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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Reds Open New Era With Rookie Starters Late Rally Fizzles

Miehael Lorenzen is now second on the Reds' pitching staff with 14 starts and 78 2/3 innings. Only Anthony DeSclafani has more with 20 starts and 120 innings.

Lorenzen took on the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team with the second best record in the National League. The Pirates took advantage of Lorenzen's wildness to push across twosixth inning runs for a 5-4 win.

"Lorenzen was better. He threw a lot more first-pitch strikes," Bryan Pena said. "We didn't lose that game. They won it."

The rookie gave up a dribbler for a single to leadoff hitter Gregory Polanco.  Starling Marte was hit by a pitch.  Lorenzen struck out the 2013 Most Valuable Player Andrew McCutchen and retired Aramis Ramirez on a fly to left.  Jung Ho Kang hit a ground rule double to center to give the Pirates a quick lead.
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Marlon Byrd, a former Pirate, singled to open the Reds' second against Jeff Locke.  Ivan De Jesus Jr., who arrived from Triple A Louisville homerless, drilled his fourth home run to left.  Lorenzen singled and Billy Hamilton walked. Brandon Phillips drove in his eighth run in two days with a single.

The Pirates chipped away. Kang doubled again leading off the fourth. Pedro Alvarez delivered with an RBI single.  McCutchen tied the game with his 15th home run in the fifth.

Kang doubled again to open the sixth.  Lorenzen was about to pitch out of the jam, retiring the next two batters. Manager Bryan Price elected to walk number eight hitter Francisco Cervelli to bring up the pitchers' spot.  Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle sent Travis Ishikawa to pinch hit. Lorenzen walked Ishikawa, then walked to the shower, as Jumbo Diaz took over.  Kang scored on a wild pitch while Polanco was working another walk. Marte singled to left.  Cervelli scored but Ishikawa was thrown out by Jason Bourgeois at the plate.

The Ishikawa at bat frustrated Lorenzen most of all.

"It was a better start. It was a step in the right direction. You have to trust the process," Lorenzen said. "It was disappointing. Ishikawa took some tough pitches. There was a high pitch that I thought he was going to swing at. He fouled off some tough pitches too."

Marlon Byrd hit his 18th home run of the season off Jared Hughes.

Joakim Soria pitched the seventh for Pittsburgh.  The right-hander acquired from the Tigers got Phillips and Bourgeois out to start the inning. Votto walked for the third time in the game. Todd Frazier singled. Marlon Byrd walked on a 3-2 pitch.  Soria fell behind Brayan Pena 3-0, then got a called strike. Pena lined the 3-1 pitch up the middle but Soria speared it to end the threat.

Pena exhibited frustration that is uncommon for the upbeat Reds' catcher. He threw up his hands after the catch and bent over with his hands on his knees.

"I've never been one to act like that," Pena said.  "I felt like this one was on me. I tried to redeem myself. I know he (Soria) is a pretty good athlete but I didn't think he would catch that. It was frustrating. I was thinking about getting that run in or maybe give us the lead. Soria was my closer in Kansas City. He will probably tease me about it because he won the battle. It is tough to take but tomorrow is another day."

J.J. Hoover, Burke Badenhop and Ryan Mattheus pitched scoreless innings to keep the Reds' hopes alive.

The Pirates sent their top closer and All-Star Mark Melancon out to earn his 33rd save and his extend his team record to 31 straight. His last blown save was April 21 against the Chicago Cubs.

Phillips opened the ninth with a single to center. Bourgeois bunted Phillips to second. Votto walked for the fourth time. Frazier grounded a single to left but Starling Marte threw Phillips out at home easily. The Reds challenged the home plate collision rule but the call was confirmed in 1:25. Byrd worked another full count. Byrd hit a sinking liner to left that Marte picked off the grass to end the game.

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Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman Stay With Reds

There was plenty of interest in Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman but Walt Jocketty didn't think the Reds were offered enough in return.

The 28-year old Bruce and  27-year old Chapman are still with the Reds entering the prime of their careers.

