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.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Red Rebound With Three Straight Wins To Break Even

The Reds shook off three straight losses to the red hot Pittsburgh Pirates, who were on their way to 11 straight wins to start the 10-game homestand. The Reds finished by taking three straight from the National League East leading Philadelphia Phillies in a 4-0 win.

Philadelphia starter Zach Eflin was off to a good start.  He retired the first six Reds batters until Phillip Ervin laced a double past Maikel Franco.  Curt Casalli liked the idea so much, he doubled to the left center field gap to put the Reds on the board.  Luis Castillo laid down a good sacrifice bunt.  Jose Peraza made contact as required by the situation but Castillo had to hold as shortstop Scott Kingery fielded the slow roller for the second out.  Scooter Gennett, however, produced another two-out hit for which he's become known.  Gennett blasted his 17th home run into the right field bleachers.

Castillo was less than perfect, allowing singles in each of the first four innings plus a walk.  Even though the leadoff man reached in the third and fourth.  Castillo shut down the Phillies.  Eugenio Suarez started a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth.

The Reds' right-hander retired the Phillies in order in the fifth inning.  The Reds were in need of a longer outing from its starter.

"We got what we needed and then some," Jim Riggleman said. "That's a very good lineup he's facing over there.  To throw zeroes up there for seven innings, is impressive."

Castillo has been working on his arm angle with pitching coach Danny Darwin.  The Reds have also talked to their starters about getting through opponents batting order for the third time.

"I've been working on my arm angle with the pitching coach," Castillo said through interpreter Julio Murillo. "I was working on it and focused on it today.  With my old arm angle I felt my wrist was staying behind.  I feel my arm is quicker with this arm angle."

It was important for Castillo to pitch deep into the game.

"As soon as you step across the white line you want to pitch a complete game but the manager makes the decision and I respect it," Castillo said.  "When you pitch seven innings you know its close to get out of the game.  You throw every thing you can.  You execute the game plan but the third time through the lineup you try to change the approach and start them with a different pitch.  That was the key today. I'm going to do more of it moving forward."

It saved some wear and tear on the bullpen but it was important for the young pitcher's development to get to seven innings.

"It was really nice to get that start," Riggleman said.  "We had a fairly fresh bullpen and could have covered it.  It was good to show Castillo that he could do it."

Singles by Mason Williams and Adam Duvall, leading off the sixth inning set up Ervin's sacrifice fly to increase the lead.

Ervin had a big hand in both scoring innings.

"It is always to get the opportunity and help the team win when you get the chance," said Ervin, who is getting extended time in the big leagues with Scott Schebler still out and Jesse Winker out for the season.

Castillo retired the last 11 batters he faced to finish his longest outing of the year with seven innings.  It was the longest outing by a Reds' pitcher on the home stand.  Homer Bailey pitched 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday.  He allowed four hits and a walk and struck out nine.

The Reds put Victor Arano on the ropes in the seventh.  Billy Hamilton singled for Castillo.  With one out Gennett singled to right to send Hamilton to third base.  Votto flied out to center but it wasn't deep enough for Hamilton to score.  Suarez, the NL leader in RBI, struck out looking.

David Hernandez entered for the Reds in the eighth for 34th appearance of the season. Herna.  ndez struck out three around a double by pinch hitter Cesar Hernandez.  It was the 24th time in 34 appearances Hernandez retired the first batter he faced.

Wandy Peralta pitched the ninth.  Odubel Herrera reached on an infield hit.  Rhys Hoskins flied out to center.  Nick Williams blooped a single to left.   Jim Riggleman brought in Raisel Iglesias in a save situation.  Franco singled to load the bases.  Kingery struck out on a 3-2 pitch.  Andrew Knapp went down swinging.  Iglesias earned his 21st save in 24 tries.

It was the first time the Reds have won a four-game series with the Phillies since September of 1997.

"They've got a good club," Riggleman said.  "We didn't see Nola or Arrieta but the four guys we saw all threw very well.  They have a good lineup and good pitching.  You can see why they're in first place."


On this date in 1968 Reds' pitcher George Culver pitched a no-hitter against the Phillies in the second game of a doubleheader.  The Phillies scored one run without a hit, when Dick Allen reached base on a throwing error and scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Reds won 6-1.

Jim Riggleman Expects More From Bullpen

Jim Riggleman is empathetic to policy of not over using the bullpen but he believes that the bullpen can do more than what has been asked of them, in the current baseball climate.

Riggleman would like starters to go deeper into games but he has shown that he will not hesitate to go to the hook with the game on the line.

The Reds interim manager, who took over the ball club that had a 3-18 record and stands with a personal record of 45-43 going into Sunday's series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies.

On Thursday, Riggleman removed Tyler Mahle one batter into the second inning.  He got four innings out of Michael Lorenzen and two from Kyle Crockett even though the Phillies won going away, 9-4.

The Reds won Friday but he pulled starter Anthony DeSclafani before he completed the fifth inning because it appeared the pitcher was about to let a 5-2 lead slip away.  The Reds one that one 6-4.  David Hernandez pitched 2 1/3 innings, the 12th time he had gone more than one inning.

