About Me

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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.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Eugenio Suarez Backs Luis Castillo Reds Best Bucs In Series

Eugenio Suarez launched his eighth home run of the season with the bases loaded and Luis Castillo stifled the Pittsburgh Pirates as the Reds won the series with a 5-4 win.

Ivan Nova and Castillo were locked in a scoreless battle when Nova committed the cardinal sin of walking Castillo, the opposing pitcher to lead off the third inning.  Jesse Winker drilled a single through the open hole between first and second.  Jose Peraza popped up his bunt attempt.  Scooter Gennett, who had driven home seven runs in the first two games, hit a slow roller that Nova fielded but threw wild to first base to fill the bases.  Suarez hit his third career grand slam on a 2-2 pitch.

"I just tried to bring in the closest guy.  I was trying to drive in one run.  God blessed me with four and I'll take it," said Suarez, who is now tied with Javier Baez for the National League lead with 38 RBI.  He is also tied for the NL lead with four sacrifice flies.

While Castillo was throwing blanks at the Pirates, allowing three singles and a walk through five innings.

The right-hander lost the strike zone in the sixth inning.  He retired Josh Harrison on a pop to Suarez but walked Adam Frazier.  When Castillo fell behind 3-0 to David Freese, new pitching coach Danny Darwin came out to talk to the pitcher.

 Castillo threw one strike but Freese hit a 3-1 pitch into the upper deck.

Castillo finished with six innings for the third time this month.  He allowed 25 earned runs in April in 28 2/3 innings for a 7.85 ERA.  In his fifth start in May, Castillo has also pitched 28 2/3 innings but has only allowed nine earned runs for a 2.82 ERA.  The Reds have won the last four and he is personally 3-1 in May.

"I made and adjustment and worked hard," Castillo said.

"He is getting closer," Reds' manager Jim Riggleman said.  "We want to be a seven inning plus pitcher.  He's not there yet."

The home run by Freese signaled the end for Castillo.

"I wasn't tired but he is a big league hitter," Castillo said through translator Julio Murillo.  "I made a mistake and he did what he was supposed to do with a mistake."

David Hernandez contributed 2/3 of an inning, allowing a lead off double to Austin Meadows to start the seventh but struck out Elias Diaz and got Sean Rodriguez to fly out.  Amir Garrett came in to strike out pinch hitter Josh Bell.

Garrett began the ninth in quest of his first career save.  Corey Dickerson reached on an infield single.  Garrett struck out pinch hitter Jose Osuna but Austin Meadows hit his third home run to cut the lead to one.

Jared Hughes was assigned to get the final two outs for his second save of the season.  The Reds got the second out when Hughes deflected a ground ball to Gennett, who barely got Diaz on the throw to Dixon, who had to stretch.  The call was upheld under video review.

"I can not believe we got an out on that play," Riggleman said.  "That ball, when I saw the angle that Scooter was going to have to go to, I kind of starting looking at my card, ok where's Polanco? I know that he's coming. All of a sudden I see the stretch.  That was some play."

Brandon Dixon had three hits, including a double and finished the game hitting, .375.

"It felt great.  It was a little bit of a relief after the first few nights," Dixon said.  "It was an awesome experience.  That was a close play on Diaz.  That was my first experience with the replay, too."

Joey Votto walked as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning to tie Dan Driessen for ninth on the Reds' all time list for games played with 1,480.

Joey Votto In Timeout Todd Frazier Trade Fills Reds Lineup

Pete Harnisch would look at the lineup on the day he was pitching and asked Jack McKeon passing by, "Skip are we trying?"

The Reds' lineup for the series ending afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates will be without Joey Votto and Billy Hamilton.   Hamilton regularly gets every fourth day off but Votto is getting a rare day off.

The move was foreshadowed by Bryan Price in spring training telling the press that the 34-year old first baseman would get more days of rest this season.  Votto appeared to tweak his thigh on the road, getting out of the batter's box in San Francisco but didn't miss any playing time.

Votto may need at least a mental day.  His 12th inning double made him 5-for-27 in his last eight games.  He was 0-for-5 for the game when he hit it.

One of the league's leading hitters during his career, Votto played in all 162 games for the second time in his career.  Since a distal quad strain in his left knee cost him 99 games in 2014, Votto played in 158,158 and 162 games the last three seasons.  He has played in 150 or more games seven times in his 10-plus year career.

With his next appearance, Votto will tie Dan Driessan for ninth place on the Reds' all-time list for games played with 1,480.  He is 22 games away from catching Frank Robinson, number eight on the list with 1,502 games.

"It was a good time to give him a day off with the long night last night (12 innings)," Jim Riggleman said.  "He is still on pace for 150 games."

Brandon Dixon will play first base.  He joins shortstop Jose Peraza and Scott Schebler in the lineup.  All three of the players the Reds' obtained in the Todd Frazier trade with the White Sox and Dodgers are in the Reds' lineup at the same time.

Dixon joined the team on Monday after hitting .326 in 37 games at Louisville when he got the call.  He hit 12 doubles, a triple and four home runs.  Dixon had a good spring, playing all the infield positions and every outfield spot but center.  The Reds elected to keep veterans, Phil Gosselin, who was claimed on waivers by Atlanta and Cliff Pennington, who is at Louisville.

Dixon is looking for his first hit after four at bats in his first two games.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Local Hero Josh Harrison Beats Reds In The 12th

Josh Harrison made his Princeton High School and University of Cincinnati classmates proud by lifting driving in the winning run against his home town Reds leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-inning 5-4 win that tied the series at a game apiece.

Harrison tripled with two outs to scuttle his hometown team's chances.

The Pittsburgh Pirates wasted little time getting on top of Homer Bailey.

Harrison grounded out on the first pitch but that was one pitch.  Gregory Polanco walked and Francisco Cervelli launched his seventh home run on Bailey's 10th pitch of the game.

"It would be tough for a hanging slider in the first inning to beat us," Bailey said.  "This start and the start before, when I go back and look on tape at the pitch execution it's pretty high.  They just got us today.  Sometimes they hit a ball hard right at the shortstop.  Sometimes it finds a hole.  I'm not a concerned as you might think.  There is a little luck involved."

The Reds were at the mercy of Chad Kuhl, pronounced "cool".  The Reds didn't get their first hit until Jesse Winker, the 10th batter of the game.

Bailey settled in and Kuhl continued to roll.

Bailey had to pitch out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth.  Kuhl allowed singles to Eugenio Suarez and Bailey himself.  Bailey's was a infield hit that third baseman Colin Moran couldn't handle.