“There was interest in both players, but we weren’t necessarily looking to move them," Walt Jocketty said. "The guys we moved were going to be free agents at the end of the season. We were very happy with what we did. Another benchmark I use is talking to general managers of other clubs, and all of the ones I talked to felt like we got some very good talent.”

Jocketty, perhaps learning from one of the worst trades in Reds' history, kept the two stars that are still on the rise rather than make a mistake like Bill DeWitt did by trading Frank Robinson.  DeWitt was quoted,"Robinson is an old 30."  He traded Robinson in the winter of 1965. Robinson won baseball's triple crown for the Baltimore Orioles and became the only player to win the Most Valuable Player Award in both the National and American League.
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Jocketty did get four pitchers and a power hitting infielder for pitchers Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, who were both on the last year of their contracts.

"There were a couple of deals that could’ve gone either way, but in the end, we weren’t getting the value we were looking for," Jocketty said. "We felt like we did well with the Cueto and Leake trades with what we got in return and meeting the objective of them to possibly playing in the post-season. It worked out well. We were very, very happy with our return.”

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Mike Leake Goes To San Francisco Reds Pitching Gets Younger

The Reds knew they couldn't keep Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey.

They knew they couldn't sign them all.  Bailey was signed to a six-year deal last spring, becoming the only holdover from the young starting rotation that led the Reds to three playoff appearances in four seasons.

Veteran Bronson Arroyo left two years ago.  His replacements Alfredo Simon and Mat Latos were traded for younger players.
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Now Cueto and Leake become expendable and will command a lot of money next year when their contracts expire.

The Reds' pitching staff is now full of rookie starters.  Anthony DeSclafani, Josh Smith, Jon Moscot, Michael Lorenzen, David Holmberg and Raisel Iglesias have all started games for the Reds. Former starter and by former, I mean a week removed, Keyvius Sampson made his Major League debut out of the bullpen on Monday.

Less than two hours after the game, the Reds announced that Leake was traded to San Francisco for infielder Adam Duvall, a Louisville, Kentucky native who was at Triple A Sacramento, and the Giants' top pitching prospect RHP Keury Mella.

Leake left on a high note with a 9-5 record. He allowed just two runs in his last 30 innings as a Red.

Mella is 21 years old from Bonao, Dominican Republic.  He was pitching in High A at San Jose in the Giants' system. Mella is 6'2" and 200 lbs. He was 5-3 with a 3.31 ERA at San Jose in 16 starts.

Duvall was the Giants' 11th round pick in the 2010 draft out of the University of Louisville. He is 6'1", 205 lbs.  Duvall made his Major League debut in San Francisco against the Reds on June 26, 2014.  He was 1-for-4 with a home run off Leake, one of four hits Leake allowed in a 3-1 Reds' win.

Duvall played in 28 games for the Giants in 2014 and hit .192 with three home runs and five RBI in 73 at bats. He struck out 20 times. Duvall was 2-for-7 as a pinch hitter with one of his home runs and two of his RBI coming off the bench.

At Sacramento, Duvall was hitting .279 with 26 home runs and 79 RBI. He also hit 25 doubles and two triples, stole four bases and walked 25 times.  Duvall struck out 90 times in 398 at bats. He got on base at a .323 clip with a slugging percentage at .548.

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Mike Leake To Giants

The Reds dealt Mike Leake to the San Francisco Giants for INF Adam Duvall and RHP Keury Mellla

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Reds Put NL Central On Notice With Big Outburst

All of a sudden, the Reds have perked up when playing the top two teams in their own Central Division.

The Reds hit a trio of three-run home runs and Brandon Phillips set a career high with seven RBI on two home runs as the Reds pounded Pittsburgh with a 15-5 victory.

The Reds won a series in St. Louis, a rare accomplishment against the first place Cardinals, then came home and jumped all over the second place Pittsburgh Pirates.

