Two of the National League’s worst pitching staffs and powerfull offenses met on a semi-rainy night at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds’ starting rotation is last in the Major Leagues with the highest ERA 6.16 and fewest innings pitched at 468 2/3 innings. The Reds staff has allowed a league high 112 home runs.
The Marlins starters are one notch above the Reds with a 5.07 ERA and 473 2/3 innings pitched.
Both teams have three players with 20 or more home runs.
For Miami it is Giancarlo Stanton (30), Marcel Ozuna (23) and Justin Bour (21).
For Cincinnati Joey Votto has (26), Scott Schebler (22) and Adam Duvall (20).
The game that started 1:47 late figured to feature lots of scoring.
Homer Bailey’s rough start for the Reds made in look like a forgone conclusion when Dee Gordon opened the game with a single. Stanton’s double put runners on second and third with not outs. One run scored on a ground out. The second run scored when Ozuna struck out on a wild pitch. Bailey got out of the inning when J.T. Realmuto lined to Eugenio Suarez, who double up Bour at third.
“We weren’t able to do much," Bryan Price said "We had a bit of rough luck in the first inning. Gordon makes soft contact and hits a flare. They get a ground ball for a run, then a wild pitch on a strikeout.“
Jose Urena retired the first six Reds’ batters but hit Schebler with a pitch leading off the third. Tucker Barnhart singled Schebler to third. Bailey’s bunt got Barnhart to second. Billy Hamilton hit a long fly to right scoring Schebler.
Bailey breezed from the second inning on. He got double plays in the third and fourth. Hamilton threw Ozuna out at the plate in the sixth to save a run
“Homer had good stuff," Price said. "It looked like he was trying to find a feel for the ball in that first inning. He settled in and had really good stuff.”
Bailey finished with six innings, allowed two runs on eight hits and two walks. Wandy Peralta was the victim of an error in the seventh. MIguel Rojas opened the seventh with a single. Urena struck out. Gordon bounced to Scooter Gennett at second and it appeared to be another inning-ending double play but Gennett’s throw was wide and runners ended up at first and third. Peralta retired Stanton on a fly to shallow left but Christian Yellich singled to score Rojas.
“It was a really weird game," Bailey said. "We were fortunate to get two outs at home but had some bad luck. Gordon hit a flare that dropped over the infielder and in front of the outfielder. I felt the ball was coming out of my hand real well. Early on I left some sliders up but got them in my spots later.”
Urena pitched out of a two-out bases loaded jam in the fourth. He retired seven in a row until Suarez singled to lead off the seventh. Schebler reached base for the third time with a walk.
Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly brought in Junichi Tazawara with no outs.
Tucker Barnhart bunted the runners up a base representing the tying runs. Pinch hitter Devin Mesoraco walked. Hamilton grounded to a drawn in Gordon at second to force Suarez at the plate. Zack Cozart flied out to deep center and the Reds came up empty again.
"Another night the ball that Cozart hit might have been off the wall," Price said..
A.J. Ramos turned in a scoreless ninth for his 18th save.
Bailey's return has mixed results. He had two horrible starts with a 27.00 ERA in his first two starts. Bailey bounced back with two good outings with six and 6 2/3 innings of one-run baseball. His last start he allowed eight runs in four innings.
“I think this is going to be an up and down year. I have to compete with what I have that day," Bailey said.”