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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 4, 2016

Zack Cozart's Finger Leads To Unusual Pinch Hit

Zack Cozart is still out with a bruised ring finger but may be able to play if he is able to grip a bat.

The Reds are working with a four-man bench as it is and were short of hitters off the bench on Wednesday night. The Reds had a backup catcher, Billy Hamilton and newcomer Joe Renda on the bench when they needed a hitter for starting pitcher Cody Reed in the fifth inning..

Bryan Price didn't want to use his bench so early so he sent Josh Smith in to hit and to relieve Reed.

"Smitty can handle the bat a little bit," Price said.  "We told him if he got loose in time, he would hit for Reed. He threw one more pitch and headed for the dugout."

Smith was already warming when bullepn coach Ted Power told him that Reed was facing his last batter.  Reed's spot in the batting order was due to lead off the bottom of the inning.

Reed coaxed a double play to end the top of the fifth, so Smith didn't have time to think about it.

"That was probably a good thing," Smith said.  "I just wanted to swing at the first fastball I saw.  I knew they didn't want to walk me so I thought I might get a good pitch to hit."

Smith lined that first pitch into the leftfield corner for a double. It was the first pinch hit by a Reds' pitcher since Micah Owings singled off Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers on June 15, 2010.

Smith had a triple in 10 at bats last season, so it wasn't his first Major League hit.  He is now 3-for-12 with a sacrifice bunt in his brief career.

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