"We/re playing good baseball right now," said Phillips, who was the first player in baseball history to have four hits, two home runs, seven RBI and two stolen bases in the same game. "We're trying to finish up strong. We still believe in ourselves. I'm glad you told me about being the first one to do that.  Willie Mays didn't do it? Hank Aaron? I'm really feeling myself right now."

Marlon Byrd unloaded a three-run home run off A.J. Burnett in the first inning to stake David Holmberg, making his first start of the season, to a 3-0 lead. Ivan De Jesus Jr, who is giving Todd Frazier a rest, singled. Joey Votto singled to set the table for Byrd's 17th long fly.

Holmberg was reached for a long home run by Pedro Alvarez but his new teammates weren't finished with Burnett.

Votto doubled to open the third.  Byrd sent Votto to third with a single up the middle. Jay Bruce hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run for the fifth straight game (10 total).

Billy Hamilton started trouble for Burnett in the fourth by dodging a tag try by firstbaseman Alvarez. Hamilton stole second with Brandon Phillips batting.  Burnett, who once intentionally drilled Billy the Marlin in Florida as a member of the Marlins' team, hit Hamilton squarely in the back on a pickoff attempt.  Hamilton with, empathy for Billy the Marlin, was in pain and didn't advance when the throw squirted into centerfield.  Hamilton outran the pain with his 49th steal of the year at third and trotted home on Phillips' single past a drawn-in secondbaseman.

Holmberg allowed base runners in the third, fourth and fifth. The Pirates found no treasure at home plate.  Holmberg struck out Andrew McCutchen looking with a man on in the third to end the inning. He struck out Alvarez swinging to end the fourth and coaxed a double play groundball from Starling Marte with two on to finish the fifth.

"He used his defense and commanded the strike zone," Bryan Price said. "He gave us six productive innings."

Cincinnati finished off Burnett in the fifth. Tucker Barnhart was hit by a pitch with one out. Holmberg pulled back from a bunt stance and drilled a hit-and-run single to right. It was his first Major League hit. Hamilton hit a one hopper to Alvarez, who was moved from thirdbase because he was erratic with his throws to first, who threw the ball into leftfield. Barnhart scored. The Reds had runners at second and third.

"Burnett has been tough on us in the past," Price said. "We made him throw pitches and hit with a lot of men on base. It was great that everybody contributed to the offense."

Deolis Guerra relieved Burnett and promptly surrendered Phillips' sixth home run of the year. De Jesus Jr. walked.  Votto reached base for the fourth time in the game with another walk. Bruce doubled over McCutchen's head, driving in two more runs to make it 11-1.

Holmberg gave up a run on two hits in the sixth.  Skip Schumaker delivered his league leading 14th pinch hit for Holmberg in the bottom of the inning.  Holmberg finished with six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out four.

"I just tried to treat it as just another game," said Holmberg, who had to wait his turn. "Whatever team you play for you try to just do your job. It was pretty cool to come back. Everybody greeted me. It was a lot easier to pitch with a lead too. The hit was pretty cool. I didn't get a lot of A,B's down there."

Hamilton singled for his second time in the game.  Phillips victimized Guerra again with a 390 ft. home run. It was his 11th career multi-home run game and set a new career-high with seven RBI.

Pittsburgh scored three runs off Ryan Mattheus after the first two were retired in the seventh.
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The Reds took advantage of Anthony Bastardo's wildness scoring two runs on on a hit batter and three walks.

Keyvius Sampson made his Major League debut for the Reds in the Pirates' eighth, striking out two of the three batters he faced.

Sampson didn't find out until 3:00 that he was being recalled. He ran into traffic from Louisville and arrived at 6:15.

'I didn't get to play toss or anything," Sampson said. "I got dressed and went straight to the bullpen.  Words can't describe what it felt like. I wouldn't have written it up any other way. My heart was pounding. I tried to control my breathing. I was just worried about throwing my first pitch for a strike. I'm glad we had a big lead."

