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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, August 17, 2016

Won't You Come Home H Bailey? Brandon Phillips Backs His Pitcher Up With Bat And Glove

Homer Bailey made his first start at Great American Ball Park since August 7, 2014, a 4-0 win over Cleveland.  While not involved in the decision, he turned the game over to the bullpen that allowed the Reds to outlast Miami in a 3-2 win.

It was Bailey's fourth start of the season and is coming off a six-inning scoreless start against Milwaukee.  Bailey stretched his scoreless streak to nine innings before Marcel Ozuna blasted his 21st home run into the Reds' bullpen.

"They (Marlins) put together some really good at bats," Bailey said.. They laid off a lot of close pitches.. The home run was a pitch I just served up there. It didn't come out of my hand right."

After over two years not pitching here, Bailey had minor adjustments to make.

"I've been here long enough that I'm familiar with the dimensions. The lower mound, it took a little time to get used to it again," Bailey said. "Under normal circumstances I could have pitched longer but Bryan made the decision to get me out."

Brandon Phillips backed his longtime teammate with two sterling defensive gems. Phillips returning after missing two games with bruised knees, stole a hit from Martin Prado with a leaping grab of a line drive in the third inning and a leaping throw to edge Dee Gordon leading off the fifth inning.

"I got to the ball easy enough and I knew I could make the play on Dee Gordon but he's fast. I wasn't sure I could get him out," Phillips said.

Phillips returned to his hot hitting form that saw him hit .500 in his last 10 games.  Phillips doubled leading off the fourth and scored the tying run on a double by Eugenio Suarez.

"It was a situation where he could have played yesterday but we'll give him one more day," Bryan Price said.

Phillips was all smiles after his contributions.

 "I had a lot of stupid injuries. I gave my body a little rest. I'm not thinking about it right now but when I get home and sit down to watch a movie. I might," Phillips said.

Suarez gave the run back the next inning.  Christian Yelich singled with two outs and stole second base.  Ozuna hit a smash right at Suarez but he missed the ball that allowed Yelich to score.

Bailey left after the fifth, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk.  He struck out six. Bailey is still looking for his first win but a rally capped by Phillips' two-run double off Nick Wittgren in the seventh put the Reds on top.  Billy Hamilton pinch hit for Smith and beat out a slow roller to the thirdbase side of the mound, that Wittgren bobbled for just an instant.  It was enough for Hamilton to reach.  Tony Renda's sacrifice moved Hamilton to second.  Zack Cozart popped to short.  The Marlins' walked Joey Votto intentionally but Phillips doubled to the gap in right center.to put the Reds ahead, 3-2.

"I was looking for a pitch out over the plate and I finally got it," Phillips said.

Blake Wood blanked the Marlins in the eighth.

Tony Cingrani earned his 15th save with a perfect ninth..

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