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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.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Reds Fillet Marlins And Jose Fernandez

The Reds played spoiler to the Marlins' playoff run with a 5-4 win over their young ace Jose Fernandez.

Ramon Cabrera slammed a three-run home run in the second inning off Fernandez. It was Cabrera's first of the season.

Brandon Phillips led off the inning with a solid single.  Scott Schebler singled out out later.  Cabrera unloaded into the right field bleachers.

 "We took advantage of Fernandez' strikes early in the count," Bryan Price said.. "But he throws it around 100. He looked like a million bucks but we got the barrel on the ball. Ramon set the tone for us. Most of Ramon's production has come from the right side but he was great from the left today."

The Reds got to Fernandez again in the third using a different tactic, speed.

Billy Hamilton opened the inning with a single off Fernandez.  Joey Votto walked with one out.  Phillips hit a line drive to centerfielder Marcel Ozuna, who caught it on the run.  Hamilton tagged but was indecisive about continuing. He stopped but then sprinted for third.  Ozuna's throw to third skipped past Martin Prado and Hamilton raced home.  Eugenio Suarez doubled to plate Votto, giving the Reds a 5-0 lead.

Fernandez left after four innings, his shortest outing of the year.

Dan Straily shutout the Marlins on two hits through five innings.  Ozuna hit his 22nd home run with Prado on base with his seventh hit of the series.

"They are one of those teams that make you fight for each out," Straily said. "The only pitch I'd take back was the change up to Ozuna. When Mack came out to the mound. He just came out to settle me down. He wanted to know what my next pitch was. I said a slider and Ramon said a slider. We were on the same page. Outside of the pitch to Ozunas, it was all about the next pitch."

Straily left after six innings in line for his fifth straight winning decision over six starts.  He allowed two runs on six hits and struck out seven with no walks.

"It is a special year for Straily. He is solidifying his career," Price said.

Cabrera nearly hit another home run that missed the right field seats by a couple feet.  He ended up with a single as Ichiro Suzuki played it off the wall.  He lined out to the shortstop in the fourth and lined out hard to Suzuki in the eighth.

"It was special for me. I talked to the umpire (Pat Hoberg). He said do you remember who the umpire was when you hit your first home run off Lackey? It was me," Cabrera said.."I come in every day and work in the cage to stay ready. I hit everything hard tonight."

The Marlins put two runners on with no outs against Jumbo Diaz.  A throwing error by Diaz allowed Jeff Mathis to reach to open the inning.  Diaz walked Adeiny Hechavarria but struck out pinch hitter Derek Dietrich.  Dee Gordon grounded out as the runners moved up. Prado's second hit of the game drove in two runs.
Blake Wood took over for Diaz. Wood struck out Christian Yelich to put out the fire.

Wood added a scoreless eighth setting up Raisel Iglesias for his second save.

Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth.

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