Saturday, Riggleman pinch hit for Matt Harvey in the home fifth even though the hurler had given up just two hits.  The Reds won that one 6-2 with multiple innings from Wandy Peralta and Jared Hughes who pitched out of a jam in the eighth and turned in a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

But what about over using the bullpen?

"The bullpen has responded very well," Riggleman said. "We have probably taken it to the limit a little bit with some usage but hopefully, with an off day tomorrow, not get a couple guys in the game today which would give them two days off going into the next road trip."

"The bottom line is eventually we have to get our starters going deeper into the game.  That would take the load off the relievers but they've held up very well and done a great job."

Hernandez and Hughes in particular have been pleased to take the ball as often as they're needed.

"Hughes and Hernandez have responded great.  Like I said, we're testing the limits a little bit on it.  You're also trying to win the game and they have been our best options quite often.  I'm glad they love it," Riggleman said  "Those are two leaders down there in the bullpen."

The spare the rod spoil the child, throwback mentality.  The ask not what the team can do for you, ask what you can do for the team.   The modern philosophy has turned from winning to protecting players especially to the point of putting them in bubble wrap.  How many managers would have used Amir Garrett the day after he left the game with a slight ankle sprain.  Garrett got a big out for the Reds on Saturday before putting two men on and was yanked from the game.

"I certainly don't want to be responsible to over doing it but I do feel the last several years we've lowered the bar so much that they can give us more than we've been asking of them last several years," Riggleman said. " We are not going to get to the point where we use them like they do in the post season.  The post season all of a sudden, you're starters are pitching in relief.  Your relievers are pitching multiple innings. It is a lot of workload.  What that tells me is guys can do more than we've been asking.  Now we would never do that over a 162 game schedule but I think it does show us that those guys came out of that fine, Miller in Cleveland, the job Jantzen did in Los Angeles and the way Maddon handled Chapman.  Those teams won and nobody got hurt."

Reds pitchers under Riggleman will be used as long as they are effective for as long as they're needed.  It is time for a philosophy to win.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Reds Scratch Out A Win Over Phillies

The Reds didn't hit the ball out of the ballpark but used three bunts to scratch out a 6-2 win over the National League Eastern Division leaders, the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Reds got the first marker of the game off Vince Velasquez in the second inning.

Mason Williams in his second straight start singled.  Tucker Barnhart his a long double to right center.  Williams scored from first base.  The Reds squandered a chance to add to the lead.   Adam Duvall singled to left.  Barnhart held at third.  Matt Harvey popped up a bunt.  Billy Hamilton hit a ground ball to Cesar Hernandez at second base.  Hernandez cut down Barnhart at the plate. Jose Peraza grounded out.

Harvey retired the first nine Philadelphia batters in order, striking out four of them.  He issued a walk to Hernandez, leading of the fourth.  Rhys Hoskins' 21st home run was the first Phillie hit that put the visitors up 2-1.

"I was trying to go down and away on Hoskins," Harvey said.  "I felt myself fly open a little bit. As soon as I let it go, I knew it was a pitch I wanted back.  I only hope he popped it up."

The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the inning.  Duvall walked with one out.  This time Harvey got the bunt down and Duvall moved to second.  Hamilton singled over Hernandez to score Duvall.

The Reds left the bases loaded in the fifth inning.  Joey Votto singled and Eugenio Suarez, looking for a homer for the sixth straight game, walked after being behind 0-2.  Mason Williams bunted the runners up a base.  Barnhart walked but Velasquez struck out Duvall and pinch hitter Dilson Herrera to leave the Reds with nine stranded runners through five innings.

Harvey pitched five innings, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks.  He struck out five.

There is speculation the Reds are going to trade Harvey by the trading deadline of July 31.

"I'm not talking about trades. I'm here now and I enjoy being here," Harvey said.

His teammates want him to stay here.

"He only made one bad pitch," Barnhart said.  "His velocity was up and it made every thing sharper. I hope it's not the last time I catch him."

"I love throwing to Tucker and being around these guys but it is out of my control," Harvey said.

Wandy Peralta pitched a perfect sixth in his first inning back from Louisville.

Tommy Hunter took over for Velasquez in the sixth inning.

Hamilton doubled off the glove of Maikel Franco at third.  Peraza bunted Hamilton to third.  Velasquez hit Gennett with a pitch.  Votto's low line drive went off the glove of Hernandez for a run scoring single with Gennett moving to third.  Suarez forced Votto at second but Gennett scored.  It was Suarez 80th RBI of the year which leads the National League.

Peralta got the first out of the seventh but Nick Williams singled to center.  Jim Riggleman brought in starter, Sal Romano to face Franco.  Suarez turned a slow roller into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

"It was Romano's day to throw on the side anyway.  All the guys are chipping in<" Jim Riggleman said.

The Reds turned in another inning ending double play in the eighth.  Amir Garrett struck out Scott Kingery but hit Andrew Knapp the number nine hitter.  Cesar Hernandez laid down a bunt single.  Riggleman went to right-handed Jared Hughes to pitch to Hoskins, who had the damaging blow in the fourth inning.  Peraza picked up a low line drive on a short hop and started the easy double play.

Peraza hit his second double of the game off Austin Davis to lead off the eighth.  Gennett followed with a run scoring double.  Votto's third straight single scored Gennett and gave Suarez one more chance to extend his home run streak.  Suarez hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end it.

