich doubled to leftcenter, bringing the National League's leading RBI man to the plate, Giancarlo Stanton.  Stanton singled hard to center but Billy Hamilton got to the ball so quickly that Yellich had to hold at third, when former Red Lenny Harris put up the stop sign as the thirdbase coach.  DeSclafani got Marcel Ozuna to fly to shallow right with no movement by the baserunners.  Justin Bour's slow ground ball to secondbase allowed Yellich to score.  J.T. Realmuto doubled to bring Stanton home.

"I fell behind.  I made a mistake to Dietrich. I have to do a better job," DeSclafani said.

""DeSclafani made some pitches he'd like to have back. He walked a couple of guys the next inning. I didn't think he was on top of his game," Bryan Price added.

Nicolino was in trouble once in the third inning.  His pal DeSclafani hit a fly to center but Ozuna slipped and the ball fell for a single.  Hamilton singled but Brandon Phillips hit into a 6-3 double play.

Nicolino pitched a nice game," Price said. "We didn't put a lot of balls on the barrel. Give him credit."

"We found out at 2:30-3:00 that they were making the switch," Price said.  "It was before batting practice. It wouldn't have changed our lineup at all."

Jay Bruce singled in the fourth but was erased when Bryan Pena hit into a double play.  Eugenio Suarez hit a double one out into the fifth but got no nearer to home.

Dietrich lined a home run off Manny Parra with Dee Gordon on base to push the lead.  It was the first time in his career that Dietrich hit multiple home runs in a game.

Nicolino, who finished with seven scoreless innings,  got another double play to extract him from a seventh inning jam.  Suarez grounded to third with runners on first and second.

Carter Capps relieved Nicolino and pitched a perfect eighth.

A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth.

DeSclafani got a hit off his friend and struck him out to at least win bragging rights.

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"I think he was mad at me. He kind of stared at me when I was on base.I hit it good but I don't know what happened to Ozuna. I just saw the ball fall in. I was lucky," DeSclafani said.

As for whiffing his friend,."I think he was mad at me for throwing him three sliders. You have to do what you can to help your team win, " DeSclafani said.

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Devin Mesoraco To Have Hip Surgery

Devin Mesoraco will have surgery on his hip in New York on June 29 by Dr. Bryan Kelly.

The hip has limited Mesoraco to pinch hitting and designated hitting roles.  He tried to learn the leftfield position but the pain became too much and surgery was planned.

"I'm not going to help the team in leftfield if I'm not feeling good," Mesoraco said.

With the hip impingement, both he and the team were hoping that he could contribute without squatting into the catcher's position by pinch hitting or as the designated hitter in American League parks.

"I don't regret not having it earlier and trying to play.  The only thing I would have done differently was not trying to catch in Kansas City when I could help at DH," Mesoraco said. "I was feeling good and was anxious to try it"

Mesoraco, who last caught in a game on April 12, was hitting .178 with no home runs.

His experiment in leftfield at Louisville was scrapped when pain became too much.
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"The time to do it is now," Mesoraco said. "I will be able to do my normal off season workouts in early November, like I always do."

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Twist Of Fate Pits Roomates Against Each Other At GABP

Justin Nicolino wasn't supposed to be in Cincinnati, making his Major League debut.

Tom Koehler was supposed to start but a stiff neck that didn't respond to treatment put Nicolino on the mound against the Reds.

The Reds' starter Anthony DeSclafani was with the Marlins last year for five games after starting the season a Double A, Jacksonville. Nicolino spent the entire season at Jacksonville, where he roomed with DeSclafani.

The pair were both drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays.

DeSclafani was taken out of the University of Florida with the Blue Jays' sixth pick in the 2011 draft. Nicolino was taken by the Blue Jays in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Both pitchers were traded to Miami in a deal that sent Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonafacio to Toronto.  The Marlins also got Ynenel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Jake Marisnick and Jeff Mathis in the deal.

Nicolino made 13 starts at New Orleans with a 4-3 record and a 2.87 ERA, which was good for seventh in the Pacific Coast League at the time of his recall.
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Nicolino is trying to become the 10th pitcher in Marlins' history to win his Major League debut. The last Marlins pitcher to do it was DeSclafani on May 14th last season.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Reds Avoid The Rain And Benefit From Leake

On a gloomy, cloud-filled night that felt like rain, the Reds' Mike Leake doused the Marlins offense in the Reds' 5-0 whitewash win on Irish Heritage Night.

Rain did arrive in the ninth inning because it isn't a Reds' home game without a little precipitation. By then, only the Marlin's spirit was dampened.

Marlon Byrd celebrated his first day back from a broken wrist with his 11th home run of the season.

Byrd took Dan Haren's pitch to rightcenter to provide Mike Leake with a tiny bit of offensive support. Jay Bruce broke it open with a two-run double in the eighth.

