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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.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dodgers Home Runs Sink Reds For The Eighth Time In A Row

On the day the statue for Pete Rose was unveiled, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked like the Big Red Machine.

Clay Bellinger and Joc Pederson hit back-to-back home runs off Asher Wojociechowski to defeat the Reds for the fifth straight time, 10-2.  It was the Reds’ eighth straight loss.

Yasiel Puig hit two for the Dodgers, giving them four four the game.

Wojociechowski struck out five batters in two innings surrounding first inning doubles by Corey Seager and Bellinger to take a 1-0 lead.

Billy Hamilton singled off Hyun-Jin Ryu to open the game.  Zack Cozart followed with a double to left.  An indecisive Chris Taylor missed the cut off man to allow Hamilton to score to tie the game.  Joey Votto took one of three hotly disputed strike calls from home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater.  The inning ending with a questioned third strike to Eugenio Suarez.

Scott Schebler singled and Devin Mesoraco walked to put Ryu in trouble in the second but Hamilton looked at another questionable strike and jumped in disgust.  Manager Bryan Price, protecting Hamilton, was ejected for the first time this year by Scheurwater.  It was his first ejection of the season and 10th of his career.

"It is a young umpire, trying to do a good job," Price said. "There was hesitation. I didn't care for that. It kind of got under my skin. I felt it wasn't a good enough pitch for Billy to get fined (for throwing his helmet)."

Wojociechowski unraveled in the third.  With the crowd booing three balls and cheering two called strikes, Wojociechowski fell behind the opposing pitcher, Ryu.  The Korean born left-hander hit a sharp ground ball to leading shortstop in the All-Star balloting.  Cozart allowed the ball under his glove for an error.   One out later, Seager walked. Taylor hit a two-run double in front of the home runs to put the Dodgers up, 6-0.   Bellinger’s 19th home run put him in a four-way tie for the National League lead with Eric Thames, Ryan Zimmerman and Votto.

"I got in a situation with runners on first and second,"  Wojociechowski said. "I worked myself into a good count on Taylor and threw a pitch right down the middle. It was poor execution. I had three of those that led to a five-run inning."

Wojociechowski along with Jake Buchanan, who pitched the last two innings, allowing two runs are holding onto spots on the roster.  Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan are close to returning.  Wojociechowski and Buchanan need to perform or be the odd men out.

"It is definitely frustrating," Wojociechowski said. "I've got to let it go and get better.

Pederson’s home run was his fourth of the season and second of the series.

The home run ended the day for Wojociechowski.  He pitched just 2 1/3 inning, allowing six runs, five earned on five hits and a walk.

Austin Brice took over for the Reds.

The Reds threatened to get back in the game in the bottom of the inning. Cozart, Votto, and Adam Duvall singled to load the bases.  Ryu walked Suarez to force in a run but Schebler lined out to Seager on the shift and Peraza bounced into a 1-2-3 double play.

"The biggest play of the game was Schebler's line drive," Price said. "Hitting it right at the shortstop with the shift on.  That was a break the inning open type of play."

The Dodgers were gifted a run when Brice walked Ryu in front of singles by Utley and Seager.

While the Reds wasted a two-out triple by Hamilton in the fourth and a lead off double by Votto in the fifth, Puig was preparing to hit his 11th home run, leading off the sixth and his 12th off Jake Buchanan to start the eighth.

The Reds wasted two triples, two with less than two outs, and two doubles.  The Reds stranded 10 base runners.

The Reds had been holding on and hanging in the race without Bailey, Finnegan and Anthony DeSclafani but Price doesn't want to wait for the cavalry to return to start winning.

"We did a nice job hanging in the race.  We swept the Cardinals and were a game from .500 when we started this losing streak," Price said.  "It may be comfortable when we get everyone back but we need to do better with what we have.  We don't want to fall so far behind the other teams, that we're playing out the year to get better.  We want to play meaningful games the rest of the year."

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