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.
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.
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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