The Pirates scored in the fifth.  Harrison singled as did Cervelli one out later.  Bailey struck out Josh Bell on a high heater but Corey Dickerson bounced a single into center field to score Harrison.

"The ball was coming out of Homer's hand pretty well," Jim Riggleman said.  "We had an infield hit, a bloop and a ground ball that found a hole."

Bailey didn't survive the sixth.

Austin Meadows lined a single to left.  Jordy Mercer blooped a single past Jose Peraza at shortstop.  Kuhl was just attempting a sacrifice bunt to move runners along.  The hard bunt got past a charging Suarez.  By the time Bailey chased the ball down and made a slide and throw Meadows scored from second base.

"That was an unfortunate play," Riggleman said.  "We had a play on where Peraza was covering second.  It was in between Homer and Suarez."

Tanner Rainey, who was recalled from Louisville to replace the injured Raisel Iglesias, walked Harrison to load the bases with no outs, then pitched out of it.  Rainey struck out Polanco and Cervelli before Bell bounced to the mound to end the threat.

Kuhl buckled a bit in the bottom of the sixth.  Scooter Gennett, who hit a grand slam home run on Tuesday, hit his ninth home run into the bleachers in right field.  It was Gennett's seventh RBI in the two-game series.

Kuhl left the game in favor of Edgar Santana after Scott Schebler opened the Reds' seventh with a single, the Reds' fifth hit of the game.  Kuhl pitched six full innings, surrendering on run on five hits and one walk.  He struck out six.

Santana finished the seventh, maintaining the lead.  Adam Duvall hit for Rainey, who pitched two scoreless innings.

Jackson Stephens retired the Pirates in order in the eighth.

Michael Feliz started the eighth inning for the Pirates.  Winker singled sharply to right, his second hit.  Tucker Barnhart's line drive up the middle nailed Feliz in the thigh.  It bounced half way to home plate.  Cervelli was out from behind the plate but Barnhart beat his desperate throw.  Joey Votto was the tying run at the plate.  He flied very deep to center, allowing Winker to move up.  Gennett walked to load the bases, bringing Suarez to the plate.  Suarez and Gennett were tied for the team lead with 33 RBI when the game began.  Suarez drove in his 34th run with a fly to left.

Felipe Vazquez, a left-hander replaced Feliz to face lefty Schebler.  Alex Blandino pinch hit for Schebler.  The move paid off when Blandino drove in Barnhart to make it a one-run game.  Jose Peraza worked the count full, then singled to tie the score.  Meadows throwing error from center put the winning run at third with two outs.  Brandon Dixon was caught looking at strike three to end the inning.

Jared Hughes, who will finish some games with Iglesias on the DL, entered the game in the ninth.  He turned in a scoreless inning, allowing Dickerson's third hit of the game.

Vazquez retired the Reds in order in the ninth.

Michael Lorenzen made his 2018 debut to start the 10th.

Lorenzen got two quick outs but walked Sean Rodriguez and gave up Harrison's third hit of the game.  Pinch hitter David Freese grounded out to Gennett at second base.

Steven Brault sent the game to the 11th.  With two outs, the Pirates walked Suarez intentionally to force the Reds to use Tony Cruz to pinch hit, the last man on the bench.  Cruz flied out to shallow center.

Dylan Floro, who earned his first Major League win on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs took the mound for the 11th.  Dickerson's fourth hit of the game was a two-out double but Moran flied harmlessly to right.

Peraza walked to open the 11th against Brault.  Dixon got a bunt down but he was called out.  Cervilli's throw hit Dixon and went down the line.  Dixon was clearly inside the line and was called out for batter's interference.  Billy Hamilton popped to short.  Winker was hit by a pitch moving Peraza to scoring position with two out.  Barnhart struck out.

"It's a bad rule but it's always been the rule," Riggleman said.  "It was unfortunate and didn't go our way but they got the rule right."

Meadows doubled off Floro to open the 12th inning.  Mercer bounced back to Floro, who caught Meadows off second.  Rodriguez flied to right.  Harrison tripled just inside the right field line.

Kyle Crick came in for the save but Joey Votto, 0-for-5 and 4-for-26 in his last eight games doubled to open the bottom of the 12th.  Gennett singled.  Votto stopped at third.  Suarez lined to left but not deep enough to score Votto.  Out of players, Floro had to bat and struck out.  That left the game in the bat of Peraza.  The count went full.  Peraza walked to load the bases.  Dixon in his second big league game came to bat.  He grounded out to end the game.

"Again Suarez hit the ball hard and had nothing to show for it," Riggleman said.  "It was line drive to the left fielder who was in good position to throw."

The Reds bullpen was brilliant.  Everyone pitched effectively but the Pirates got the benefit of some good breaks.

"It was a great ballgame," Riggleman said.  "It was a great effort by everyone involved."

Colerain UC Grad Ryan Atkinson Shut Down Reds Farmhands In Pensacola

Ryan Atkinson rebounded from a tough outing against the Atlanta Braves Mississippi Double A farm team to shut down some future Reds in Pensacola on Sunday.

Atkinson, a non-drafted free agent, has been pitching his way into prominence in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.  He was chosen to pitch in the Arizona Fall League last October with a 1-2 record with a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings.  Atkinson was invited to Major League spring training.  He made his spring debut against the Reds on February 26. He allowed one run on a hit and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Atkinson struck out Stuart Turner and Brandon Dixon.  He allowed a single to Sebastian Elizarde and walked Mason Williams.  He retired Nick Senzel on a fly out. Shed Long doubled to score Williams after Atkinson left the game.   He pitched 6 1/3 innings in Spring Training to get his feet wet.

Atkinson pitched a season-high six innings and struck out 10 future Reds working their way to Cincinnati with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

The 25-year old as of May 10, shut out the likes of Aristedes Aquino, Shed Long, Gavin LaValley, Taylor Sparks and Brian O'Grady.

The right-hander stayed behind in extended spring with a cut on his index finger.   He returned to the Jackson Generals in the Southern League on April 13.  Atkinson had a rough first start, allowing three runs in 2 2/3 innings but reeled off five straight starts pitching into or completing five innings allowing two runs.  He had a real bad start against Mississippi on May 15, giving up six runs in four innings. Until he rebounded with his outing against the Blue Wahoos.

Atkinson stands at eight starts with a 2-4 record.  He has a 4.42 ERA over 36 2/3 innings, walking 14 but striking out 46.

On Sunday, Atkinson faced off with Reds' reliever Michael Lorenzen, who was completing his rehab.

"He shut us down," Lorenzen said.  "He's a stud.  I was hoping to hit off him but they wouldn't let me."

