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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, June 29, 2016

Cubs Sweep Beleagured Reds

The Cubs used the vibes generated by the stirring 15-inning win on Tuesday night to wreck the Reds on Wednesday in a 9-2 follow up win.  The Reds stand at 29-50, two games from the mathematic mid-point of the season.

"We could have gotten a save from Rondon, last night and moved on.  But winning the game with a grand slam in the 15th inning was good for the esprit de corp," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Wednesday's game. "You normally see a bump from those things like that but it's more about the starting pitcher."

The starting pitcher in question was veteran Kyle Hendricks who had a three-run lead before he even took the mound.

Reds' rookie Cody Reed, who is taking his lumps in the big leagues after dominating batters in the International League, was in trouble after one pitch. Ben Zobrist bunted for a single and went to third on a solid single by Kris Bryant.  The next play was a horrible disaster for Reed and the Reds.

"Reed has really good stuff," Bryan Price said. "His best pitch was a consistent quality change up. It is a pitch we asked him to work on with Teddy Power.  He has the velocity but threw a flat fastball in fastball counts.  We have to live with growing pains to an extent. He has to take his lumps. He has to learn the sequence of pitches so he's not so predictable."

Anthony Rizzo hit a ball into the left centerfield gap that was tailing away from Hamilton towards leftfielder Adam Duvall.  The two appeared to be on a collision course but Hamilton went into a slide. The ball apparently tipped off Duvall's glove and hit Hamilton directly in the face, caroming into the leftfield corner as all three Cubs scored.

"I thought we were going to collide. We both called for it at the same time," Duvall said. "I didn't take my eye off it but I kinda flinched, I guess. I didn't see a replay. It must have hit him pretty good because it rolled pretty far."

It was Rizzo's 19th home run of the season

Hamilton was down several minutes with his face toward the ground.  Trainer Steve Bauman attended to him.  He was able to stand up and leave the field under his own power, exciting through the bullpen.

Hamilton was on the seven-day concussion disabled list from June 10-17.  This was his 12th appearance since he was reactivated from it.  He was hitting .200 since his return but hit a home run off Jon Lester in last night's game

"Hamilton had a contusion on his left cheeck," Price said.  "He wanted to stay in the game but we made the right decision to take him out. He was under concussion protocol."

Reed retired six in a row but the Cubs scored two in the third on a single by Zobrist and double by Wilson Contreras and Javier Baez' single. Home runs by Addison Russel his eighth and the first Major League home run by Albert Almora, the Cubs top pick in the 2012 draft capped the scoring on Reed.

"I didn't throw a lot of first pitch strikes. I have to be a little bit better," Reed said.  "I am a slow learner as of right now. I know struggles are going to happen. I think to myself that I have the ability. I have to get ahead of guys quicker."

Reed logged four innings with nine hits that resulted in seven runs.

The Reds showed life in the third but not enough.

Joey Votto walked with two outs.  Brandon Phillips single put runners at first and second.  Jay Bruce hit a ground ball past secondbaseman Baez but whether Votto didn't read it correctly or failed to get a secondary lead.or is somehow injured, was thrown out easily at home.

As the Reds' bad luck would have it, Adam Duvall crushed his NL leading 22nd home run leading off the fourth.  It could have been a four-run homer if not for Votto being cut down at the plate. Eugenio singled and went to third on Tucker Barnhart's ground rule double to center.  Zack Cozart interrupted his day off with a ground ball to short that scored Suarez.

Keyvius Sampson recalled this morning from Louisville, gave up two runs in the seventh.

Ross Ohlendorf struck out two batters in the ninth, including rookie pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. to earn the Reds' fans pizza from LaRosa's..

Edwards entered with Reds; on first and second and no outs in the eighth but got out of the inning with the score intact.

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