Jaff (pronounced Jeff) Decker became the first position player to pitch for the Pirates as he entered the game in the ninth inning.  He pitched out of a second and third no out jam to put up a scoreless inning.

Pedro Villarreal mopped up and closed shop for the Reds.

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Joe Blanton Finally Arrives In Cincinnati (With Pittsburgh) As Cueto Departs

Joe Blanton arrived in Cincinnati seven years late.

The Reds had trade discussion with the Oakland Athletics in the winter of 2007 and 2008.

Oakland reportedly was asking for either Homer Bailey or Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto.

At the time Bailey was 21 and had a 4-2 record with a 5.76 ERA in nine starts for the Reds. Cueto was 22 with no Major League experience. Votto hit .321 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 24 games with the Reds.

The Reds naturally, and thankfully balked at such a trade but Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty knew better than Reds' brass.  The following words were written by Daugherty on February 8, 2008:

Building for the future and other mistakes

Interesting how so many fans are so concerned about trading prospects for established talent. This time, it involves acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect.

I do it in a second because (1) a reason you build your farm system is to have players to trade and (2) If you are a small-money club, you don't get chances to win every year. The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter, finish 3rd or 4th, win about 80 games; trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer.

I look at prospect-hoarding like this: You save your whole life for retirement. You sacrifice when you're young, so you can take it easy when you're not. Then when you retire, you become sick or infirm and all that money you could have spent when you were young enough to enjoy it just sits there.

Blanton is a proven winner, a guy who threw 230 innings last year, gave up only 16 homers in the AL and walked only 40 hitters. Cueto is. . . is. . . we don't know. Same for Votto and Bailey.

Do you want to win after 8 years of losing? Or do you want to brag about the prospects? Spend your money now, while you can? Or hoard it, for an uncertain future that might never arrive?

The subject came up because the Pittsburgh Pirates took Daugherty's advice.  They purchased Blanton's contract from the Kansas City Royals on Thursday after the Royals designated Blanton for assignment to make room on the roster for, guess whom?  They made room for THAT Johnny Cueto.

Blanton finished that 2008 season with the Philadelphia Phillies after starting the season with the A's.  He was 9-12 with a 4.69 ERA for the two teams.

Blanton's best year was 2009 with a 12-8 campaign with the Phillies.  Blanton was in the Philadelphia rotation with Vance Worley, who ironically was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Blanton.
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The 34-year old from Bowling Green, Kentucky was 2-14 with the Los Angeles Angels in 2013 and was out of baseball for a year.

'I didn't do anything for 10 months," Blanton told a gathering of reporters. "It was a little refreshing to be honest. My plan was to never play again."

But as the with Daugherty's proposed trade, fate has cards it needs to show.

Former Reds' pitcher Zach Duke moved into Blanton's Nashville neighborhood.  Blanton agreed to play catch with Duke during the off-season.

"I remembered that I used to be pretty good at this thing," Blanton said. "My agent asked around and a couple teams were interested in me."

Blanton signed with the Royals.  Blanton made four starts among his 15 appearances with Kansas City. He was 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA.

Blanton threw 3 2/3 innings against the Pirates last Friday in a 3-1 Kansas City win, striking out five.

"We watched Joe for awhile," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "We thought he was a better overall fit for us out of the bullpen (than Worley). We saw him when a starter went down in Kansas City. He got the call and put us down quick and efficiently."


Nate Adcock To Have Surgery Tuesday

The season is over for Elizabethtown, Kentucky native Nate Adcock.

Adcock pitched in Colorado on Sunday. After the game he felt something in his tricep muscle.

"My tricep locked up," Adcock said. "They treated it but come to find out that I had a complete tear. It's tough for me and my family. You can't establish yourself with a team if you're not healthy."

The Reds promoated  Keyvius (pronounced KEE vus) Sampson from Triple A Louisville.

