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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, April 19, 2017

Amir Garreet Spins A Gem But Ubaldo Jimenez Shuts Down Reds

Rookie Amir Garrett and veteran Ubaldo Jimenez hooked up in a pitching duel at Great American Ball Park
Jimenez is in his 13th year of Major League Baseball.  Garrett came into the contest with less than 13 innings (12 2/3).  Youth impressed but Jimenez was brilliant in the Baltimore Orioles’ 2-0 win.

Garrett's father, Darrow, 53,  missed his first two starts with heart problems.  He was able to fly in from California to watch his son pitch in the Major Leagues for the first time tonight.  In spite of the loss, Garrett was very impressive.

"Of all the accolades we have laid on him, the one that stands out the most is he competes every moment he is on the mound," Bryan Price said.

Garrett backs that up by drawing his initial "A" on the mound.

"When I go out there it is my mound," Garrett said.  "Whether it is home or away, It's my mound."

The Orioles bunched three hits to get on the scoreboard first.  Mark Trumbo singled sharply to left to lead off the second inning.  One out later, Wellington Castillo slashed a double inside the thirdbase line.  Jonathan Shoop singled sharply to center.  Garrett struck out J.J. Hardy and Jimenez to end the inning.

The Reds got a single from Eugenio Suarez in the bottom of the inning. Zack Cozart walked with two outs.  Tucker Barnhart hit a smash inside the firstbase bag.  Chris Davis got a glove on it.but didn’t come up with it cleanly.  It was originally ruled an error but after a poll of the pressbox and a video review it was changed to the Reds’ second hit.  Jimenez escaped when Garrett grounded into a 6-4 force play.

Garrett got into trouble in the fifth.  Singles by Hardy and Trey Mancini in front of a walk to Adam Jones loaded the bases for Manny Machado. His fly to center scored Hardy for the Orioles second run of the game. Garrett minimized the damage by striking out Trumbo to end the inning. It was his ninth strikeout, matching his total from his previous two games.

Buck Showalter the Orioles manager put it this way of the pitcher, who played college basketball at St. John's University.

"I think he pitched the right sport," Showalter said.  "His change up has made the difference.  He has a little cross fire action. I think he realized how important the change up is."

Garrett struck out the side in the sixth, giving him 12 for the game and forcing LaRosa’s Pizza chain to order more cheese.  Jimenez singled for the seventh Baltimore hit but Mancini hit into a 5-4-3 double play as Garrett completed seven innings, his new high. Garrett walked one on the night.

Price concurred Garrett's change up has made a huge difference with his success at this level.

"The change up has gone another level since spring training," Price said. "I think he got a feel for it in two bullpen sessions."

Garrett believes in it now.

"I knew I had it the first game. I had to trust it," Garrett said. "I don't put limits on myself.  I am keep the ball at the bottom of the strike zone, even if it's hit."

Michael Lorenzen took over in the eighth inning and pitched a scoreless inning..

Jimenez lasted 7 2/3 innings.  He walked Billy Hamilton with one out in the eighth. Hamilton stole second but Jose Peraza grounded out to send Hamilton to third.  Orioles manager Buck Showalter summoned lefty Donnie Hart to face Joey Votto.  Votto fouled out to the leftfielder, Mancini.

Wandy Peralta, still with rookie status, struck out the side in the top of the ninth.  Lorenzen had one strike out.  The Reds fanned 16 batters, the two Reds rookies racked up 15 of them.

The Orioles regular closer Zach Britton, a 2016 All-Star is out with injury.  Brad Brach came in to close.

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