Atkinson was the final hitter Lorenzen faced.   "I got him on a sinker," said Lorenzen of Atkinson's ground out to short.

Michael Lorenzen Returns May Close Games In Place Of Raisel Iglesias

Michael Lorenzen returned from his rehab stint in Penascola on Wednesday.  Lorenzen was out with a right shoulder strain.   Austin Brice was placed on the disabled list with a with a mid-back strain.

Raisel Iglesias went on the disabled list with soreness in his left bicep.  Iglesias felt it last week when he reached for a ball with his glove hand.  He was pitching through it but it was still bothering him.

"It is tender.  It prevents him from extending out with his front arm," Jim Riggleman said.  "Instead of dealing with it, we decided to put him on the DL. I don't know if it was a ball thrown back to him or a chopper hit to him but he reached.  It was brought to my attention that he was feeling it.  The next couple days we are going to Colorado, we have to have pitchers who are healthy.  We can use (Jared) Hughes and/or Lorenzen."

Lorenzen pitched against Jackson for Pensacola on Sunday.  He threw 20 pitches in two innings, retiring all six batters, including Colerain/UC grad, Ryan Atkinson who grounded out on a good sinker.

“I feel good. I pitched two innings my last time," Lorenzen said. "I got a day off, so I’m ready to go. It’s their decision. I’m sure the training staff is happy that I won’t be arguing with them any more. I wanted to be back three weeks ago. I’m excited to be able to come back and plug right in. I’ve felt great for a while. I’ve been feeling really, really good for a really, really long time, but they had to check all the boxes.”

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cubs Bring Big Bear Bats To Beat Reds

Young Tyler Mahle faced the heavy lumber of the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.  Cubs hitters hit three home runs on the way to a 6-1 win to take three out of the four games.

In a successful homecoming for Ian Happ of  the University of Cincinnati and Kyle Schwarber, the pride of Middletown, Ohio, the Cubs negated the Reds first inning run with a three-run second inning, using the home run ball and a walk.

Cubs' starter Yu Darvish struggled in the first inning to get outs and keep his fielders awake with his deliberate style.

Alex Blandino was giving Jose Peraza a rest.  He led the Reds' first inning off by working a walk.  One out later, Joey Votto singled to put runners at first and third.  Darvish hit Scooter Gennett with a 3-2 pitch.  Scott Schebler hit a ball into the hole at shortstop.  Javier Baez saved a run by making a sliding stop but he had no play.

Ian Happ, who has been on base 11 times with five extra base hits and six walks coming into the game, walked to start the second.  Scharber hit his eighth home run of the season and first since April 26 into the bleachers in right.  Baez followed with his 11th off the facing of the upper deck in left.  It was the Cubs first set of back-to-back home runs of the season.  Ben Zobrist hit his second home run of the season, leading off the fifth inning.

Darvish lasted six innings without allowing another hit.  He walked three and hit two batters.

Tommy La Stella pinch hit for Darvish, leading off the seventh.  As soon as La Stella was announced Jim Riggleman brought in Wandy Peralta to replace Mahle.

Mahle pitched six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks.  It was the three home runs that spoiled his outing.

"Tyler is a great competitor. We like having him out there," Reds' manager Jim Riggleman said. "There were a couple of off speed pitches and they got him. Home runs have hurt us and they did today."

Mahle .was asked to work on his slider and change up in the off season.  It has improved but is still a work-in-progress.

"If you don't throw good pitches to anybody, you're not going to have a good start. All the home runs were on pitches that weren't located well. Anything slower they are going to see it. When they're left over the plate, that's never good," Mahle said.

Peralta walked La Stella.  Votto's wild throw on a slow ground ball hit by Zobrist put Peralta in a second and third, no out jam.  Albert Almora Jr. hit a sacrifice fly gave the Cubs their five run.  Anthony Rizzo's single provided the sixth run.

David Hernandez finished the inning with no further scoring.  He ended the inning by catching Schwarber looking at a strike three.  Schwarber hotly contested the call by John Trumpane, who ejected the Middletown Middie and Indiana Hoosier.

Pedtro Strop replaced Darvish.  He pitched a scoreless seventh.  Carl Edwards Jr. pitched a scoreless eighth.

Jared Hughes got into a jam in the ninth.  Almora singled.  Willson Contreras doubled with one out.  The Reds issued Happ his ninth walk of the four-game series intentionally.  Happ was on base 14 times in the set.  Victor Caratini hit into a 4-6-3 double play to thwart the threat.

For the series the Reds walked 30 batters, the most in club history for a four game series.

"We walked too many. About six of those were intentional," Riggleman said. "They dominated us. They're a hot club. It's a very good club. When you'[re playing a very good club that is playing good."

The Reds offense sputtered too.  Riggleman credited the Cubs pitchers acknowledging that some of his guys are struggling at the plate too.

"The world is enamored with velocity," Riggleman said. "They threw three pitchers at us that really pitched professional style, just pitching. They had enough velocity but they really pitched well. We ran into a hot club and pitched good. Someone threw up these numbers, we had 16 hits in four games. I didn't know it was that bad. We didn't do much offensively."

"Darvish was throwing some off speed stuff and this and that. All of a sudden he decided to throw some hard stuff in an area up around the chest that was very hard to hit and very hard to lay off of."  it is going to be tough to win some games. We only got one out of it, certainly we'd have liked to win two or three."

Anthony DeSclafani Michael Lorenzen CloseTo Return Colerain's Ryan Atkinson Vs Lorenzen Tonight

Anthony DeSclafani pitched into the sixth inning for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos against the Jackson Generals last night in Pensacola.

DeSclafani has been on the shelf since an oblique strain caused his lengthy rehab for the third time in as many years.  Last year he did not pitch at all.

Michael Lorenzen had a strained teres major and has also been out for the length of the season.

DeSclafani allowed three runs, two earned on five hits.  He struck out eight with one walk.  He pitched into the sixth but two doubles brought him to his pitch limit.

"I think he has two more starts," Reds' manager Jim Riggleman said.  "When he comes back he will go into the starting rotation.  The adjustment is yet to be determined.  It will be performance based but also who could adapt to the bullpen.  That takes into account how quickly they can get warm."

Lorenzen is the starter against Colerain and UC grad Ryan Atkinson tonight at 6:05 pm in Pensacola.

"Lorenzen is scheduled for two innings," Riggleman said.  "If  he feels good after it and can go more than one inning for us.  He will be back."

Lorenzen has pitched an inning in each of his two rehab games, allowing a hit and a walk with one strikeout.