Sampson was with the Reds in spring training but was optioned to Pensacola as the team broke camp. Sampson was a fourth round pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2009 draft. The Gainsville, Florida native will make his Major League debut at age 24 when he gets into a game. The Reds claimed him off waivers from the Padres on January 8.
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Sampson made eight appearances, seven starts, at Pensacola (1-2, 1.85 ERA). He was promoted to Louisville on June 10, where he pitched in eight games, seven starts with a 2-4 record with a 5.08 ERA. His last start was on July 24 at Indianapolis. Sampson pitched eight innings of five-hit shutout baseball.

The Reds will be able to cover multiple innings out of the Reds' bullpen.


"We thought Sampson could support us out of the bullpen," Bryan Price said. "We put him back in the starting rotation at Louisville but then we made the trade. (Johnny Cueto for three pitchers, two of whom went to Louisville as starters.) That pushed him back to a bullpen role. He threw very well for us in spring training. He has a delivery that is easy to repeat and is always on time. It is consistent enough so he can bounce back the next day after pitching in relief."

Adcock's surgery will be "Tommy John" in which a ligament from his left arm is used to repair a torn ligament on his right arm.

Adcock, 27, pitched in 13 games for the Reds. He was 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 18 innings.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Reds Trade Johnny Cueto to Royals For Three Left-handed Pitchers


The Reds pulled the trigger on a trade involving home-grown ace Johnny Cueto.

Cueto will pitch for reigning American League champions the Kansas City Royals.

The Reds get three left-handed pitchers in return for the pitcher who was 92-63 in a Reds' uniform.

Branden Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed come to the Reds.

Cueto will return to Cincinnati when the Royals come to Great American Ball Park August 18 and 19. If he continues on his five-day program, he would start against the Reds on the 19th.

"It was a little crazy for me with all the rumors," Cueto said through Brayan Pena on Fox Sports Ohio. }Now I can concentrate on what I have to do. The toughest part is saying goodbye to all of my teammates. I have been with them for a long time."

Brandon Finnegan is the key. He worked out of the bullpen as part of the Royals playoff  run last year. He was the Royals top pick(17th overall) in the 2014 draft out of Texas Christian University.
The 22-year old native of Fort Worth, Texas is 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA, working out of the bullpen this year for Kanass City in 14 games.

Finnegan started the season with Double A Northwest Arkansas where he made three starts with an 0-1 record with a 2.77 ERA.  He was promoted to Triple A Omaha where he made four starts and is 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA.

He made his Major League debut with the Royals against the New York Yankees on September 6. He pitched two innings, no runs on two hits. He struck out two.

Finnegan and Lamb will go to Louisville. The Bats will put him in the starting rotation.


Lamb, 25, was the Royals fifth round pick out of Laguna Hills High School in 2008. He had surgery in 2011.  Lamb was 9-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 17 starts at Omaha.

Cody Reed will go from Double A Northwest Arkansas to the Reds' Double A team in Pensacola.

Reed is 22-years old out of Horn Lake, Mississippi.  He was the Royals' second round pick in 2013.
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Reed was 5-5 with a 2.14 ERA in 10 starts at High A Wilmington. He was promoted to NW Arkansas and was 2-2 with a 3.45 ERA in five starts.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Joey Votto On Base In Nine of Ten Plate Appearances

Joey Votto leaves town exceptionally hot.

The Reds' firstbaseman hit safely in five straight at-bats to raise his season average to .298.

After he hit his 17th home run in the fifth inning of the first game, he singled in the seventh and eighth. Votto had singles in the first and fourth inning in the second game.

Votto reached base four times in the first game and in all five plate appearances in the second game, including intentional walks in the second and eighth innings, reaching base in seven straight appearances. He is the first Reds' player to reach base nine times in a doubleheader since Pete Rose did it in the 1970's.
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Since the All-Star break Votto is hitting. 538.

His on-base percentage went from .401 which was fourth in the National League just behind Anthony Rizzo  to .420 after the doubleheader, where he trails Bryce Harper's league-leading  .463 and Paul Goldschmidt's .455.

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Cubs Comeback Evens Series

Taylor Teagarden the Cubs' third catcher looked terrible in his first two pinch hit assignments.

