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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 15, 2016

Tucker Barnhart Doubles Adam Duvall Drives In Two Runs

Tucker Barnhart's bases loaded, broken bat double drove home the tying and winning run to keep Anthony DeSclafani undefeated in a 5-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Joey Votto singled off Matt Garza to open the sixth inning. Jay Bruce battled Garza for a nine-pitch walk. All-Star Adam Duvall doubled high off the leftfield wall, sending Bruce to third. Carlos Torres relieved Garza and struck out Brandon Phillips but walked Eugenio Suarez. Barnhart's bat cracked as the ball landed just inside the thirdbase bag on its way to leftfield.

"I missed two pitches before that," Barnhart said. "I fought off a pitch. I had two strikes and got my hands in just enough. I wanted to put the ball in play and see what happens."

The double put the Reds over the top in the first game of the second half.

"There were a lot of good at bats leading up to it," Bryan Price said. "Tucker said 'stupid hitting' after his first at bat when he lined out to Villar. We did a lot of good things offensively.  Tucker fought off a good pitch to give us the lead."

"They say the even out but I don't believe it," Barnhart said.

DeSclafani (4-0) took an inning to settle in when the Reds took on the Milwaukee Brewers to start the second half of the season 
The Brewers Jonathan Villar greeted him with a single. After Scooter Gennett lined out hard to Billy Hamilton in centerfield. Ryan Braun and All-Star Jonathan Lucroy singled to drive home the first run.

DeSclafani shut the door after that. The righthander with a 2.23 game-time ERA retired the next 12 Brewers batters before Ramon Flores singled in the fifth inning. 

"He's throwing 9-96 with a good slider, fastball combination," Price said. "He got hurt on a 3-1 fastball to Gennett but he did a good job staying ahead in the count."

The Reds tied the game in the fourth without hitting the ball out of the infield.
Hamilton reached base on an infield single. Joey Votto hit a hard one-hopper to shortstop that Villar backhanded but had no play on Hamilton. He threw Votto out at first. Jay Bruce walked. Duvall hit a one-hop ground ball to Will Middlebrooks deep at third. Middlebrooks threw to second to force Bruce as Hamilton rounded third at full speed. Gennett's return throw was too late to double up Duvall, who earned an RBI when Hamilton slid home head first.

Hamilton bunted for a single with one out in the seventh and advanced to second when Lucroy's throw to first as wild.  He stole third as Votto struck out and scored on a two-out double by Bruce.

DeSclafani fielded Garza's hard bunt after Flores reached and appeared to have plenty of time to get the lead runner but elected to throw to first as Zack Cozart bounced up and down on secondbase, knowing the Reds missed an opportunity. Villar hit a slow roller to first that hit the base and bounded over Votto's head allowing Flores to score. Gennett led off the sixth with his eighth home run.

"It was 3-1 and I didn't want to walk him there.  They had a lot of tough characters (Braun and Lucroy) coming up after him."

He finished with six innings, allowing three runs on six hits. DeSclafani struck out eight as the Reds rallied.  Raisel Iglesias pitched around a hit, a walk and a Suarez error to post two scoreless innings.

Tony Cingrani gave up a run and loaded the bases before Ross Ohlendorf took over to face Ryan Braun with two outs. Braun popped up to Jose Peraza at secondbase to earn his second save in four tries..

"Tony has done a great job for us," said Price of the reliever that gave up a run for the first time in six appearances. "He's transitioned from starter to reliever to closer.  After 26 pitches that weren't coming easy, I had a kid ready who hadn't pitched in a while.  I wasn't going to let Tony lose it there."

Phillips left the game after the sixth inning with a strained right calf. He is day-to-day.

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