DeSclafani has pitched eight innings in two starts, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk with 12 strikeouts.

It doesn't matter that the rehab is taking place in Double A instead of Triple A.

"Most of the best prospects of most organizations are in Double A," said Riggleman, who has 18 years experience in player development.  "The older more experienced players are in Triple A."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Cubs Maul Reds In Nightcap

Sal Romano allowed the leadoff man on base in every inning.  He wriggled out of jams in the first four but on the fifth did him in as the Chicago Cubs scored five runs on the way to an 10-0.

The Cubs stranded 14 runners in the 5-4 11-inning loss in the first game.  They were 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Ian Happ, who homered in the first game, repeated the act with a home run to the rightfield bleachers.  Happ reached base in four of his five plate appearances in the first game.  He walked in the second.

Jose Quintana walked Adam Duvall in two outs into the second inning but retired 12 of the first 13 Reds' batters.

Romano's fate was sealed in the fifth.

Zobrist walked to reach base for the third time in the game.  La Stella flew out but the Cubs were just getting started.  Kris Bryant walked.  Anthony Rizzo doubled to the rightfield corner and two runs scored.  Romano struck out Willson Contreras but walked Happ intentionally.  Happ reached base for the seventh time in eight plate appearances. Addison Russell walked. 

"Zobrist and La Stella got big hits all day," Reds' manager Jim Riggleman said.  "They aren't starters but they play a lot.  It was a tough challenge for Sal."

Jason Hayward, making his first start since suffering a concussion two weeks ago in St. Louis, hit a bloop to shallow right, toward the foul line.  Gennett came close but the ball hit off his glove, past a charging Jesse Winker for a three-run triple and a 7-0 lead.

"It was an extraordinary effort by Scooter on the triple by Hayward.  I think Wink broke back on the ball.  That was his all the way," Riggleman said.

Romano pitched five innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and a career-high six walks.

"The fastball command wasn't there," Romano said. "My off speed stuff was pretty good.  That was something I worked on the last four days.  I think I'm flying open on the fastball.  When you walk six in a big league game, you're going to get hurt."

The Reds appeared to challenge Quintana in the fifth.  Duvall walked again with one out. Scott Schebler drilled a single past La Stella at second for the Reds' first hit.

Kevin Shackelford, who was called up as the 26th man, finally got the leadoff hitter out.   He walked Bryant with two outs but retired Rizzon on a fly out.

The Cubs renewed its habit of putting the leadoff man on when Contreras Russell singled.  Shackelford threw a wild pitch.  Hayward earned his fourth RBI with a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs put runners at first and third with no outs in the eighth inning on a pair of bloop singles. Rizzo's sacrifice fly sent the ninth Cubs' run home.

Quintana finished with seven scoreless innings.  He allowed one hit and walked four, including Schebler three times.  Suarez took the other walk.

"Their pitchers have thrown three pretty good outings against us," Riggleman said.

Alex Blandino's pinch hit single off Mike Montgomery was the Reds' second hit.

Austin Brice mopped up for the Reds.  Heyward singled and scored on a double by Albert Almora Jr.

First Game Of Double Header Belongs To The Reds

Talk about your walk offs.  Billy Hamilton drew a bases loaded walk in the 11th inning to give the Reds a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Dylan Floro pitched the final two innings to earn his first Major League win.

"Floro has been good for us in a lot of situations," Reds' manager Jim Riggleman said..  "We couldn't afford to use any one else in that game.  It was his game all the way."

Floro was left off the roster for Opening Day but impressed everyone with his spring in Goodyear.  He brought some big league experience to a very young bullpen.  Floro pitched in three games for the Cubs last year for 9 2/3 innings.

"It's awesome," a smiling Floro said.  "For it to happen like that it's a great experience.  I'm excited. It is hard to catch my breath.  I was with them last year.  They're a great organization. I appreciate them.  It is always nice to get a W against them.  I've been in a lot of situations.  It is a great feeling for him to put me in those situations.  I want to prove I can do it."

The Reds slept fast on Friday night to take on the Cubs in the first game of a double header.

The first inning looked eerily like Homer Bailey's Friday night in a three-run first inning.  Like the first five Cubs' batters hit their way on base on Friday, the first two batters, Albert Almora Jr. and Kris Bryant singled.  Anthony Rizzo flied out to shallow right.   Addison Russell walked to fill the bases. Middletown's Kyle Schwarber hit into an inning ending double play.

The Reds went to work on Kyle Hendricks immediately.  Jose Peraza walked, a rare occurrence because it was his seventh walk in 108 plate appearances.  Peraza stole second base, his seventh to put himself in position to score on Scooter Gennett's single.

The Cubs got even in the third Almora Jr. singled and scored on Bryant's double.

Joey Votto doubled to open the Reds' fourth.  It was 30th game in 32 appearances for Votto to reach base.  Gennett bunted Votto to third.  He was credited with a sacrifice but it looked like he was bunting for a hit.  Eugenio Suarez gave the Reds a lead with a sacrifice fly to center.

Castillo left after five innings with the lead but David Hernandez was greeted with disrespect by Ian Happ who tripled.  Hendricks the pitcher doubled to the base of the bullpen fence.  Hernandez bowed his neck after that, retiring the next two batters and Russell after an intentional walk to Rizzo.

The Reds answered quickly with the aid of Cubs' second baseman Javier Baez, who fumbled Peraza's ground ball.  Votto walked.  Gennett drove in his second run of the game with a single.  Suarez did likewise with an RBI double.

Amir Garrett, sporting an glistening 1.40 ERA, pitched the seventh.   The long, tall, lefty walked Schwarber to open the inning but catcher Victor Caratini hit into a double play.   Garrett struck out Baez looking.  The pitcher's on-mound celebration irked Baez and the pair squared off near home plate.  Reinforcements arrived from benches and bullpens but tempers cooled.  No one was ejected.

"That's how it goes," Garrett said. "There are no hard feelings there. It's over.  I believe so, I believed he pimped a home run on me last year.  He got me and I got him.  It's over. I am sure we will have plenty more match ups.  I love the way he plays the game.  He's very flashy and I love that. I love all of it but if you dish it, you gotta take it.

Iglesias replaced Garrett.

Former UC Bearcat, Ian Happ hit his sixth home run to open the eighth.  It was his third hit and left him a single short of the cycle combined with his triple and second inning double.

Tommy La Stella pinch hit for Randy Rosario, the Cubs 26th man, pitched two scoreless innings. LaStella singled on a full count pitch.  Iglesias struck out Almora and retired Bryant on a routine fly to right.  Rizzo tied the game with a double into the left centerfield gap.  Iglesias struck out Russell to end the inning.