The 31-year old journeyman struck out on six pitches in which he meekly waved at the third strike both times. Against one of the least hittable pitchers in the game, Aroldis Chapman, Teagaurden laced a single up the middle to score Anthony Rizzo with the winning run in the 6-5 comeback win.

"We went with Chappy's best pitch," said Reds' catcher Brayan Pena. "It was a good pitch. In that situation we have to go with his 100 mph fastball. He (Teagarden) just got a good hit."

Rizzo was on second base after his bid to drive in the winning run was thwarted by a strong throw by Marlon Byrd to nail Dexter Fowler, who opened the inning with a single, at home plate.

"We made some great plays too," Bryan Price said. "Marlon's throw to the plate kept them from scoring then."

The Cubs argued that Pena blocked the plate but replay officials in New York found Pena innocent.

"It's tough," Pena said. "We were taught to secure the ball and protect the plate. It happens so fast. It's in the back of your mind about leaving room to slide but you can't think about it while it is happening. You just go back to what you've been taught. You try to get into position every time the ball is hit to the outfield.  I thought I did the right thing but they still challenged it."

Reds' manager Price ordered Jorge Soler walked intentionally to bring up the pitchers' spot in the batting order but the Cubs' last position player spoiled the strategy.

"We had to get to the pitchers spot and get Rondon out of the game," Price said. "It was their last position player and we would have an advantage if we got out of the inning."
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Jason Motte allowed a two-out single to Eugenio Suarez but struck out Ivan De Jesus Jr. to seal it.

The Cubs erased a five-run early lead to put themselves in position to win.

The Reds put together another big inning in the second inning of game II against Dallas Beeler but the Cubs answered against Tony Cingrani.

The Cubs missed a silver opportunity in the first when Fowler doubled to lead off the game.

.The Reds missed a golden opportunity when Billy Hamilton reached on a bunt single and sprinted to third on Joey Votto's single.  The usually reliable Todd Frazier lifted a fly to shallow centerfield.  So shallow that even Hamilton wouldn't run on Fowler.  Jay Bruce hit the ball very hard but Addison Russell was able to glove it and start an inning ending double play.

The Reds got another chance off Beeler in the second inning. Brayan Pena singled. Marlon Byrd walked. Eugenion Surarez singled to load the bases.  Ivan De Jesus Jr. drove in a run with a solid single.  Castro botched Cingrani's double play grounder for an error that allowed Byrd to score. Hamilton doubled in two runs. Votto was walked intentionally.  Frazier again popped up for the first out.  Bruce grounded out to third to drive in Cingrani for his 600th career RBI.  Pena bounced out to end the inning.

The Cubs were undaunted against Cingrani, who made his first start of the season and first appearance since June13..

Jonathan Herrera doubled to leftcenter. Fowler struck out but Castro doubled in Herrera. Cingrani hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch. Jorge Soler walked to load the bases.  Former Red Chris Denorfia doubled to cut the Reds' lead to 5-3. Russel struck out but Kris Bryant, batting for Beeler singled on a two-strike pitch to tie the game.  Pedro Villarreal kept the score tied getting Herrera to fly out.

"Cingrani started to elevate the ball," Price said. "He fell behind 3-0 to Bryant."

Both bullpens took over.

Travis Wood, Pedro Strop and Rafael Soriano kept the Reds in check on four hits.

Villarreal pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball to save the bullpen.

"Villarreal gave us exactly what we needed," Price said. "He got us to Diaz and Chapman with a chance to win the game."

Jumbo Diaz was entrusted with the tie game in the eighth inning.

The Cubs' Hector Rondon escaped another jam in the bottom of the eighth.