Hughes finished the game to earn his seventh save.

The win allowed the Reds a chance to finish a 10-game home stand at 5-5 after getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates in three straight games.

Matt Harvey

"It was really coming out of my hand better early on.  When the velocity went down, I was able to execute pitches.  The turning point was getting out of the inning with the leadoff double."

"I was trying to go down and away on Hoskins.  I felt myself fly open a little bit. As soon as I let it go, I knew it was a pitch I wanted back.  I only hope he popped it up."

Tucker Barnhart

David Hernandez Not Matt Harvey Could Be The Trade Deadline Surprise

The Reds are using a six-man rotation up to the trading deadline on July 31.  The speculation is that Matt Harvey will be traded to a contender.  The reasoning is his salary requirements are too high for the small market Reds to bear.  Harvey's agent is Scott Boras, well known for driving a hard bargain.

Teams in the pennant race more often than not are looking for pitching help unless there is a void left by an injury to a position player.

It need not be a starter, however, there are teams in the hunt, who have had problems in the bullpen, the Braves, Cardinals and Cleveland Indians come to mind.  There old saying goes, "If you think you have enough pitching, go get more."

That leads us to David Hernandez, who was a bargain sign by the Reds.  Hernandez is not a household name.  He has pitched in relative anonymity for five teams including the Reds in his nine-year career.  The 32-year old has been a stabilizing force in the Reds' bullpen.

Hernandez is 4-0 with a 1,83 ERA.  He has pitched 39 1/3 innings in 33 appearances.  Multiple innings do not adversely affect him (12 times). He has retired the first batter in 23 of his 33 appearances.  In his last 24 outings, Hernandez has a 1.30 ERA


"Hernandez has always been a good pitcher.  I remember him in Baltimore and Arizona and a couple of other places.  I didn't have a lot of history on him," Jim Riggleman said. "From day one he's been a real pro, kind of a quiet leader.  He just has real good stuff. His abilities seem to be progressing.  He's really had a really good breaking ball.  He threw hard last night.  He's done a great job for us all year but last night was the best that I've seen him."

"I think he feels good right now.  He's got a big arm but he's a pitcher not a thrower.  He has an idea what he's doing out there."

Friday, July 27, 2018

Eugenio Suarez Streak Continues Mason Williams Goes Deep

Eugenio Suarez and Mason Williams powered the Reds to a 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Reds beat the Phillies for the first time in five tries this season.

Suarez tied the Reds franchise record with a home run in his fifth consecutive game.  The blow on a 3-2 pitch from Nick Pivetta was Suarez' 24th of the season and extended his National League lead with his 79th RBI.

Anthony DeSclafani had little difficulty with the Phillies batters until two were out in the third inning.  DeSclafani struck out six of the first 10 batters he faced which matched his season high.  Rhys Hoskins singled past Suarez at third.  Odubel Herrera hit a liner toward the top of the wall in right.  A fan appeared to reach over the fence to catch the ball but it was ruled a home run.  The crew chief reviewed the play but the call was confirmed.  DeSclafani recorded his seventh strike out to end the inning.

"I got some strikeouts but I'd rather go deeper in the game," DeSclafani said.

The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the inning with two outs.  Jose Peraza doubled.  Scooter Gennett singled off Pivett to plate Peraza.  Joey Votto walked.  Suarez hit a long fly deep into the right field corner but Hoskins caught the ball short of the fence.

Williams hit his first home run as a Red in his first start.  Tucker Barnhart singled to open the fourth.  Adam Duvall laced a double to left.  Williams belted a 1-2 pitch for his first Major League home run since his major league debut on June 12, 2015.  It was a two-run home run off Ubaldo Jimenez of the Baltimore Orioles.

"That was a huge at bat by Williams," Riggleman said. "Later in the game he got a bunt down for us and played a good right field.  He's an athletic young man."

Williams was just trying to get the run home from third.Ittook four months and Williams got his chance because two of the Reds' outfielders are down with injuries.  Jesse Winker is out for the season.

"I got enough of it to go over the fence.  I'm just trying to help the team win man. In situations like that I've got to produce," Williams said.  "I was looking for a pitch up to get the runner from third home.  It felt good.  At first I knew I did a job.  I didn't know if it would go out. When you get the opportunity you have to produce, whether it is defensively or offensively."

The Reds used three pitchers to get out of the fifth.  Jorge Alfaro singled off Suarez' glove at third.  Pivetta sacrificed to send Alfaro to second.  Cesar Hernandez beat out an infield hit. Hoskins followed with a single to make the score 5-3.  Amir Garrett entered the game.  Herrera hit a ground ball wide of first.  Votto fielded and Garrett used all 6'5" to nip Herrara at first.  Garrett left the game with a mild sprain of his achilles.  David Hernandez came on and retired Carlos Santana on a pop foul to Barnhart.

"I don't care who is in the game. I'm trying to get the win," Riggleman said.  "His pitch count was getting up there.  I thought he could get one more batter but I wasn't going to let him face Herrera. I was going with the left-hander.  He started the inning with the bottom of the order.  I was hoping, he'd get through it."

DeSclafani didn't get the required five innings to take credit for a win.

