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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.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dan Straily And The Reds Get Last Laugh On Pittsburgh

The Reds lost the season series to the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-10 but had the thrill of victory last with a sweep avoiding 7-4 win.

Dan Straily the Reds' winningest pitcher 13-8 took the mound to stop a Pittsburgh sweep, opposing Ivan Nova.  Tucker Barnhart drove in four runs with a double and two sacrifice flies.

'If it tell myself to get the ball to the outfield the worse that can happen is a sacrifice fly. I try telling myself the pressure is on the pitcher," Barnhart said.

"Tucker is establishing himself as not just a catch and throw guy," Bryan Price said. "He stays in the middle of the field with his approach. He doesn't try to pull the ball all the time."

The Pirates hung two runs on the Reds' 2016 ace in the second inning.

Jung Ho Kang singled with one out.  Francisco Cervelli followed with a single of his own.  Pedro Florimon sent Reds' centerfielder, Jose Perazza, to the warning track with a line drive over his head.  Perazza couldn't make the catch and Florimon had a two-run triple.

The Reds countered with two of their own against Nava.

Scott Schebler singled sharply.  Ivan De Jesus Jr. bunted and firstbaseman Josh Bell let the ball roll through for an error.  Tucker Barnhart doubled to the gap in rightcenter and both runners scored.

Joey Votto nearly cleared the fence with a double, his second hit of the day to lead off the third.   Adam Duvall grounded out but Brandon Phillips put the Reds ahead with a ground rule double.  Schebler's second hit scored Phillips.  Ivan De Jesus singled and Schebler advanced to third when Adam Frazier bobbled the ball in left.  Barnhart drove in his third run with a sacrifice fly to center.

Straily, who had 45 at bats this season and 48 lifetime, singled for his first Major League hit in the inning.  Perazza struck out.

 "It finally happened after being so brutal. It's the most exciting thing, I'll ever do on a baseball field. They can't take that away from me," Straily said.."I saw Polanco try to throw to first so I ran to make sure I got there. Bell was pretty far away but I wasn't taking any chances."

 "We were about to burst," Price said. "Making contact is the first step. All kidding aside after a rough start he's been very good at getting a bunt down."

 "I'm really happy for him," Barnhart said. "We joke with him about his hitting but he takes it seriously. I'm glad he got the hit."

Straily, who set a franchise record with 11 games with three or fewer hits, gave up Sean Rodriguez third home run of the season in the sixth.  It was the 17th for Rodriguez.  With the home run the Reds' pitching staff tied the National League record for home runs allowed with 239.  The 2001 Colorado Rockies also allowed 239.

"I can't say enough about Dan," Barnhart said.. "He is mister reliable. You know what you're going to get."

Michael Lorenzen relieved Straily after six innings and pitched two scoreless innings.  Raisel Iglesias finished up with a scoreless frame.

Straily allowed five hits and four walks while striking out five all three runs were earned.

 "It wasn't Dan's best day from a command perspective. He got us to Lorenzen and Iglesias," Price said.

Straily was willing to go back out to the mound for the seventh.

'I would have gone back out for the seventh understanding what the guys in the bullpen went through yesterday," Straily said. "I didn't have my best command and guys that have hurt me in the past, hurt me today."

Schebler's third hit of the game off Drew Hutchinson set up Barnhart's second sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Votto's fourth hit of the game was his 25th home run and came off Hutchinson in the eighth..

John Jaso doubled home Florimon against Iglesias in the ninth.

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