With one out, pinch hitter Skip Schumaker beat out a slow roller.  Hamilton's third hit a double to the right centerfield gap put the Reds in business.  Cubs' manager Joe Maddon ordered Votto walked for the second time in the game. Votto reached base for the fifth time in the game. Frazier, who left stranded in all four previous at bats was determined to drive in the go-ahead run. Frazier lined one down the thirbase line, just foul. The Reds' All-Star lined a two-strike pitch up the middle.  The ball off Rondon so hard that firstbaseman Rizzo fielded it on the fly with enough time to force Schumaker at the plate.  Bruce flied out to left to leave the bases harmlessly loaded.

Reds Wake Up With A First Inning Rally In The First Of Two.

The Reds' Wednesday morning wake up call resulted in a four-run inning against Kyle Hendricks to hang a 9-1 loss on the Chicago Cubs.

After a disappointing loss in a disappointing season, the Reds' bounced back less than 12 hours after last night's 13-inning game ended.

Brandon Phillips, who was taken out late in the game for a rare double switch, opened the game with an infield hit. He advanced on Starlin Castro's throwing error. Jason Bourgeois hit an infield single.  Joey Votto walked.  Todd Frazier dumped a blooper down the rightfield line for a two-run double.  Eugenio Suarez assaulted the other line with a hard-hit double.

Mike Leake worked around Kyle Schwarber's, yes him again, single in the first.

Schwarber, the Middie Mauler, singled again in his second at-bat.  This time it followed a double by Addison Russell and an infield hit by Chris Coghlan.  It cut the Reds' lead to 4-1.

Leake saved the Reds' overworked bullpen, a feat more important than his eighth win. Leake retired 16 straight batters after Schwarber's hit before Burke Badenhop mopped up with a

Votto lined his 17th home run into the rightfield bleachers in the fifth to negate the Cubs run.

The Reds broke the game open in the seventh after two outs and no one on.  Votto and Frazier singled off Yoervis Medina, who was called up before the game. Suarez walked.  Skip Schumaker walked on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run.  Billy Hamilton ran the count full, then singled over the leaping Castro for two runs. Tucker Barnhart singled to cap the Reds' second four-run inning.

It Is Ernie Banks Day On The Banks Of The Ohio

Mr. Cub Ernie Banks
A picture of Hall of Fame Chicago Cubs' player Ernie Banks is the Cubs' Media Guide.

It is appropriate because Banks, who passed away on January 23, was famous for "Let's play two."  The former shortstop and firstbaseman was so enthusiastic that he would say this whenever he entered the clubhouse.  Banks' number 14 has long since retired after a brilliant 19-year career, all with the Cubs.

In Banks' day doubleheaders were a once a week staple.  Teams would play doubleheaders on Sunday and use Monday to travel.  Now doubleheaders are used to make up games and the teams charge separate admissions by spacing them out in a day-night format.  In the old days kids could by a bleacher ticket for 75 cents, pack a cooler with drinks and sandwiches and spend five or six hours cheering for their team and chasing home run balls.

Today a rained out game from April 25 will be made up with a 6:10 pm start after the crowd from the scheduled 12:35 game is flushed from Great American Ball Park.

Banks is probably looking down with disdain but at least they are playing two games. In fact, since last nights 13-inning game ended after midnight, the Reds and Cubs will complete three games on this date.

Banks joined the Cubs in September of 1953 at age 22.

The native of Dallas, Texas played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues at the age of 19 after he was discovered playing fastpitch softball in his church league.  Banks' high school Booker T Washington didn't have a baseball team.

After serving in Germany with the 45th Anti-Artillary Battalion from Ft. Bliss during the Korean War, Banks returned to the Monarchs in 1953 but was signed by the Cubs in September 1953.

Banks played in 10 games, hitting .310 with two home runs and six RBI.

At the age of 25, Banks led the National League with 47 home runs as a shortstop. He moved to firstbase in 1961.
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Banks retired after the 1971 season, never having participated in the World Series. He hit 512 home runs in his career. That total is second to Sammy Sosa's 545 home runs.  Banks played in more Cubs' games (2,528),  had more at-bats (9,421), more total bases (4,706) and more extra-base hits (1,009) than any player in Cubs' history.

Hence the nickname, Mr. Cub.