"I was in a little bit of a jam," DeSclafani said.  "I guess Jim had a feeling things were going to go south.  It was his gut feeling and he went with it and we got the win."

Hernandez finished 2 1/3 innings, holding the Phillies scoreless to get the win and improve his record to 4-0.

The Reds went to work on Philadelphia reliever Jake Thompson in the seventh pinch hitter Dilson Herrera walked.  Billy Hamilton bunted for a base hit.  Peraza bunted the runners up a base.  Gennett hit a broken bat ground ball to short with no advancement.  Votto was intentionally walked. It broke Johnny Bench's franchise record as Votto's 136th intentional walk of his career.  Saurez grounded to third to end the inning.

Jared Hughes started the eighth but was replaced by Raisel Iglesias after he walked Carlos Santana with two outs.

Thompson walked the first two Reds' batters in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Williams bunted.  Catcher Alfaro's throw was too late to get Barnhart at third.  Brandon Dixon struck out swinging.  Hamilton's sacrifice fly to right scored Barnhart.   The Phillies walked Peraza intentionally to pitch to Iglesias with two outs.  Iglesias grounded out softly to Maikel Franco at third.  The Reds scored the insurance run without a hit.

Iglesias allowed and unearned run in the ninth but stranded the tying runs to earn his 20th save in 23 attempts.

Reds Bring Up Fresh Meat Reds Power Grid Modernized

The Reds sent to Louisville for some fresh arms.  Wandy Peralta and Keury Mella reported to the Reds.  Austin Brice was optioned to Louisville.  Kyle Crockett was designated for assignment.

"The changes we made are not base much on somebodies pitching performance," Jim Riggleman said. "It is based on how much they had to pitch.  A couple guys threw a lot of pitches.  We had to get a couple guys here tonight, who could give us innings tonight."

Peralta went to Louisville on June 21 to fix his control problems  In 37 games with the Reds, Peralta walked 25 batters in 29 1/3 innings.  Peralta made 13 appearances in Louisville with a 3.14 ERA in which he walked seven in 14 1/3 innings.

"Wandy has been here before of course," Riggleman said. "He's been doing a good job down below but Wandy is a guy who we hope will pitch in high leverage situations and also give us multiple innings.  Mella was the same way.  He was the scheduled starter so he could give us many innings tonight if needed.  He's another young guy who has a big arm.  He's been down there refining his pitches.  He's had a good year at Double A.  He's a quality young starter.  That have to make his way here initially in the bullpen.  Hopefully he can come here and show he is here to stay."

Peralta has been better lately in Louisville.

"Initially when Wandy went down, he didn't seem to be making progress there for a little while," Riggleman said. "In his last couple weeks have been very promising."

Brice was used a lot lately.

"Brice, it's not just the two innings (last night)," Riggleman said.  "He threw the day before also.  We'd be asking him to go multiple innings for a third day.  Instead of doing that we had to go out and get a fresher arm."

Power Surge

The Reds have baseball Hall of Famers enshrined here and in Cooperstown but never have the Reds fans seen the likes of the trio of Eugenio Suarez, Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto.

All of them have hit home runs in four consecutive games this season.  That didn't happen with Frank Robinson, Ted Kluzewski and Wally Post nor did it happen with Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Lee May, George Foster and Joe Morgan.  It didn't happen with Ken Griffey Jr, Adam Dunn and Barry Larkin or Eric Davis, Chris Sabo and Paul O'Neil.

Suarez streak is current after a two-run home run in the first inning on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The following Reds have hit home runs in five straight games.

Jay Bruce 6 home runs 7/23-7/27 2016
Devin Mesoraco 5 home runs 6/19-6/24 2014
Adam Dunn 5 home runs 5/14-5/19 2008
Ken Griffey Jr. 7 home runs 7/8-7/12 2003
Johnny Bench 7 home runs 5/30-6/3 1972
George Crowe 5 home runs 8/8-8/14 1957
Ted Kluzewski 6 home runs 8/11-8/15 1954

"It does surprise me that (Suarez, Gennett and Votto would homer in 4 straight games in the same year.)," Riggleman said "The later part surprises me with the great teams the Reds had here before.  It's not just the Big Red Machine but other teams have had some big power hitters.  I'm sure they've had guys who hit homers four games in a row but not have three players do it.  That's kind of the where are in today's game.  People are hitting homers.  Pitchers got to figure out a way to stop them from hitting them."

Suarez was pleased to be in the club.

"Oh yes that's nice," Suarez said.  "I like history. I'm happy because I'm there  To be with a team with all that history it has been my pleasure.  Thank you for telling me that.  Like I always say hard work pays off and to be a part of that Reds history is an honor."

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Phillies Reds Play Long Ball But Mostly Phillies

Tyler Mahle was four batters into the first inning when he took over the National League lead for home runs allowed. 

The Philadelphia Phillies, Rhys Hoskins, who was in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game, blasted his 19th home run of the season, one out into the game.   Odubel Herrera reached first on an infield single and scored on Carlos Santana's 16th home   That was the 21st allowed by Mahle this season, one more than teammate Sal Romano and Atlanta's Julio Teheran.

"I'm missing spots," Mahle said  "It happened so fast.  I didn't go to my breaking ball soon enough. When I did I got swings and misses but they were sitting on the fastball."