Carl Edwards Jr. issued a two-out walk to Scott Schebler, who stole second base but Tucker Barnhart grounded to short.

Wandy Peralta took over in the ninth for Iglesias and set the Cubs down in order.

Pedto Strop gave up a two-out double to Billy Hamilton but struck out Tony Cruz and Peraza to send the game to the 10th inning.

Dylan Floro started the 10th for the Reds.  The Cubs went down in order.

Brian Duensing retired Votto on a soft liner to short and struck out Gennett.   Steve Cishek took over to pitch to Suarez.  Suarez grounded out to short.

Floro allowed an infield hit and an intentional walk but preserved the tie into the bottom of the 11th.

Schebler took a walk from boom Justin Wilson to open the bottom of the 11th.  Barnhart singled.  Wilson got behind Duvall 3-0 and lost him to load the bases with no outs.  Hamilton took three pitches off the plate with five Cubs in the infield and outfielders shallow in the two gaps.  Wilson threw a 3-0 strike but missed badly with ball four.

"If he threw a strike, I'd have to put the ball in play," Hamilton said.  "It's kind of tough when you see a five-man infield and two guys playing up the middle.  It gets you to thinking you've got to do something different but you've got to relax."

Hamilton had an awful at bat in the sixth inning against Randy Rosario with the bases loaded.

"Billy had a great at bat.  We let some chances go by.  I thought it would haunt us and sure enough it did.  We we had a lot of good at bats. Schebler and Duvall, Tucker gave us a chance," Riggleman said.

Who's On First?

Who's on first?

At Great American Ball Park the answer to that question is Joey Votto, Mr. Costello.

Not only is that Votto's natural defensive position but when the Reds are at the plate it is more than likely it is Votto on first base as a base runner.

Consider these numbers.

Votto has reached base in 29 of his last 31 appearances, including the last 16 in a row.  This season he is seventh in the National League with an on-base-percentage at .411.  Votto has walked 30 times, two intentionally.  In his career to date, Votto has been on base in 42.8 % of his plate appearances.

In 12 seasons, Votto walked intentionally 134 times second to Johnny Bench's team record of 135.  He has a career total of 1,630 walks and 1,001 singles.  (Votto has 349 2B, 17 3B and 263 HR).

The 2,631 trips from home to first totals 44.8 miles.

Cubs Rain On Reds Parade

On a soggy night in Cincinnati, Homer Bailey lasted 4 1/3 innings which is amazing considering that the first five Chicago Cubs' batters hit the ball like they knew what pitches were coming.

Ben Zobrist singled and Kris Bryant doubled within the first three pitches after an hour and a half of rain delay that cost fans some fireworks.  Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras and Addison Russell continued a hit parade that put three runs on the board on the way to an 8-1.

The Reds have a double header on Saturday made necessary by an April 3 rainout.

It was important that Bailey eat some innings and he did that.  Jackson Stephens gave the Reds' three good innings.  The Reds have called up Kevin Shackelford as their 26th man to add depth to the bullpen.  Austin Brice worked an inning.

“Homer battled,” Reds’ manager Jim Riggleman said. “Zobrist and Bryant had hits within three or four pitches to set the tone.  I tip my hat to Homer.  With the double header tomorrow, we needed to use as few pitchers as possible.  Jackson came in and saved us.  Homer was hit but we were down 4-0.  That’s not something we can’t overcome.  Jon Lester was the bigger issue.”

John Lester had the luxury of a uncontested six run lead.

The Cubs added one run in the fourth after a double play with the bases loaded, blunted another big rally.  Addison Russell's third hit of his career-high four on the night, setup a two run fifth when Kyle Schwarber doubled Russel home.  Schwarber scored on a safety squeeze by Lester.

Scooter Gennett broke up Lester's modest no-hitter with a single and Adam Duvall homered for the second straight day.  It was Duvall's team leading ninth of the season and spoiled Lester's shutout.

The Cubs added a run off Stephens and a run off Brice.

Lester left after six innings allowing one run on two hits. It was the fourth straight start that he had to deal with rain, including last night in Atlanta.

Bailey knew the Reds needed innings.

“I looked at the pitches and they hit some good ones.  That is frustrating.  They are a good offense and did a good job of hitting good pitches.  In the back of my mind, I knew I had to grind out some innings.  That’s what I tried to do.”

Friday, May 18, 2018

Eugenio Suarez Is Ready Joey Votto Bats Fourth

Eugenio Suarez missed one game with a slightly sprained right ankle that he suffered on Tuesday in San Francisco.  Suarez was trying to return to second base after a line drive when he twisted it. He remained in the game and hit a two-run home run.

The Reds gave him Wednesday afternoon off and they had an off-day on Thursday.   Suarez was in the lineup and batting third with Joey Votto in the cleanup spot in the batting order.

"I hit a double two and my ankle felt good," Suarez said.  "It was sore the next morning when I got out of bed.  I want to be in the lineup.  It has happened before to me.  I just needed a little rest."

The Reds put Suarez through a series of test in the afternoon.  He fielded ground balls, ran forward and backward.  He passed all of the tests.

Votto is batting fourth for the 29th time in his career but the first time since May 14, 2014, when hit fourth in both games of a doubleheader with San Diego.

The Reds had a day off before and a day off after the Cubs series which means they will not need an extra starting pitcher for the double header on Saturday.  The Reds and Cubs were washed out of a game on April 3.  The Cubs were late arriving in Cincinnati as their game on Thursday was rained out.  Luis Castillo will pitch the first game against Kyle Hendricks.  Sal Romano will pitch the second game against Jose Quintana.

"We will see where we are after the game tonight," Reds' interim manager Jim Riggleman said.  "We have to see what we need and who is scheduled to pitch at Louisville."

The starters can stay on schedule unless rain zaps one of the four games.

Anthony DeSclafani and Michael Lorenzen are getting close to a return. 

"They are both throwing well," Riggleman said.  "Lorenzen threw a bullpen yesterday to simulate back-to-back outings.  His next time out he will go more than one innings so when he returns we can use him for more than one inning."

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Adam Duvall Clutch Home Run Beats The Mets

Adam Duvall hit his sixth home run of the season, leading off the 10th inning to give the Reds win of the game and the series, 2-1.  It was the first career walk off home run for the struggling outfielder who entered the game on a double switch.

“It was a fastball, middle in. I was able to get the barrel to it. It was exciting," said Duvall.  Winning the series was the icing on top. “This game’s about momentum. You’d like to take that hot streak and try to extend it. It feels good to get win the series. That’s what you’re trying to do.”

