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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, May 21, 2016

Mariners and Felix Hernandez Sail Past Reds

A long home run by Franklin Gutierrez off John Lamb that reached the cheapest seats at Great American Ball Park put the game out of reach as the Seattle Mariners handed the Reds their sixth straight loss, 4-0.

Lamb became the first pitcher other than Brandon Finnegan to get a hit this season.  Lamb chopped a pitch from Felix Hernandez, King Felix, to break up the no-hitter after Hernandez retired the first eight Reds' batters.

"When I'm standing on thirdbase you know something is going on," Lamb said. "I just wanted to touch homeplate."

Finnegan has five hits but the rest of the staff was 0-for-51 before Lamb's hit.

Billy Hamilton singled and Tyler Holt walked to load the bases but after fouling off four two strike pitches, Joey Votto lined hard to the mound. Hernandez gloved it around his ankle.

That was the offensive highlite for the Reds.

Lamb got two quick outs in the second, using a slow curve that had Seattle hitters way out in front. Leonys Martin solved Lamb with a line drive home run into the Mariners' bullpen.  Franklin Gutierrez belted a 473 ft monser shot within a dozen rows of the scoreboard in left.  It was the second longest home run measured this season.  Giancarlo Stanton hit one 475 ft earlier in the year.

"That was a pitch I'd like to have back so I could have kept us in the game," Lamb said.

"Lamb was competitive," Bryan Price said. "You have to look at young pitchers and how they react after something like that. We needed him to pitch more innings to stay away from the bullpen and he got himself together and did that."

In this topsy-turvey baseball season for once the Reds' bullpen performed well, holding the Mariners scoreless over the last three inning.  Steve Delabar, Jumbo Diaz and Ross Ohlendorf had one scoreless inning.

The Reds loaded the bases again in the fifth inning.  Lamb walked with two outs.  Hamilton singled for the second time and Holt walked again, setting up a Votto/Hernandez rematch.  Hernandez got ahead 0-2 but Votto got back in the count at 2-2 before grounding hard to Dae-Ho Lee at firstbase.

Two out rallies started by Lamb," Price said. "It would have been nice to have runners on with less than two outs to have a couple guys get a shot at it. It just didn't work out.  I don't talk a great deal about hitting  Joey wants to be a difference maker but he's human.  When you're number three hitter is struggling, we have to be better collectively."

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