The Reds fought back but Philadelphia expanded the lead in an 9-4 win, their fourth in as many tries over the Reds.  The Reds were swept Aptil 9 - 11, part of the Reds eight-game losing streak.

"He (Mahle) must have been missing his spots and the Phillies weren't letting him get away with it," Jim Riggleman said.  "Tonight he just didn't have it."

The Reds answered against starter Ranger Suarez making his first Major League start.  Scooter Gennett singled sharply to left.  Eugenio Suarez hit a 3-0 pitch into the left field stands for his 23rd home run of the season which extended his NL lead in RBI with 78.  It was the fourth straight game Suarez homered.  The last Reds' player to homer in four straight games was Chris Stynes in 2000.

Mahle gave up Cesar Hernandez to lead off the second inning.  That ended his night.  Michael Lorenzen took over.  Nick Williams hit his 13th home run to give the Phillies a two-run lead.

Ranger Suarez walked Eugenio Suarez in the fourth.  Tucker Barnhart's seventh home run tied the game.

Lorenzen surrendered Maikel Franco's 26th home run in the fifth.

"That's the challenge with the six-man rotation," Riggleman said. "If you get a couple starts like that, you are short in the bullpen.  I was questioning whether to send him back out in the second inning.  When they got the hit, Lorenzen was ready.  He could swing the bat for us as well.  Lorenzen did a nice job. He gave us four good innings."


Austin Brice gave up Hoskin's second home run of the game and 20th of the season with two outs in the sixth inning.  Franco's second home run of the game put the Phillies up 7-4.  It was the fourth time in his career, that he hit two home runs in a game.  He hit two on Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"Franco came up as a good young hitter.  He lost his way for awhile but he's back  Every time he comes up he's getting after it," Riggleman said.

Philadelphia added an eighth run against Kyle Crocket without the use of a home run.  Catcher Jorge Alfaro doubled to lead off the eighth.  Hernandez singled to right with one out.  Alfaro scored but Adam Duvall threw out Hernandez when the latter over slid second base.

The Reds put runners on second and third with one out in the eighth but Tommy Hunter struck out Suarez and got Duval to hit into a force play.

Nick Williams hit his second home run of the game in the ninth inning off  Crocket.

The seven home runs was the most hit by the Phillies in a game this season and ties a franchise record set in 1998. It is the most home runs allowed by the Reds this season and ties a franchise record for the sixth time.   Reds' pitching lead the National League with 154 home runs.  The New York Mets are second with 124.

The Phillies had 18 hits, 10 for extra bases.

Jesse Winker Out For The Season

The right shoulder of Jesse Winker will need to be repaired by season-ending surgery.  On Monday, Winker ducked to avoid a line drive by Tucker Barnhart in the ninth inning of the Reds' 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.  That aggravated an injury he has been dealing with for years.

"Jesse was having a nice year," interim manager Jim Riggleman said.  "His outfield game was progressing. His offensive game was being refined.  It is not just what he was doing but where he was sitting in that lineup behind Suarez, really fit well for us.  As dangerous as Suarez is, if you want to put him on Winker was sitting there against a right-hander."

Winker has played with periodic pain the last few years from a subluxation or shoulder separation.

Scott Schebler is on a rehab assignment and close to returning.  Schebler also has a shoulder problem worsened by banging into the outfield wall in St. Louis the day before the All-Star break.

"It is on Scot now," Riggleman said.  "When he says he's ready, he will be out there."

Mason Williams contract was selected from Louisville to shore up the Reds bench until Schebler returns.  Williams a right-handed batter was with the Reds in spring training.  The 26-year old from Rhode Island was a fourth round pick of the New York Yankees in 2010.   He made it to the big leagues in 2015 and played in 25 games over three seasons with the Yankees.  The Reds signed him as a minor league free agent on November 16.

He played in 21 games with the Reds this spring, hitting .270 with five doubles.
Williams took a direct hit from a line drive by Phillip Ervin that required four stitches.  He was in the lineup the next day.

"I don't want to talk about that.  It was a bad day," said Williams, who was told this morning that he was coming to Cincinnati.  He made the 1 1/2 drive, trying not to speed.  "I thought about that."

Williams can play all three outfield positions.

"He did a good job this spring," Riggleman said.  "He is a good athlete.  I don't put a whole lot of stock in spring training but the reports from the season, say he's done well.  He's had productive at bats with both left-handed and right-handed pitching.  He's played a good center field.  We're confident he'll do a good job."

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Eugenio Suarez Powers Reds Again Tucker Barnhart, Adam Duvall Chip In

Three home runs overcame sloppy play as the Reds took the series from the St. Louis Cardinals with a 7-3 win.

Eugenio Suarez, Tucker Barnhart and Adam Duvall accounted for the Reds offense with a home run apiece.

The first inning for St. Louis was as much and adventure as it was surreal.

Sal Romano got soft contact from the first two hitters, both ended up on base.  Matt Carpenter hit a bloop to left with a shift.  Suarez playing third base in the short stop position, chased the ball toward the line.  The ball hit off his glove.  Yadier Molina didn't even hit it as hard as Carpenter but the ball fell between Scooter Gennett and Phillip Ervin in right field.