“The DL’s no fun. You’re around, you’re watching the team. You love when they win, but the losses, you want to be out there trying to help them. It’s nice to be back out here and contribute and be a part of the 25-man," Byrd said.

Haren and Leade traded three scoreless innings.

"Leake had good stuff from the start," Bryan Price said.  "He did something he doesn't usually do, that's start hitters off with breaking balls."

Haren pitched out of a second and third one-out jam in the first.  Joey Votto walked and Todd Frazier doubled over the head of Marcell Ozuna.  Haren struck out Jay Bruce and got Byrd to pop out to secondbase.

Leake retired the first 13 Marlin batters, striking out five of them before he walked Ozuna and Justin Bour with one out.  Leake caught J.T. Realmuto looking and Adeiny Hechavarria on a ground out.

Leake allowed three base runners in the sixth. He walked Haren but got leadoff hitter, Dee Gordon to hit into a 4-6-3 double play. Leake hit Derek Dietrich with a pitch and Christian Yellich singled for the first hit for Miami.  Leake struck out the National League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton to end that threat.

"I was attacking, trying to keep the ball down," Leake said. "We had good defense tonight. I'm a guy that has to attack the zone consistently."

Frazier's glove and Leake's heads up play got the Reds through the seventh with the lead in tact.  Ozuna singled to open the frame.  Frazier made a diving stop to rob Bour as Ozuna went to second.  Leake speared Realumuo's comebacker and trapped Ozuna off second.  Hechavarria grounded out.

Haren retired nine of 10 after Byrd's blast.  The only runner was Bruce, who walked.

Tucker Barnhart got his second hit of the night with a double down the leftfield line with one out.  Skip Schumaker hit for Leake, who finished with seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits, three walks and a hit batter.  He struck out seven.   Manager Dan Jennings brought in side arm pitcher SteveCishek.  Schumaker greeted him with an RBI single up the middle.

J.J. Hoover pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing one hit.
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Votto walked against Brad Hand in the bottom of the eighth.  Frazier dumped a bloop single into rightfield as the Marlins played 'no doubles".  Votto read it and easily beat Stanton's throw to third and Frazier took second on the throw.  Bruce made up for missing the earlier chance with a line double to the rightfield corner. Eugenio Suarez doubled off Vin Mazzaro to score Bruce, who stole third.

Pedro Villiarreal struck out Stanton on his way to a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jon Moscot Surgery, Todd Frazier And Jay Bruce Get A Day Off, Marlon Byrd Near Return

As expected rookie Jon Moscot will have surgery to stabalize his left (non-throwing) shoulder that was injured making a diving tag in Detroit on Monday.

“We did define that he has some fairly significant damage in his shoulder that will require surgery," manager Bryan Price said.. "It’s not good news in the sense that it will be a longer time before he’ll be able to pitch. Certainly, he’ll be ready for 2016. The good news is it’s something that he has to do to create the stability in his shoulder, so you may as well do it now, get it taken care of and not have to worry about it going forward when the rehab is finished.”

Marlon Byrd appears ready to return. Byrd hit a long home run during his rehab game in Pensacola last night.

“I did hear he hit a home run. Another good game tonight and he might be pretty close to coming back and helping us," Price said.

Todd Frazier hit two home runs for the second day in a row on Wednesday but he was banged up on a play at home that turned out to be a foul ball. He had to deal with a cramp in his trapezoid muscle. By his own admission, he was "toast" after his 13th inning heroic home run.

As hot as he is at the plate, Frazier needs a rest.

“Yeah, for many reasons. Not just because of the 13-inning game, but because we’re nearing the end of 20 straight," Price said. "The other challenge is we have so many getaway games at nighttime. We’re not getting that daytime game where then you can travel and get to the next city at a decent hour. We got into Detroit at 3:45 a.m. after the Sunday night game. We played a Tuesday night game in Detroit and flew back here and got in at 2 a.m. It’s one thing leads to another.”

Jay Bruce had five hits and was on the bases all night plus running in the outfield.  He had a partial day off in Detroit on Tuesday when he was the DH but needs a day off.  Joey Votto had a day off on Wednesday and pinch hit but did not remain in the game.

“It kind of defeats the purpose. He knew it going in," Price said.. "I told him, ‘If our hands are tied and you’ve got to play, you’ll play,’ and it will be the same with Frazier and the same with Bruce. I’d rather just use them as a pinch-hitter, but if they have to play, they have to play.” Mentions again flexibility of Negron and De Jesus and Dominguez. “I like the composition of our bench right now and the defensive flexibility we have. If we can produce offensively with those guys, we’ll be pigs in a trough.”

Reds Outlast Tigers With Lucky 13th On Todd Frazier's Slam

After four hours, stranding 11 runners, Todd Frazier hit a 1-2 pitch into the Reds' bullpen to lift the Reds to an 8-4 win.

A Kit Kat bar gave the Reds' slugger the energy he needed.

