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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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Reds Cards Battle Into The Night

Randal Grichuk's 13th home run of the season off Dylan Axelrod in the 13th inning sent the Cardinals to a 4-3 win, breaking the Reds' three-game winning streak over St. Louis 4-3.

The Reds didn't hit Cardinals' starter Carlos Martinez hard but they hit him just enough to post a 2-0 lead in the third inning.

Joey Votto walked.  The struggling Todd Frazier topped a ball off the plate that stayed fair just 60 feet from home plate. Marlon Byrd hit a ground ball in the hole at shortstop that Jhonny Peralta got his glove on but it trickled behind him for a hit, according to the official scorer.  Brayan Pena blooped a pitch barely fair down the leftfield line.  It was  as if the karma that has followed the Cardinals' domination of the Reds in recent years switched sides as two runs scored.

Byrd's single was later changed to an error.

"It was a well pitched game on both sides," Bryan Price said. "Martinez wasn't as sharp as he usually is. There was a hit batter and a couple of walks. We didn't get that big hit to give us separation."

David Holmberg in his second big league start of the season allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in three of the first four innings.  The exception was a perfect third inning.

Karma played defense for the Reds in the fourth.  Jason Heyward walked to open the inning. Peralta scalded a pitch that sounded like a double to Heyward. When Frazier caught the ball at thirdbase, Heyward was easily doubled off first.

Frazier hit another slow roller that Peralta fielded for an out with the bases loaded in the fourth but Holmberg, who walked, scored.

The Cardinals got to Holmberg in the sixth.

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Holmberg hit pinch hitter Peter Bourjos with a pitch. He walked Matt Carpenter. Randal Grichuk hit a drive off the top of the fence in front of the bullpen. Bourjos scored and Carpenter went to third. The umpires reviewed the hit for four minutes to make sure the Cardinals' second hit of the game was a double and did not leave the ballpark.

"It was command in that inning," Price said. "Sometimes you don't need pitch counts. You just go by what you see. It's a disappointing loss for sure."

Manny Parra relieved Holmberg and struck out Heyward. Peralta hit a pitch off the handle for a run scoring single. The much booed Yadier Molina hit into a 4-6-3 double play as Parra saved the Reds' lead. Parra got the first out of the seventh. Ryan Mattheus got the last two outs with Billy Hamilton making a sliding catch of Kolten Wong's liner.

Carlos Villanueva replaced Martinez for the Cardinals in the sixth and former Red Jonathan Broxton pitched the seventh, striking out the side.

Matt Carpenter hit his 15th home run off J.J. Hoover with one out in the eighth to tie the game 3-3.

"It was middle in. That wasn't what I wanted to do," Hoover said. "I've faced Carpenter a lot. If I execute my pitches I probably get him out."

Kevin Siegrist retired the Reds in order in the eighth, giving the Cardinals' bullpen a string of 10 straight batters and 12 out of 13 for the Cardinals' bullpen.

Aroldis Chapman entered the tie game in the ninth.

Siegrist struck out Hamilton to start the ninth and extend the streak to 11 batters in a row retired but Phillips' third hit of the game broke it. Phillips stole his 16th base with Votto batting.   Votto took a called third strike.

Trevor Rosenthal entered the game to face Frazier, who grounded out to Wong at secondbase.

Jumbo Diaz struck out five of the seven batters he faced to send the tie to the bottom of the 11th.

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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