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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, August 4, 2015

Reds Beat Arch Rivals For Third Straight Time

The Reds jumped on Cardinals' starter John Lackey in the first inning and held on for their third straight win over their arch enemies 3-2.

Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto singled before Lackey could get loose.  Todd Frazier hit into a double play and it looked like Lackey would escape but the red hot Jay Bruce doubled against the shift to score Phillips.

The Reds rolled on.  Marlon Byrd doubled off the right centerfield wall to score Bruce. Brayan Pena walked and Eugenio Suarez delivered Byrd with a single.

Reds' starter Anthony DeSclafani gave up a two-out single to Jason Heyward in the first but struck out four in two scoreless innings.

Randal Grichuk tripled over Billy Hamilton's head to start the third for the Cardinals. Matt Carpenter hit his 14th home run one out later. They were the first runs scored off Reds' pitching in 24 innings.

Phillips singled and Votto walked in the second inning but Lackey retired the last 14 batters he faced.

DeSclafani allowed one hit in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth but kept St. Louis off the scoreboard.  He finished with six innings with two runs on seven hits and a career-high nine strikeouts.

The win evened DeSclafani's record at 7-7. He beat St. Louis in two straight starts.

"I had them guessing a lot more," DeSclafani said. "I try not to do anything different. I let Brayan (Pena) call the game. I was ready to make an in-game adjustment if I had to."

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"He attacked the strike zone with good stuff," Bryan Price said. "It's more attitude than anything else. He has no fear in him. His stuff is great. When you work fast and throw strikes the defense wants to play behind you."

Billy Hamilton nearly got to Grichuk's triple and did take an extra base hit away from Jason Heyward in the eighth inning.

"The ball took off," Hamilton said. "I've always played that way, 100 percent. I will watch the replays. Anything to take my mind off missing that bunt."

Burke Badenhop took over in the seventh. Since April, Badenhop has a 1.82 ERA in 33 appearances, turning in a scoreless inning.

Seth Maness took over for Lackey in the home seventh.

Skip Schumaker led off the inning with his league leading 15th pinch hit.  Hamilton popped up an attempted sacrifice bunt.

J.J. Hoover worked a scoreless eighth to turn over the lead to Aroldis Chapman, looking for his 23rd save in 24 tries.

Chapman slammed the door with two strikeouts.

Chapman has saves in 56 straight opportunities at home.

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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