The Reds won a series for only the second time this season and the blow was struck by a player who was hitting .169 at game time.

“Nobody’s more deserving than Adam. He’s not out there feeling sorry for himself. He’s putting in the work and it’s paying off.," Reds manager Jim Riggleman said.


The Mets had to learn to take turns when Sal Romano and Zack Wheeler met up in a old fashioned pitcher's duel.

With two outs in the second Asdrubal Cabrera, batting third hit a ground rule double.  The only problem was he was supposed to bat second.  That made Jay Bruce scheduled to hit fourth out for batting out of turn and he was called out by home plate umpire Gabe Morales.  The umpires and the Reds' manager, Jim Riggleman was given a lineup with Cabrera second and Flores third. The Mets gave the Reds and the umpire the intended lineup but posted another lineup on the dugout wall for the players to follow.

"The team comes out and tells us a guy is batting out of order.  It's not our job to tell them," crew chief  Jerry Meals said. "What happens is you find the proper batter.  In this case Flores hit second and made an out. It doesn't benefit the Reds.  They already have an out. Cabrera hit and got a hit. Now it benefits them.  Hey he batted out of order  When they threw the first pitch to Cabrera that legalized Flores as a hitter.  Now the proper batter is Bruce.  In that case you take Cabrera off the field and call Bruce out.  Now the batter is Gonzalez."

It happened to the Reds in late 2008 at Shea Stadium when Dusty Baker made a double switch but there was miscommunication among the players.
"I've seen it happen in the minor leagues.  It's been a long time, 32 years," Meals said.
It happened to the Reds in late 2008 at Shea Stadium when Dusty Baker made a double switch but changed his mind after the umpires made it official.
It was just an administrative thing that I didn’t take care of," first year manager Mickey Calloway said. "It’s frustrating. It probably cost us a game. We had a chance to score in the first and we didn’t. The most frustrated I’ve been is about the administrative thing today. I didn’t get the job done."
Once that mess was straightened out the young pitchers took over.

“Sal and Wheeler both really threw the ball well. They both got a lot of strikeouts and groundballs," Riggleman said.  

Brandon Nimmo led off the third inning with a triple.  He scored when Cabrera, now in his proper spot in the order grounded out to Joey Votto at first base.  Romano also retired the next six batters in order until Amed Rosario singled with two outs in the fifth.  Romano walked Nimmo but retired the last five batters he faced.

Romano finished with six innings, one earned run on four hits and a walk.  He has five straight good starts.

“He’s throwing good. He knows what he is – a power pitcher with a hard sinker,” Riggleman said.

The Reds put two runners on base against Wheeler in the first inning but Scott Schebler grounded out to end the inning.  Alex Blandion led off the second inning with a single but Wheeler retired 12 straight before Jesse Winker walked to start the sixth.  Jose Peraza reached on an infield single.  Votto drove in Winker with a solid single to right, tying the game and putting runners at the corners with no out.  Eugenio Suarez struck out.  Schebler walked to load the bases with one out but Blandino popped to short and Tony Cruz, replacing the traded Devin Mesoraco, struck out.

Wheeler finished with nearly the same line Romano did, six innings one run on four hits.  He walked three.

Jared Hughes and Amir Garrett  pitched a scoreless inning apiece for the Reds.  Robert Gsellman pitched two perfect innings for the Mets.

Raisel Iglesias got the Mets out 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Seth Lugo retired Scott Schebler to start the bottom of the ninth.  Blandino and Cruz struck out to send the game to the 10th inning.

Iglesias retired the side in order again.

“When Iglesias was fielding a ball in the ninth, he raised his arm and did something. When he came in, he went into the cage and worked it out. He actually threw the ball better in the 10th," Riggleman said.

Adam Duvall stepped in to face A.J. Ramos.

It was Riggleman, who realized the Mets were batting out of turn.

“I want to say as little about that as possible. I have a bad feeling about that. I felt bad. It’s so easy to have that happen. When I saw the lineup card, for some reason, it stuck with me that Flores was hitting third. When he walked up to hit second, it clicked and I checked the card," Riggleman said.

Riggleman thought he caught them again in the second inning.

 “When I saw Gonzalez leading off, I thought they might be out of order again, but the umpires explained that the double didn’t count and Jay Bruce was out. Nobody had ever seen that happen, that part of it. The umpires were on it. They were the only four people in the place who knew the rule. They did a good job of letting both benches know what was going on.”

Matt Harvey's Role Uncertain Gets Clean Slate Devin Mesoraco Starts For Mets

Matt Harvey is in Los Angeles awaiting the Reds arrival.

Before the game on Tuesday night, the Reds traded Devin Mesoraco for Harvey, the Mets first draft pick in 2010 and the seventh pick overall.

Mesoraco and Harvey both have a history of injuries.  Harvey missed the entire 2014 season with "Tommy John" surgery.  Mesoraco has been limited to 95 games the last three seasons with 56 of those coming last season.  He has appeared in 19 this season, including a pinch hit appearance for the Mets Tuesday night.

Harvey also has a history of being hard for management to handle.  Interim manager Jim Riggleman will give Harvey a clean slate.

"We have not nailed down when Harvey will pitch," Riggleman said.  "I talked to him last night.  He is in Los Angeles.  He is throwing significant bullpen seasons, lengthy sessions.  He is extending himself a little bit, thinking no matter where he signed, he'd pitch some length.  He's ready to do what we need him to do.  We will determine that in the next day or two.  I expect he will pitch in some capacity against the Dodgers but whether it is starting or relieving, I don't know yet."

When Riggleman said that Harvey is ready to do whatever the Reds want him to do, it runs counter to his reputation for demanding his role and resisting a demotion to the minor leagues  Harvey made eight appearances, four starts for the Mets this season.  He is 0-2 with an even 7.00 ERA.  He has allowed six home runs in 27 innings.

"Harvey was very excited," Riggleman said.  "He's anxious to help us and re establish his career. I think it's a good fit.  I will absolutely give him a fresh start.  So much of that can be blown out of proportion.  We've talked to a lot of people, who said, Matt Harvey's a good guy.  Some stuff got exaggerated.  That's in the past."

Mesoraco will get his fresh start with the Mets against the Reds after an awkward trip across the field last night.  He is in the lineup for the Mets, who have had both of their top catchers Jose Loboton and Travis d'Arnaud miss significant time with injuries.

Mesoraco has a new pitching staff to learn but Mets' manager Micky Calloway, the former Cleveland Indians pitching coach, doesn't see it as a problem.

