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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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Four Mets' Home Runs Down Reds

The New York Mets connected for four home runs off three different Reds' pitchers to hang a 5-3 loss on the home team.

The Mets defeated the Reds for the 13th straight time since the Reds beat the New Yorkers 2-1 exactly two years ago.

Brandon Finnegan found a new pitch.

His change up has allowed him to pitch into the seventh inning in two of the last three games. He has allowed just four earned runs in his last 20 innings coming into the game with the Mets. Finnegan had a 2.65 ERA in August.

The 23-year old pitched five innings against the Mets, bringing his innings total to 159 2/3 for the season.  Finnegan in his first season as a starter is on an innings limit around 170-175 innings.

"We hope to get him two more starts, if he can make 30 and stay within his limit, that's what we want to do," Bryan Price said. "We're not going to put him in the bullpen.  He is going to start until he reaches his limit. His starting this season was something we hoped he could do but wasn't sure."

Finnegan allowed three hits and four walks to the Mets, including the 24th home run of the season by Curtis Granderson in the second inning and the fifth home run of the season by Jose Reyes.

"Finnegan wasn't sharp early," Price said.  "He was jumping toward the plate a little bit. He didn't have his best stuff but battled through it."

"They laid off some tough pitches," Finnegan said. "I was in some down counts but able to get out of them.  The pitch to Granderson was outside where I wanted it but a little bit up."

Finnegan is happy that he can continue to compete as a starter.

'I've been starting all year. It's what I want to do," Finnegan said.  "I want to finish but I will keep making all my starts until they tell me I'm done. I feel stronger since the all-star break."

Reds' hitters faced young Rafael Montero, who is a replacement for missing Mets' starters Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Jonathan Niese.

Adam Duvall hit his 30th home run with Zack Cozart on base with a walk to increase his RBI total to 87.  The Reds scored off departed starter Montero when International League batting champion Hernan Iribarren tripled for the second day in a row.  Iribarren beat Jay Bruce's throw to the plate on Joey Votto's line drive off Josh Edgin, who relieved Montero.

"I came out early today and worked on driving the ball," Duvall said.  "I felt like I haven't been driving the ball for awhile. It's exciting to look back on this season. I am looking at the little things that I've done."

Duvall became the sixth Reds player whose primary position is leftfield to hit 30 or more home runs in a season.  (He hit one as a DH and one while playing 1b).  Adam Dunn, George Foster, Greg Vaughn, Frank Robinson (1956) and Hank Sauer (1948) were the others.

"Being named with those guys is pretty cool," Duvall said.

Michael Lorenzen relieved Finnegan.  Bruce greeted Lorenzen with a single and advanced to second on an error by Duvall.  Lorenzen hit Granderson with a pitch but struck out Michael Conforto to get out of the inning.  Yoenis Cespedes hit his 28th home run with Asdrubal Cabrera on base.  Cozart just misd throwing Cabrera out with a diving stop of a hard ground ball up the middle.

Raisel Iglesias replaced Lorenzen for the Reds and pitched a scoreless eighth but Blake Wood gave up a pinch hit home run to Alejandro De Aza. It is the 27th time this season that a Reds' reliever has given up a home run to the first batter he faced.

Jeurys Familia earned his Major League leading 46th save in his 49th opportunity.

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