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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, June 18, 2015

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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