"He knows their hitters better than anyone," Calloway said.  "He's going to call the game.  Zach Wheeler has to throw the ball over the plate, whatever, Devin calls.  Mesoraco has a very good reputation for leading a pitching staff.  His bat will be very helpful.  He's a guy who has done damage and been an All-Star."

The Reds starting catcher will be Tony Cruz, giving Tucker Barnhart a rest, Cruz was Yadier Molina's backup with St. Louis and spent Spring Training with the Reds.  He had a very good spring, the Reds nearly brought him with the team as a backup catcher/first baseman.  Cruz had been in Louisville.

Cruz played in 14 games at Louisville, hitting .170 with a home run and a double.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Fan Favorites Jay Bruce And Todd Frazier Return Home Triumphantly

Jay Bruce hit a two-run home run off Homer Bailey in a triumphant return to Great American Ball Park, where he started his Major League career on May 27, 2008.  It aided the Mets cause in a 7-6 wins.

Bruce, Todd Frazier and Homer Bailey were all first round choices for the Reds.  Bailey was picked in the first round in 2004, Bruce in 2005 and Frazier along with Devin Mesoraco in 2007.

The Reds couldn't keep all four when it came time for arbitration and free agency.  They signed Bailey for six years and Mesoraco for four but couldn't afford Bruce and Frazier when they got into their 30's, the economics of the sports business prevented it.

The Reds turned Bruce and Frazier into five minor league players.  Jose Peraza and Scott Schebler are regulars in 2018.  Bruce and Frazier returned with the New York Mets to face, ironically, Bailey.

Bailey made his 200th career start, still looking for his first win of the season after four losses, gave up a home run to Michael Conforto on the second pitch of the game.  The Mets scored again in the second on a single by Adrian Gonzalez and a double by Jose Lobaton, that led to a run on Amed Rosario's sacrifice fly.  Bruce, who hit 135 home runs for the Reds at GABP, hit his third home run of the season in the fourth.  Two outs later Gonzalez hit his fourth home run of the season off Bailey.

"There is a lot of nostalgic things here," Bruce said. "I really had a blast being here. This place was home for me for so long."

The Reds fans shouted "Bruce" like they did when he played here.

"You'd like to think that every Reds' fan here would want the Reds to win but we went through a lot together," Bruce said.  Not the least of which was going through the Reds' minor league system with Bailey.  "It was a little weird but I'm happy that Homer is pitching again.  He dealt with a lot of injuries.  He's battled through it.  He's out there again and I'm sure it's step number one for him."

Reds' interim manager Jim Riggleman gave his team credit for battling back from such an early hole.

"We've been down three or four runs in many games.  Last night we fell a little flat for some reason," Riggleman said.  "Tonight we were right back at it, a lot of energy in the dugout, a lot of good at bats. I can't say enough about Duvall's plays in left field.  He's struggling at the bat but giving a great effort in the field, showing his character.  It was a great effort we came up short but I'm proud to go out there with those guys.  People get tired of hearing it but I promise you it is going to click in.  I'm not sure what day it's going to click in but we're are going to make some noise in this division."

Billy Hamilton hit his second home run of the season off J.P. Conlon, who is making his Major League debut.  Conlon helped get it back in the fourth inning with a ground single up the middle off Bailey.  Rosario hit a double to put Conlon on third.  Yoenis Cespedes hit a sacrifice fly to plate Conlon with the Met's sixth run.

The Reds still fought back.

Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett hit back-to-back doubles and Tucker Barnhart doubled to score two run int he fourth off Conlon.

Adrian Gonzalez hit his second home run of the game off Jackson Stephens, who was called up from Louisville today with Kevin Shackelford going down.

Suarez hit his fifth home run of the season off  Paul Sewald, leading off the sixth.  Adam Duvall and Barnhart hit singles to put runners on the corner.  Pinch hitter Scott Schebler hit a sacrifice fly to get the Reds closer at 7-5.  Gennett's third homer of the season off Robert Gsellman to make it a one-run game.

Raisell Iglesias entered to start the ninth inning.  Cespedes doubled and Bruce singled, putting runners on the corner with no outs.  Iglesias struck out Asdrubal Cabrera and got Frazier to hit into a double play to keep the game close.

Jeurys Familia picked up his 10th save with a perfect inning.

The Reds brought Stephens up because the bullpen has been worked hard and Bailey needed to take some lumps to help them.

"Among the other things I'm really proud of tonight was Homer," Riggleman said.  "Homer knew where we were with our bullpen.  He was out there and wanted to continue.  He would have pitched seven or eight innings to protect our bullpen. I'm really proud of him."

"I felt fine.  I didn't have my best stuff.  If I could get more innings for the guys in the bullpen I would have," Bailey said.  "They've been through more than enough."

Jay Bruce Todd Frazier Come Home

Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier are back in the ballpark where their Major League careers started.

Bruce and Frazier are in the wrong dugout this time, the third base side dugout of the New York Mets.  Three hours before game time the pair sat in that third base dugout and talked about returning to their roots.

Bruce was the Reds' first pick in the 2005 draft, one year after Homer Bailey, who starts for the Reds in the homecoming game.

The left-handed power hitting right fielder, played his first game as a Red on May 27, 2008.  He hit .249 with 233 home runs for the Reds until he was traded to the Mets for Max Wotell and Dilson Herrera on August 1, 2016.

"This is only my second time back," said Bruce, who returned late in the 2016 season after the trade.  He was traded from the Mets to Cleveland before New York visited Cincinnati last season. "This is different for me.  The last time I came here it was such a whirlwind.  I had a young baby.  This time it is a little more relaxed.  It is always great.  This will always feel like home for me, kinda where I grew up.  There are so many great memories.  It is great to see the city and how much it's growing.  So much is happening. It is very, very cool to see."

Frazier was the Reds second pick, the supplemental pick in the first round in 2007.  He was the 34th pick.  Devin Mesoraco was the 15th pick the same year.  Frazier played in his first game on May 23, 2011.

Frazier hit .257 in five seasons with the Reds with 108 home runs.  The Reds traded him in a three-way deal with the Dodgers and White Sox in December 2015.  Frazier went to the White Sox.  The Reds got Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler and Brandon Dixon from the Dodgers.  The Dodgers got three players from the White Sox.

"It feels great to be back here.  There are a lot of great memories here.  Me and Jay talked about this a lot for the last couple of months," Frazier said.  "We had a lot of fun here.  I haven't been here in three years that brings us to another great adventure.  I am glad to come back to play in front of these fans again.  I think about when we clinched in 2012.  I had my first walk off homer at this stadium.  Just meeting everybody here, giving hugs to reporter and stuff.  That shows how big of a family there is here."

