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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, April 8, 2016

Brandon Phillips Gets Well But Starling Marte's Grand Slam Sinks Reds

Starling Marte's first career grand slam off J.J. Hoover erased a three-run deficit and kept the Pirates undefeated in a 6-5 win over the previously unbeaten Reds.

Ross Ohlendorf retired the first two Pirates in the top of the eighth with the Reds leading 5-2 but hit John Jaso, the third batter the Reds hit with a pitch.  Andrew McCutchen walked.  Brandon Phillips temporarily saved a run with a diving stop of  David Freese's bid for a run scoring single.  Hoover entered and Marte hit a 1-0 pitch over 400 ft. into the leftfield bleachers.

It was the Pirates first home run of the season.

"The first run they scored came after two out and nobody on," Bryan Price said. "They didn't concede any at-bats."

Hoover owned Marte until tonight.  Marte was 1-for-14 with eight strike outs coming into the last at-bat.

"It was a slider that hung up," Hoover said. "I didn't execute it to the best of my ability.  The conditions had nothing to do with it . I was warm and ready to come in."

Brandon Phillips drove in two runs with a home run and a sacrifice fly and scored a run on a stolen base/wild pitch..

Phillips shed the flu then hit the first pitch he saw for a home run off Francisco Liriano in the first chilly inning of this cold,cold game.. It was Phillips first of the season and gave the Reds a 2-0 lead.

Eugenio Suarez singled with one out.  He stole second while Joey Votto was batting and advanced to third when Pirate catcher, Francisco Cervelli, threw the ball into centerfield.  Votto's ground out drove Suarez home.

Pirates starter Francisco Liriano, who homered  in his first start of the season, doubled to plate Jordy Mercer singled off Alfredo Simon.

The Reds loaded the bases with no outs in the third.  Phillips sent McCutchen back into deep centerfield with a fly that scored Zack Cozart.

Suarez' error put McCutchen on base to open the fifth.  Simon walkded David Freese and hit Marte to load the bases.  Cervelli hit a ball into the hole at short. Cozart took the force at third as McCutchen scored.  Simon fanned Gregory Polanco.  Cozart picked up a booted ball by Suarez and caught Marte rounding third to end the inning.

"It was an odd game," Price said. "The conditions weren't real good.  That game could have gone either way. Both teams played in the same conditions.  Simon and Liriano both had to battle to get a feel for the ball. Anyone who came into the game had trouble."

The Reds got the run back when Freese, the Pirate thirdbaseman couldn't field a ground ball by Jay Bruce. Adam Duvall walked against Ryan Vogelsong and both runners advanced on a fly out by pinch hitter Jordan Pacheco.  Billy Hamilton singled to left to drive Bruce home.

Phillips walked in the seventh.  He went to second on a ground out.  He stole third and scored when a wild pitch got away from Cervelli.

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