"I'm toast," Frazier said after the euphoria wore off from his game-winning slam off Joakim Soria. "I had a cramp in my trap (trapezoid muscle). I don't know how I got it. I was done. It was crazy. It was pretty cool to win it like this. I'll never forget it."

Skip Schumaker opened the 13th with a single off Ian Krol.  Kristopher Negeon laid down a two-strike bunt to get Schumaker into scoring position. Billy Hamilton walked. Brandon Phillips faced Joakim Soria. Phillips drilled a 3-1 pitch to left. It was hit too hard to score Schumaker, who stopped at third.  Ivan De Jseus Jr. struck out swinging. Frazier hit a grand slam, his 22nd home run of the season.

"He (Soria) quick pitched De Jesus. I thought he might do it to me," said Frazier. "He threw a 12-6 curveball. I hit it good. I knew it was going out. I looked at the bench and told them come on out. The excitement never stops."

The Reds had 16 hits and left 11 runners on base, including runners at third in the sixth, eighth, 11th and 12th. They had one thrown out at home.

Jay Bruce, who was on deck when Frazier hit his blast, had a career-high five hits to raise his season average to .232.

"I've had good success against left-handed pitchers by staying on the ball a little longer," Bruce said. "I'm trying to bring that approach over to right-handers. I'm going to continue to work. I'm not where I want to be."

One of the heroes among the excellent bullpen work was Donovan Hand, who signed a minor league contract with the Reds on January 15 but did not get an invitation to Major League camp.

He used a 67 - 80 mile an hour curveball to shut down the Tigers for three innings.

"Donovan Hand is going to stand out with three innings. I'm proud of everybody to grind it out in that situation," Bryan Price said. "There were a lot of heroes."

"Sixty-seven miles an hour would stop traffic in New Jersey," Frazier joked. "Everybody would be honking at him."

Johnny Cueto was cruising along, retiring 16 of 17 batters until the Detroit Tigers awakened in the sixth.

Anthony Gose singled. Ian Kinsler walked on a very close 3-2 pitch, then Miguel Cabrera unloaded on a pitch, sending it high into the rightfield bleachers.

The home run gave Cabrera an American League leading 51 runs batted in on the season. He has driven in at least one run in six straight games.

The rain came pouring down, seemingly brought by Cabrera's blow. It ended the much hyped pitching duel between David Price and Cueto.

The Reds chipped away at Price.  Jay Bruce opened the second inning with a double. Brayan Pena's sharp single to center put runners at first and third with no outs.  Chris Dominguez, playing to give Joey Votto a rest, struck out swinging.  Former Tiger Eugenio Suarez laid down a squeeze bunt to score Bruce.
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Todd Frazier belted his 21st home run off Price and his third in two days to open the fourth.

After watching precipitation for 74 minutes, Manny Parra replaced Cueto.  Parra retired Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Martinez.

The Reds drew even against Alex Wilson.

Bruce singled off the glove of Cabrera at first.  Former Tiger Pena popped to shallow right. Kinsler was camped under it and let it drop, taking the force on Bruce to replace him with a slower runner.

It didn't matter when Dominguez lined deep to leftcenter, splitting the outfielders long enough for Pena to score as Dominguez slid into third with a triple.

Pinch hitter Tyler Collins hit his second home run into the first row of the seats in rightfield off Ryan Mattheus to put the Tigers back on top, 4-3

Bruce and Pena each collected their third hit of the game against Joba Chamberlin to tie the game  With two outs Bruce doubled over Cespedes' head.  Pena hit a ground ball up the middle that shortstop Jose Iglesias was ready to field when the ball hit secondbase and bounced past Kinlser into short rightfield, scoring Bruce.  Joey Votto pinch hit for Dominguez and singled Pena to third.  Pinch hitter Skip Schumaker worked the count full and thought he checked his swing on a pitch in the dirt by Blaine Hardy but thirdbase umpire Mike Everitt ruled that he offered at the pitch striking out.

Bruce and Pena nearly ended the game in the 10th.  Bruce singled and Pena hit the ball hard down the rightfield line off Al Alburquerque but Martinez hit Kinsler with a perfect relay. Kinsler's throw to McCann nipped Bruce at the plate.

Skip Schumaker walked against Al Alburquerque, who balked him into scoring position in the 11th.  Billy Hamilton with two outs bloodied Miguel Cabrera's nose with a ground ball that took a bad bounce into the Tigers' firstbaseman's face.  Brandon Phillips stepped in 0-for-5. He struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch.

Frazier walked against Ian Krol in the 12th with one out. Frazier hustled to third on the fifth hit of the game by Jay Bruce, who drilled the ball against the shift to put the winning run on third with one out. The Tigers played the infield at double play depth but brought the outfield in. Pena popped out to Kinsler in foul territory. Michael Lorenzen struck out swinging

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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