Paul DeJong hit the ball hard to right.  Ervin picked the ball off near the ground and nearly doubled Molina but first baseman Joey Votto had already got himself into the cut off position.  Marcel Ozuna lined out to Billy Hamilton in center field.  Jose Martinez topped the ball toward second base where Jose Peraza and Gennett converged.  Peraza had the ball in his glove but Gennett collided with him and knocked the glove off.  A 2-2 pitch to Dexter Fowler was high but Molina got too far off second and catcher Barnhart threw to Gennett, who sneaked in behind Molina.  Molina stopped and Carpenter took off for home.  Gennett threw to Barnhart.  Carpenter scrambled back to third and beat Barnhart's throw to Suarez.   Romano pitched out of the situation when Fowler topped the 3-2 pitch to third.  Suarez had to charge and make an off balance throw to Votto to nip Fowler.

"That inning I talked to Scooter and everybody.  That first inning was crazy, a couple bloopers. It was like wow, what happened? I tried to tell him (Romano) we got your back. To throw a strike and Fowler hit a little ground ball to me and we got out of the innings," Suarez said.

Riggleman has seen a lot of strange things in his career.

"Sal pitched good in the first," Jim Riggleman said.  "We played poorly in the first, there was a lot of fluky stuff.  Somehow or other he came out with a zero.  It shows how hard he competed.  He battled.  He knew our bullpen was short today.  He gets a lot of ground balls as the game goes on."

The zero in the first turned the game around and Suarez used more than his glove to show Romano support.

Joe Flaherty, the third straight rookie pitcher to take the mound for the Cardinals, retired Peraza and Gennett but walked Votto.  Suarez hit his third home run in three days, his 2nd to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.  Suarez boosted his National League leading RBI total to 76.

"It is nice man," Suarez said.  "I didn't expect to hit that one out.  One more against St. Louis is nice.  We always want to beat St. Louis especially today my family was here.  I know I have a little bit of pop.  The ball was out off the plate.  My barrel caught the ball and hit it out."

DeJong cut the lead in half with a solo home run off Romano in the third.  It was his ninth of the season.  He hit his eighth on May 11.  DeJong has only been active for 56 games.  He missed time with a hand fracture.

Duvall restored the two-run lead with his 15th home run off Flaherty in the fourth inning.

The Cardinals closed within a run in the sixth inning.  Fowler walked with one out off Romano.  Yairo Munoz hit a long double to the gap in left center.  Fowler was going to stop but the relay was way over Barnhart's head.  Munoz went to third on the throw.   Romaon struck out Harrison Bader for the third time.   Tommy Pham hit for Flaherty.  For the third time this season, Romano fielded a comebacker with his bare hand and threw Pham out to end the inning.

"I thought if I didn't reach that ball it would have been a hit the way Pham runs.  It wasn't hit as hard as the other ones," said Romano of his play on Pham.

"I hate to say we didn't play well but there was a lot of fluky stuff," Riggleman said.  "They got out of a rundown on us.  It felt like we were losing the game, we were in so much trouble each inning,"

The Reds built the lead in the bottom of the sixth against John Gant.  Gennett blooped a single.  Votto walked for the second time in the game.  Suarez lined to DeJong at short stop.  Gennett was doubled off.  Barnhart sent a fastball into the bleachers in right for his sixth home run.

Dilson Herrera batted for Romano and struck out to end the inning.

Romano battled through six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk.

"It's baseball," Romano said. "The balls they hit hard that inning were right at guys.  The balls they didn't hit found a hole.  It makes you a better pitcher when you get out of those innings."

Yadier Molina hit his 14th home run off David Hernandez in the seventh.

Gennett doubled off John Brebbia with two outs.  Votto drew his third walk.  Suarez struck out to end the inning on a 3-2 pitch.

Jared Hughes relieved Hernandez in the sixth.  Fowler walked to lead off the inning.  Munoz forced Flowler at second.  Bader struck out for the fourth time.  Carpenter fouled off four pitches before working a walk to load the bases, bringing up arch enemy number one, Molina.  Hughes escaped the jam coaxing a routine fly to Ervin in right.

"Hughes is such a great competitor," Riggleman said.  "As much as Carpenter can hurt you. Yady that is the situation he's famous for.  He's made his bones on those situation but Jared got him.  He's a Reds killer."

Barnhart led off the eighth with a walk off Luke Gregerson.  Duvall followed with a double.  Ervin doubled past Bader in center to give the Reds some breathing room as both runners scored.

"It was a better day offensively.  There were a lot of good at bats.  There were some walks in there to extend the innings," Riggleman said.

Austin Brice was elected by Riggleman to mop up.  Brice struck out Jose Martinez to end the game.

Scott Schebler Will DH For Louisville Jesse Winker Tender Shoulder Limits Action

The Reds have scored just nine runs in five games since the All-Star break.  The last two nights St. Louis Cardinals rookie pitchers have allowed a total of two hits in 13 2/3 innings.

Daniel Poncedeleon pitched seven hitless innings until a high pitch count caused his removal from the game.  "We weren't in a situation where Daniel could complete a no-hitter," Cardinals interim manager Mike Schildt said.   Austin Gomber carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Tuesday before Joey Votto singled to break it up.  Eugenio Suarez followed with his 21st home run to tie the game that went 11 innings.