Bruce had the pennant clinching home run in the bottom of the ninth inning on September 28, 2010 off Tim Byrdak of the Houston Astros.

"That still probably ranks at the top," Bruce said.  "Last year in Cleveland, I got to be a part of a very special time with the 22 straight wins. I got the walk off hit for win number 22 but it was so different for me too.  When I did this in 2010 I was still such a young kid.  I didn't know any better. I kind had a little bit more of a surprise. I hadn't been through much as a player in my career.  To feel like there will be a part of history here with the Reds, it is something I'll never forget."

The two Reds fan favorites who have moved on, not necessarily by choice, but as part of the business end of the Major Leagues.

"Look at Joey Votto right now.  He's been with the Reds for how many years, since 2007?  That's 11 years, now.  There are still a couple guys out there that have been with one team," Frazier said.  "I tell everybody out there, this is one of the worst businesses in the world.  You never know what's going to be tomorrow.  You just got to keep playing.  You keep focusing on the task at hand. That's what me a Jay's been doing our whole career."

Bruce has a couple more years in the game than Frazier but feels the same balance between a game and business.

"In this game, you don't really get to become close or get to know a ton of people very well," Bruce said.  "Since 2010 or 11 when Todd first came up, in spring training, even before he got to the Major Leagues, we spent so many meaningful years together.  I know him the best on this team.  That's a comfort not a lot of guys get."

"I am very, very comfortable here in Cincinnati, even though it is a little weird in this clubhouse," Bruce said.

Frazier, who is from Toms River, New Jersey, is close to home with the Mets.

"It's great," Frazier said.  "It's great for my family, especially.  It's only an hour commute for them. I get my son and daughter to swim lessons on time and then get ready for the game. I'm very fortunate to have that.  That went into a lot of things in the off season, figuring out where I really wanted to go. It was few and far between at the end of the day, the Mets really wanted me. It couldn't be a bette fit for me."

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Marlins Take The Series To Win Fourth Straight Series

Brandon Finnegan pitched through five innings in his last two starts.  Today he didn't get untracked until the Reds were in a 5-0 hole.  Four runs scored in the first and one in the second on the way to the Miami Marlins' 8-5 win over the Reds to send them to a 8-26 record.

"We didn't get a lot out of Finnegan," Reds' interim manager Jim Riggleman said.

Finnegan retired seven in a row after J.T Realmuto's double, leading off the second inning but singles by light hitting pitcher and former teammate, Dan Straily and Realmuto chased him from the game after 3 1/3 innings.

The first inning made the game an uphill climb for the home nine.   Finnegan as he is known for doing, walked Realmuto, who reached base four times in the game.  Martin Prado hit a slow roller to third base.  Eugenio Suarez made the aggressive throw to second base but Realmuto beat it.  Scooter Gennett put his throw into the camera well behind first base to put both runners in scoring position.  Starlin Castro singled to score two runs, his fourth and fifth runs batted in for two games.   Brian Anderson walked.  Justin Bour grounded out at the runners moved ahead one base.  Cameron Maybin singled to score Casto.  Brinson grounded out off Finnegan that was scored 1-4-3 to drive in Anderson.

"What really hurt was after walking Realmuto, Finnegan went 3-2 to Prado.  By putting them in a running situation we couldn't turn the double play because he beat the throw and was on top of Scooter.  Any other count than 3-2 and we turn a double play," Riggleman said.

Realmuto doubled to start the second inning.  Prado grounded out to Joey Votto at first base.  Castro turned in his second straight three-RBI game with a sacrifice fly.

"It was a crappy way to start a game," Finnegan said.  "It made it tough on our hitters.  It sucks. The more we lose the more pressure we put on our selves and we try to be too fine."

Jesse Winker walked with out in the second inning.  Votto hit his fifth home run of the season to end the Reds' scoreless streak at 18 innings.  Gennett hit a double but was stranded.

After the Reds stranded two runners in the fourth, a heavy rain stopped the game.  It was 73 minutes before the game moved to the fifth with David Hernandez pitching for Cincinnati and Nick Wittgren for Miami.

Hernandez and Wittgren each pitched two scoreless innings.

The Marlins added a run against Kevin Shackelford in the seventh.

Castro singled but Shackelford struck out Anderson.  The Reds gave an intentional walk to Bour.  Maybin doubled to spoil the strategy.  Amir Garrett just back from the funeral of his aunt, came in.  He struck out pinch hitter Derek Dietrich but walked Yadiel Rivera to load the bases.  Garrett fanned J. B.  Shuck to end the threat.

"We had to piece things together because Brandon didn't give us much," Riggleman said.  "The Marlins kept pecking away.  Even when they didn't score they made us change pitchers."

Tayron Guerro took over for Miami in the bottom of the seventh.  Billy Hamilton doubled just inside the first base line.  The hit raise Hamilton's average to .204.  Peraza and Winker flied out.  Votto's third hit, a double scored Hamilton.

Austin Brice struck out two in a scoreless eighth to feed the fans LaRosa's Pizza.

Kyle Barraclough allowed a two out single to Tucker Barnhart, his second hit of the game.

Wandy Peralta, who is walking batters at a brisk pace, walked Anderson to start the inning.  It was the fourth walk in 1 1/3 innings over four games.  Bour's high chop over Votto's head put runners on first and third.  Peralta struck out Maybin but pinch hitter Miguel Rojas singled to center for a run.  Yadiel Rivera's infield hit loaded the bases.  Eugenio Suarez took his eye off the ball, while looking to turn a 5-3 double play.   Bour scored on the play.

Junichi Tazawa came in to pitch the ninth for the Marlins.

Hamilton walked.  Peraza was credited with a double off the glove of  Anderson in right field.  Winker's ground out to first scored Hamilton.  Votto drove in his fourth run of the game with his fourth hit.

Brad Ziegler took over in a save situation.

Gennett hit into a force play but Rivera threw the relay away for one error, then booted Suarez ground ball to bring Scott Schebler to the plate as the tying run.  Ziegler struck out Schebler on his third full count pitch.

Finnegan is 0-3 in five starts.  He hasn't pitched more than five innings in five starts.  The lefthander pitched 20 2/3 innings averaging four per start.  He has walked 15 batters in those innings or 6.5 per nine innings.

"His velocity is where it was.  His command isn't there," Riggleman said.

"It's not my call.  I would hope they would stick with me.  I've established myself here," said the pitcher whose last win was April 5, last year. "Things aren't going my way. I have to keep pushing forward.  I have to keep working with Danny (pitching coach Danny Darwin).