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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.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dan Straily And Joey Votto Drive Out The Snakes

Dan Straily's fourth straight quality start and Joey Votto' s continued hot hitting led the Reds to a 6-2 win over tha Arizona Diamondbacks. It would have made St. Patrick proud.

Straily had a rough start but found his rhythm as Votto erased an two-run deficit with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first. Votto has a season-high .271 batting average.

One key to the game was manager Bryan Price's decision to move Billy Hamilton to the leadoff spot in the batting order.  It has been a long time since the Reds had a legitimate leadoff hitter.

Hamilton was on three times with two hits and a walk and scored twice stealing three bases.

'The more you watch him play you see him develop," Price said before the game. "He has been driving the ball through the infield with the infield right on top of him. You get him on and Zack (Cozart) hits a lot of doubles.  He can score on those without stealing a base."

"It's where I want to be," Hamilton said. "Bryan told me I had to earn the spot. I came into today and saw my name there. I thought it was a misprint or something."

Jean Segura hit his eighth home run to open the game.  Michael Bourn doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Wellington Castillo..Including the sac fly, retired nine of the next 10 batters. He hit Segura in his second at bat but the Arizona secondbaseman was erased on Paul Goldschmidt's double play grounder.

Hamilton, who earned the leadoff spot in the order by his play of late, singled to open the bottom of the inning.  Hamilton took off for second.  Umpire Sam Holbrook called him out on Castillo's throw but a replay review revealed that Hamilton eluded Nich Ahmed's tag.  Zack Cozart walked.  Votto his his 17thy home run into the leftfield seats.

"I told you what I'd hoped would happen," Price said. "It won't always work like that.  It was a great first day for it.'

"I thought I did a little bit to get another shot at it," Hamilton said. "When I first came up here I took a lot of pitches.  I watched Cozart. He doesn't always swing at the first pitch but he will swing at a good pitch to hit."

Tucker Barnhart greeted Randall Delgado with his fifth home run of the season to give the Reds an insurance run. Brandon Phillips singled home a run in the seventh.  Cozart doubled home Hamilton in the eighth.

"It was Zack's 23rd double. It was a good day for it," Price said.

Straily finished with six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits. He has allowed eight earned runs in his last 26 innings for a 2.77 ERA.

"He has a nice four pitch mix," Price said.  "He has opened up his arsenal against both lefthanders and righthanders. If we want to win we need good starting pitching.  He needed to find a place where he could pitch regularly and show he could fit in.  He needed to find a place, I hate to say it with lower expectations..

"After the leadoff home run," Straily said. "We lose a ball in the sun.  Then I miss on a couple pitches. I got away with a pitch to Goldschmidt and he popped it up. I shouldn't have gotten away with that pitch.  Then when we got the lead I came back and struck out the side in the third inning."

Raisel Iglesias has thrown 15 1/3 scoreless innings in his last seven outings.  Tony Cingrani pitched the scoreless ninth.

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