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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, July 23, 2016

Jay Bruce Homers In Last Home Game Before Trade Deadline

Jay Bruce's three-run home run off Robbie Ray broke open the a tight game and propelled the Reds to a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Reds lead 3-1 in the third when Bruce connected for his 20th home run with Zack Cozart and Joey Votto on base.  Bruce has been rumored to be traded from the rebuilding Reds in spite of being just 29 at the start of the season   He has 69 RBI on the year and hit his 22nd double in the fifth inning, missing a home run by a foot.

Keyvius Sampson, starting in John Lamb's spot in the rotation that is being reserved for Homer Bailey's return. Sampson took 27 pitches to navigate the first inning;

"After the first inning, I had to figure out a way to eat up some innings," Sampson said.

Jean Segura singled up the middle after a 10-pitch at bat. Paul Goldschmidt walked with one out. Jake Lamb hit a line drive deep to center that turned Billy Hamilton around but he made the catch, nearly doubling Segura at secondbase.  Chris Owings, fresh off the disabled list, singled with two outs to put the Diamondbacks up a run.

"It took Keyvius awhile to get his pitches down but he did," Bryan Price said. "He had to establish that he could throw the ball over the plate and down.  When he gets to the point where hitters put the ball in play more, he will be productive."

Sampson may get one more start.  Homer Bailey will have another rehab start on Monday the 25th.  Sampson with normal rest would pitch on Thursday but it is an off day.  If all goes well in Bailey's rehab he could pitch on Saturday in San Diego.

"Until we sign off on Homer, there is no reason to say Keyvius wouldn't make it," Price said."This was a nice opportunity for him and he took advantage of it."

Ray had similar problems with the Reds in the bottom of the inning.  Hamilton extended his hitting streak to six games with an inning opening single.  Votto walked with one out.  Hamilton stole third.  As Bruce struck out Votto headed to second to draw a throw.  Hamilton took off for home. When Segura threw home Hamilton eluded Jake Lamb's tag.  Votto was given credit for a stolen base.  Adam Duvall hit a ground ball to deep third, Lamb's throw was wild. Hamilton and Votto scored on the play.  Brandon Phillips doubled to score Duvall. It extended Phillips hitting streak to 11 games.

Sampson reached his pitch limit one out into the fifth.  Michael Lorenzen came on with a 3-0 count to Michael Bourn and struck him out.  Sampson needed two more outs to earn a win but a walk to Segura and falling behind Bourn prevented it.

"He muscled up on the pitch before to Bourn and elevated the last pitch," Price said. "He'd have to face Goldschmidt.  I didn't want it to unravel right there. He'd done such a good job."

Sampson would have liked to have the win next to his name but admitted it was the right decision.

"I was disappointed but I was really tired," Sampson said. "It was more important for the team to get a 'W'"

Lorenzen retired all eight batters he faced with two strikeouts to gain the win.   Blake Wood pitched a scoreless ninth.

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