"Part of our offense is the normal ebb and flow (of a 162 game season)," Reds' interim manager Jim Riggleman said.  "Not having Winker and Schebler is part of it.  Left-handed hitting is so important.  You face so many right-handed pitchers, you have to have left-handed hitters.  The Cardinals lineup is mostly right-handed.  They haven't scored a lot of runs either.  We have a couple but we had four."

"Schebler is going to go to Buffalo to DH.  I don't know if it will be a day or a couple of days," Riggleman said.  "He is ok swinging the bat but throwing is where he's having problems.  He will probably be on a throwing program.  Winker is a little tender (sore right shoulder).  He is going to hit in the cage today.  We may be able to use him to pinch hit."

The Cardinals have used the 100 MPH fastball of reliever Jordan Hicks three days in a row and closer Bud Norris.

"I don't think you'll see Jordan Hicks or Bud Norris today," Schildt said.  "We will have to try something else to get 27 outs."

The Cardinals only got 26 outs on Monday.  Eugenio Suarez' 20th home run off Norris with two outs in the ninth tied the game.  The elusive 27th out never came.  Winker and Tucker Barnhart singled.  Adam Duvall walked and Dilson Herrera singled to give the Reds the win.

Tuesday night, Suarez' home run tied the game and the Cardinals needed 33 outs to get the 4-2 win.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Daniel Poncedeleon Turned In A Hitless Performance But Reds Rally

The Reds had one hit to show after 26 outs.  Eugenio Suarez tied the game with the Reds second hit of the game.  Dilson Herrera drove in the winning run to snap the Reds' four game losing streak in a 2-1 victory.

Luis Castillo and Daniel Poncedeleon hooked up in an old fashioned pitcher's duel at Great American Ball Park.

Castillo, in his first start after the All-Star break handled the Cardinals for five solid innings in which he allowed just two hits.   The Cardinals dented the plate in the sixth.  The red hot Matt Carpenter doubled to lead off the inning.   Reds' arch enemy Yadier Molina singled Carpenter home.  It was his 17th RBI against the Reds this year.

"Both clubs played good defense.  Both clubs pitched well," Jim Riggleman said. "There were some really big hits late.  There were a lot of quality at bats in a game we only got three or four hits (actually five hits)."

"Our bullpen was outstanding tonight," Riggleman said.  "Luis (Castillo) did a good job. In that sixth inning that we talk about so much.  I hate to take him out.  They put three balls on the barrel, the first three hitters.  I said, 'You know what. I'm tired of looking at it.'  Trouble in the sixth for some reason, I don't know if it's in our heads or the reality of baseball that third time through the lineup.  Starting pitchers are having a heck of a time."

Castillo left behind in the game after 5 1/3 innings.  He allowed only four hits, including two in the sixth.

"It was the third time around the lineup," Castillo said through translator Julio Murillo.  "I tried to change my approach.  I made good pitches but they hit my good pitches but anyway we got the win."

The Reds couldn't manage a hit off Poncedeleon for six innings.  Brandon Dixon in the lineup for Scooter Gennett, who is sick, lined to right.  Dexter Fowler was turned around but made the catch with his back to the infield.

Poncedeleon was making his Major League debut.  He had suffered a near fatal injury last May 9 while pitching for Memphis.  He was struck on the temple with a line drive and he started to hemorrhage.  Surgery saved his life but cost him the rest of the season.

The Cardinals missed a scoring chance in the seventh.  Tommy Pham hit a long fly to center which flirted with the Cardinala' bullpen in left center.  Billy Hamilton leaped and just missed making the catch.  He appeared to knock the ball down.   Adam Duvall made a quick retrieval and fired the relay to Jose Peraza at shortstop.  Peraza's throw to Eugenio Suarez appeared to be late.  The Reds made the challenge and Suarez maintained the tag and Pham popped off the base for the out.

Poncedeleon issued his third walk of the game to Joey Votto leading off the bottom of the seventh.  Suarez and Jesse Winker flied out but Poncedeleon had 115 pitches when Tucker Barnhart flied out to end the seventh.

Interim Cardinal manager, Mike Schildt, had the make an unpopular decision to pull Poncedeleon for a pinch hitter after seven hitless innings.  Harrison Bader batted for the pitcher and popped out to short.  Amir Garrett replaced Hernandez for the Reds, pitching to Carpenter.

"We weren't in a situation where he would be able to finish the game with a no-hitter.  It was his time," Schildt said.

Hard throwing Jordan Hicks replaced Poncedeleon.   Pinch hitter Phillip Ervin singled up the middle with one out to break up the no hitter.  Two ground outs sent the 1-0 game into the ninth.

Jared Hughes retired the Cardinals in order in the ninth.

Bud Norris entered for the Cardinals seeking his 19th save over two blown saves.  Dixon, Votto and Suarez stood in his way.

Scooter Gennett hit for Dixon.  Gennett was under the weather and did not start.

Gennett barely missed his 17th home run that hooked foul on the second pitch he saw.  One pitch later he took a called third strike.  Marcel Ozuna made a diving catch on Votto's sinking line drive to left.  Suarez tied the game with his 20th home run on a 1-0 pitch.  It was Norris' third blown save.

