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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 23, 2016

Reds Ambush John Lackey To Tame Cubs

The Reds exploded for seven runs in the sixth inning to tame the Chicago Cubs, 13-5 and snap an eight game losing streak in front of thousands of Windy City wind bags that polluted Great American Ball Park.

The Reds ambushed John Lackey in the sixth inning. Ten Reds came to the plate and the only one that didn't hit the ball hard was Jay Bruce who walked.

Pinch hitter Tyler Holt hit a hard single to right center that Dexter Fowler deftly cut off before it got to the gap.  Zack Cozart singled for his second hit of the game, sending Holt to third.  Eugenio Suarez swatted his fifth home run of the season and the Reds retook the lead from the Cubs but wait, the Reds were in no mood to play defense right away. Joey Votto singled hard to center.  Brandon Phillips scorched a pitch back to the mound that Lackey stabbed and doubled Votto off first. Inning over? Not quite.  Bruce walked and so did Lackey to the Cubs clubhouse, replaced by Trevor Cahill.  Devin Mesoraco lined a single to right. Adam Duvall cracked his second home run of the season to left.  Scott Schebler followed with his first home run of the season to the bleachers in right. Holt put a jolt into a ball that drove leftfielder Kris Bryant to the warning track to catch the line drive.

"Suarez home run was such a big blow," Bryan Price said.  "It didn't just provide us with the three runs, the lead. It ignited our entire bench. After you've been shut down by Arrieta and Lester and you've been roughed up a couple ballgames, it can get you on your heels a little bit. We needed something to light the fuse."

 It was the first time the Reds had three home runs in an inning since, Mike Leake, Cozart and Drew Stubbs connected in the fourth inning on May 21, 2012 off Mike Minor.

Dan Straily made his second start for the Reds.  He gave up a home run to Addison Russell in the second inning.

The Reds got its first two hits of the game and scored in the fourth inning.  Cozart doubled after Cubs' starter John Lackey retired the first nine Reds' batters eerily reminiscent of the no-hitter by Jake Arrieta on Thursday  Suarez singled to the hole at shortstop.  Addison Russell made a diving stop but his throw short hopped Anthony Rizzo at firstbase and ended up in the stands.  One out later Phillips found the left centerfield gap for an RBI double.  Phillips was thrown out at third trying for the triple.

The Cubs retook the lead in the fifth.  Russell walked.  Fowler doubled just inside the firstbase line.  Russell scored from first and Fowler went to third on the throw home.  Kris Bryant singled to score Fowler.

The Cubs scored a pair of runs off Caleb Cotham in the seventh but Votto's second home run of the season off Neil Ramirez with Suarez on first with a walk, restored the six run margin. The two hits on the night got Votto's average off the interstate at .200.  He struck out in his last at bat to go back under the mark.

The Reds banged out a season-high 15 hits, welcome news after the no-hitter Thursday.

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