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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.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Raisel Iglesias Sinks Pirates To Hand Them Their First Loss

The Reds got good pitching from Raisel Iglesias and the bullpen to upend the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-1.

Iglesias coasted through five innings but it was more like King's Island's Beast than a BB Riverboat cruise on the Ohio.

Iglesias was surrounded by base runners over the first four innings but two double plays allowed him to keep the Pirates off the scoreboard.

"I was trying to keep the ball down," said Iglesias through interpreter, Julio Morillo.  "The defense was amazing today.  They helped me a lot.  It was really hard with the weather. I had to walk around and jump up and down to stay warm.  I've worked hard this off season and I feel good."

The Reds jumped on Gerrit Cole early.  The first three Reds, Billy Hamilton, Eugenion Suarez and Joey Votto singled to produce a run.  Jay Bruce delivered a second run with a single, giving him eight RBI which is third in the NL.

The early run support helped Iglesias too.

"My team got me runs to help me relax," Iglesias said.  "It was huge."

Cole got tough after the first. He walked Hamilton in the second then retired nine in a row until Cole issued a two-out walk to Suarez in the fifth. Votto ended Cole's day with his second single of the game.  Cole lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out four.  Arquimedes Caminero gave up Brandon Phillips run scoring single.

The Pirates broke the ice on this 30 degree day in the sixth.  With two outs and the bases empty. Francisco Cervelli singled. Gregory Polanco walked.  Josh Harrison out of Princeton High School, ended Iglesais' day with an RBI single to center.  Blake Wood relieved Iglesias, who pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on eight hits and two walks. He struck out four.  Wood got Jordy Mercer to foul out with the tying runs on second and third.
The Pirates threatened Wood in the seventh.  Pinch hitter Matt Joyce walked and John Jaso hit his second double of the game with no outs.  Andrew McCutchen bounced to Votto at first, who stepped on first and flipped to Ivan De Jesus Jr. for the tag on Jaso.  The out call stood after the replay challenge.  Wood struck out David Freese.

"We had some good plays defensively," Bryan Price said. "Joey turning that double play, where he looked the runner back to third, got the out at first and flipped the ball to De Jesus, took a lot of pressure off Woody."

Eugenio Suarez hit his third home run after Hamilton avoided a double play by beating out a relay from the pitcher to short.

"I don't know if anyone noticed,' Price said.  "Billy was running from the right-handers batter's box on a one-hopper to the mound and beat the relay on a bang, bang play.  Then Suarez hits the home run."

Suarez is now hitting .368 with three home runs and seven RBI.

"Suarez is special," Price said. "It's not just his offense but he's transitioned to thirdbase and he's looking really good there.  He's grinding out at-bats.  He doesn't just feed off the soft tossers.  He is hitting good pitchers.  Suarez is maturing physically.  He came up with Miguel Cabrera (fellow Venezuelan) and got a lot of good advice.  He will go through ups and downs like anyone else but the league's had a hard time finding holes in his swing.  There is no one way to get him out."

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