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Kyle Schwarber Goes Deep Twice Hometown Hero Haunts Hoover And Reds

Kyle Schwarber used to watch games at Great American Ball Park.  Now he stars in them

A 13th inning line drive home run off Nate Adcock doomed the Reds in a 5-4 loss.

"The young guy fouled off some tough pitches and was able to hit the 3-2 pitch out of the park," Bryan Price said.

"It wasn't a terrible pitch," Adcock said. 'It was down. I threw a slider at his back foot. It was one he swung over. It was down but I guess it wasn't down enough.  The kid's hot. He put a good swing on it. It's tough to swallow."

It was the second home run of the game and fourth hit for the Middletown High School grad. Schwarber ended his 11th Major League game hitting .410 with three home runs and 10 RBI, including four in the game.

"It was awesome to help contribute," said Schwarber as he cleaned shaving cream out of his ear from the obligatory victory pie in the face. "I was just trying to hit the ball to get on base both times. It got to two strikes and it was battle mode. They are not going to give in to me.

J.J. Hoover had not allowed a run since June 30th but Schwarber hit a 424' home run off Hoover with a man on to tie the game

"We knew we didn't have Chappy," Price said.  "We've used Hoov a lot. This was four out of five days. He said he was ready to go.  There were a lot of guys we were trying to stay away from then we go extra innings and tax our bullpen."

"We still had work to do," Schwarber said. "I'm proud of this pitching staff.  Jason (Hamel) battled through five innings. The bullpen had to shut them down for six innings."

Schwarber was named Most Valuable Player on Sunday in the Futures Game at Great American Ball Park with a two-run triple. His majestic, dramatic home run deep into the Cubs' bullpen pulled the Cubs even.  Schwarber's second home run followed Dexter Fowler's inning opening single.

"I knew I always wanted to be a Major League player but never knew it would come to fruition," said Schwarber, who left 12 tickets for family. "A lot of hard work went into it. I have the best teammates here. There is no rookie this or rookie that."

Frazier, the Home Run Derby champ, dumped a single over a drawn-in infield to plate Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto to snap a seven inning tie.

Phillips singled with one out off former Red Travis Wood.  Votto laced a single to center, allowing Phillips to motor to third.  Votto stole second, his sixth to set up the flare by causing the Cubs' infield to pull in.

Cubs' manager Joe Maddon brought Pedro Strop in to face Frazier.  Frazier barely got a piece of a low breaking ball with two strikes, then just made enough contact to get the job done.

Raisel Iglesias made his first start in nine days.

His last start was a rough one in Miami.  Iglesias gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings on July 11.
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Against the Chicago Cubs, Iglesias was much better.

The Reds got off to a good start against Jason Hamels.

Brandon Phillips singled to open the first.  Cubs' centerfielder Dexter Fowler flat out dropped Joey Votto's fly ball and Phillips strolled to thirdbase.  Todd Frazier flied out to center to score Phillips.

Marlon Byrd was called out in a close play on a slow groundball to Addison Russell at secondbase. A 42 second review revealed that Byrd beat the throw.  Eugenio Suarez singled.  Byrd took third on a wild pitch and scored on Skip Schumaker's ground out.

Iglesias kept the Cubs off the scoreboard for four innings.

Middletown High's Kyle Schwarber doubled to center to score Russell in the fifth inning and put runners on second and third with one out.  Iglesias struck out Kris Bryant and retired Anthony Rizzo on a routine fly to center to maintain the lead.

Chris Coghlan hit a line drive off the top of the leftfield fence for an apparent triple. A crew chief review that took 3:42  changed it to a game tying home run.

Iglesias got Starlin Catro on a groundout but he walked Hamel and Russell.  Jumbo Diaz replaced him. Diaz preserved the tie.

Ryan Matthues pitched a scoreless eighth ro help make Diaz the winner.  J.J. Hoover came on in the ninth to earn his second save.  Aroldis Chapman worked three innings the last two nights with a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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