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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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Reds Use Home Run To Salvage Series Finale

The Reds brought their home run bats to build a challenging lead for the bullpen to hold the lead in a 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants..

Brandon Phillips, Eugenio Suarez and Zack Cozart homered off Jake Peavy in a five-run second inning.

"Cozart's tough. We know he's not 100 percent but it is good to see him get out there," Bryan Price said. "I talked to Suarez about moving him down in the order. It wasn't that he wasn't doing a good job batting second but I felt he with him hitting behind Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, he would have more opportunities to drive in runs with them getting on base rather than the pitcher and the eighth batter and Zack."

Cozart missed two games with tendinitis in his surgically repaired right knee.  The time off didn't affect his swing.

"Today was the best my knee felt all year," Cozart said. "I was glad to go out there and do what I can to help us win. It was a good day all around.. When it happened in Pittsburgh I was scared but the two days off were good. I will be battling tendinitis all year."

Phillips' second home run of the season, negated Brandon Belts' leadoff home run off Dan Straily in the Giants half of the second.

Suarez singled home Votto, who doubled in the third inning, giving him three RBI for the contest.

Reserve thirdbaseman Connor Gillaspie's first home run of the season kept the Giants within a grand slam of the Reds.

Adam Duvall added his fourth home run and second in two days off his former teammates in the sixth.

Straily pitched into the seventh inning.  Trevor Brown popped up to Votto to start the inning but Kelby Tomlinson and Mac Williamson singled once Straily strayed into the hundred pitch zone.  When Dennard Span walked to load the bases.  Bryan Price reluctantly called on the bullpen.  It was Tony Cingrani selected to face lefty Gregor Blanco.

Bruce Bochy brought in Buster Posey to pinch hit.  It was Posey's grand slam off Mat Latos that propelled the Giants to a playoff victory over the Reds in the 2012 Division Series.  Posey was five feet short of the fence in right centerfield with a sacrifice fly.  Cingrani got Hunter Pence to ground out to end the threat.

Straily pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks.  He hit a batter and struck out four.

 "It was a much needed start for Straily," Price said. "It was well executed. He got us to Cingrani, who was really good."

Cingrani pitched 1 2/3 innings without allowing a run.  Ross Ohlendorf came on in the ninth in a non-save situation.  Ohlendorf allowed back-to-back two out doubles to Williamson and Span, extending the Reds bullpen's record streak of 22 games in which they allowed at least one run.

"When I got here I was just happy to have a job," Straily said. "I knew there would be a need at some point. I just wanted to keep us in the game as long as I could. I wanted to let the bullpen to be used the way it was designed and not get over worked.

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