The Cincinnati Reds continued its sideways slide downward in an uncontrollable manner in a 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners completing a week of frustration with its seventh straight loss.
The Mariners are 13-2 in regular season play against the Reds since inter league play began in 1998. All seven losses were to American League teams, including four straight to Cleveland.
The Reds jumped on Wade Miley for three runs in the first inning but Alfredo Simon squandered the lead within five innings.
"Simon had early success with his split but later he started to get the pitch up," Bryan Price said.. "The worst thing for a ground ball pitcher is to get you pitches up. A couple of games he got the ball down in the zone, then elevated them."
"I'm not doing anything different. I have to focus and keep my head up," said Simon.
The bullpen has been ineffective in part because of the workload placed on them by starting pitchers inability to pitch deeper into games.
"We'd like to see him pitch better," Price said.. "We need the innings out of Simon as a veteran pitcher and that will happen when he keeps his pitches down. In the same respect at some point in time, I have to see him improve and give us those types of innings. He's going to have to get better. As you saw yesterday, we're not going to sit on our hands all summer and get beat up. As a veteran, it's his job to take that three-run lead and run with it."
Zack Cozart had a day off on Saturday and picked up where he left off, lining a double into the leftfield corner. Billy Hamilton was awarded first base after video revealed that he was hit with a pitch that the umpire originally thought bounced off the knob of the bat. Joey Votto singled to load the bases. Brandon Phillips doubled home two runs. Votto scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Seattle scored two runs in the third. Miley had a check swing single that was just inside the thirdbase bag. Leonys Martin singled Miley to second. It was the first of four hits for Martin. Nori Aoki hit into a 3-6 force play and Simon dropped the relay that would have completed a double play. Robinson Cano's ground single brought the Mariners within a run.
Adam Duvall hit a 457 ft. home run in the fourth.
Seattle went to work on Simon in the fifth.
Martin bunted and Simon's throw got the out call at first but Seattle manager Scott Servais called for a successful review. Aoki hit a high chop off the glove of Votto at first and it rolled into rightfield far enough for Martin to get to third. Cano hit a sacrifice fly to center. Nelson Cruz walked. Kyle Seager singled to score Aoki and advanced when Hamilton's throw eluded the cutoff man.. The Reds walked Adam Lind intentionally. Steve Clevenger singled to left to give the Mariners the lead but Duvall threw out Seagar at home. Simon got Shawn O'Malley to hit into a 4-6 force play.
Dayan Diaz made his Major League debut with a scoreless sixth in relief of Simon. Amazingly the beleaguered and battered Reds' bullpen completed four scoreless innings. Blake Wood had two and Tony Cingrani worked around an inning opening hit and error to pitch a scoreless ninth.
"I was real happy. I was a little bit nervous," Diaz said. "I worked hard all my life. Today, I realized my dream. I thought just throw strikes. I fell behind on the first hitter (3-1 to Seattle pitcher Wade Miley). I was a little bit nervous. I thought breath. I realized it was the pitcher and just throw strikes."
Eugenio Suarez, who struck out three times on Saturday, wore the "Golden Sombrero" with four strikeouts.
"Suarez is coming up empty on a lot of swings," Price said. "He's a young man. He got hot then cooled off and got hot again. It's part of maturity for a young player. I'd like to see him fight. I think he'll be a terrific player."
Mariner relievers Nick Vincent, Joaquin Benoit and Steve Cishek retired the last 10 Reds' batters.
slide sideways through the air in a downward direction in an airplane along an inclined lateral axis