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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.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Reds Sink Tired Pirates

The Reds have taken the "spoilers" role as they try to affect a pennant race they long since have relinquished.

Anthony DeSclafani pitched into the eighth inning for the second time in his career, snapping a personal three-game losing streak in the Reds' 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates were shaky on defense after an emotional win over the dastardly St. Lous Cardinals, who they trail by 5 1/2 games on Labor Day. They maintain a 3 1/2 game advantage over the Chicago Cubs for the home wild card position.

Their late arrival at 1:30 a.m. from St. Louis or their 2:00 a.m. arrival at the Westin Hotel won't be used as an excuse.

"It was good to represent Buc nation in front of a national audience," Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle said. "This is something we get to do, not something we've got to do."
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Still the Reds took advantage of two Pirate's errors to forge a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Sean Rodriguez who is a relative newcomer to the shortstop position, made his second error of the game on Brandon Phillips ground ball that opened the inning. He had earlier allowed Todd Frazier to reach in the first inning but starter Jeff Locke pitched around it.  This time Jay Bruce singled. It was his 1,00th Major League hit.  Eugenio Suarez singled Phillips home. Adam Duvall walked to load the bases. Tucker Barnhart hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Bruce. Polanco's throw got past catcher Chris Stewart to allow Suarez to score.

Anthony DeSclafani breezed through the first seven innings, allowing five singles.  Bruce plucked the single by Jung Ho Kang off the rightfield fence. Jaff Decker led off the eighth with a double and one out later scored on a single by Neil Walker.  Jumbo Diaz came on to face Andrew McCutchen as the tying run. Diaz walked him and fell behind Kang 3-0.  Kang hit a hard grounder to Joey Votto's glove side at first. Votto backhanded the ball, moving toward second. He threw to Suarez, who threw to Diaz covering first to end the inning.

Locke left with two runners on in the sixth inning two of the rhree runs he allowed were unearnedl He surrendered four hits.. Pedro Alvarez made the Pirates fourth error of the game and Bruce walked. Jared Hughes relieved Locke and picked Phillips off second.

Aroldis Chapman came in to attempt his 29 save in 31 tries.  DeSclafani has been the victim of three blown saves this year. Chapman struck out Josh Harrison and walked Rodriguez, then picked him off first. He struck out Starling Marte to end the game.

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