Winker followed with a single to put the potential winning run on base. Tucker Barnhart singled with a line drive that sent Winker head first to avoid getting hit.  Duvall walked to load the bases.  Herrera pinch hit for Hughes.  He became the hero with a run scoring single.

"It was my first walk off and I feel really happy," Herrera said.  "I've been focused more with a runner in scoring position.  I just wanted to make good contact.  It was a cutter, 88-89.  You have to be ready.  You never know if your going to get a big at bat."

Scooter Gennett Calls In Sick Cardinal Starter Daniel Poncedeleon Make Major League Debut

Manager Jim Riggleman did not write Scooter Gennett into the starting lineup against the St. Louis Cardinals Monday night.

"He's just not feeling that great.  He's under the weather a little bit; nothing major," Jim Riggleman said.  "I spoke to him a little earlier in the day.  He wasn't feeling well.  I'm going to give him a day.  If we have to use him in some capacity, we will but we'll try to stay away from him."

Gennett was leading the National League in hitting at the All-Star break but has slipped to third in the three games since.

Riggleman tabbed Brandon Dixon, who was recalled when Alex Blandino was placed on the disabled list with a torn ACL.

Gennett took some ground balls and threw the ball a little bit before the game.

"Dixon has more recent at bats than (Dilson) Herreora has," Riggleman said.  "I wanted keep him as current as possible as far as seeing pitches."

Dixon was sent to Louisville before the All-Star break to get more frequent at bats.

"I could make a case for Herrera out there.  I like what Herrera is capable of doing with the bat but Dixon was getting more at bats lately.  That gives him a little better chance."

The Cardinals have problems of their own.  Second baseman Kolten Wong was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hyper extended knee.

Daniel Poncedeleon was called up to make his Major League debut against the Reds.

Poncedeleon was drafted by the Reds in 2012 and was the Cardinals ninth round choice in 2014.

On May 9, 2017, Poncedeleon was hit in the temple with a line drive while pitching for Memphis.  He did not lose consciousness but his life was threatened with a brain hemorrhage which required surgery.

He started 17 games at Memphis.  He was 9-3 with a 2.15 ERA.  In his last nine starts, Poncedeleon allowed fewer than two runs in all but one start.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Pirates Pound The Trade Value From Matt Harvey

If Sunday's start was intended to be a showcase for Matt Harvey's trade value, the right-hander will be with the Reds a long time.  Harvey is considered to expensive for the Reds to keep.  He heads a six-man rotation until the trade deadline on July 31.

The Pittsburgh Pirates put six runs on the board before the likes of  Thom Brennaman could say, "Allegheny and Monongahela" possibly before he could say "confluence".

Corey Dickerson did not lead off the game with his a home run for the fourth straight game.  This time he laced a double down the left field line.  Starling Marte bunted Dickerson to third which made it a short trot when Gregory Polanco poled his 17th home run to the bleachers in right field.

The 9-2 win gave the Pirates a nine game winning streak as well as a series sweep.  The Reds lost four straight for the first time since June 2 thru June 6.

"I assume he was missing his spots.  His velocity was good.  It was a hot club," Jim Riggleman said.

Ivan Nova quickly dispatched the Reds in the bottom of the first faster than I could look up how to spell Allegheny and Monongahela, the Pirates were back at Harvey in the second stanza.

Josh Bell, who was 4-for-4 on Saturday grounded out but Sean Rodriguez hit a double to right.  Max Moroff singled to drive in the run.  Nova bunted too hard to Joey Votto but Votto's attempt to start a double play went sour when his throw to second was high.  Peraza was able to get Nova with a relay to first.  The throw though not ruled and error cost the Reds' three runs.  Dickerson's 11th home run did indeed give him a home run in five straight games and four for the current three-game series.  Marte belted his 15th home run extending his hitting streak to a league best 15 games.  The score stood at 6-0 after two innings.

After a quiet third, Sean Rodriguez launched his fifth home run, leading off the fourth.  Dickerson's third hit a single got Harvey an early shower.  Jackson Stephens was greeted by a single from Marte. Polanco singled to close the book on Harvey with the Pirates' eighth run.

"That's baseball," Harvey said.  "I've gone a long time without giving up a home run.  Unfortunately as good as I was, part of baseball is running into hot bats.  When you don't execute pitches and leave stuff over the middle of the plate, a hot team is going to make you pay..  I went back and looked at the tape.  The slider wasn't doing a whole lot and the fastball was coming back over the plate."

Since June 8, Harvey pitched 34 innings over five starts without allowing a home run.

Evan Nova got into the act with a single off the center field fence, which snapped on 0-for-63 lifelong slump.  Dickerson came up two bases short of the required triple for the cycle but his fourth hit of the game moved Nova along.   Nova trotted home on a double by Elias Diaz.

The Reds scored in their favorite inning, the seventh, Jesse Winker walked.  Adam Duvall doubled with two outs.  Phillip Ervin dumped a two-run single into center to score them both.  Michael Feliz relieved Nova.  Feliz retired pinch hitter Brandon Dixon on a fly to the warning track in center field.

The Pirates last swept the Reds on the last series of the 2013 season that determined the home venue for the playoff game between the two teams as wild cards.

The Reds managed just five runs in the three game series.

"They certainly pitched well," Riggleman said.  "We came out of the break not firing on all cylinders.  It is disappointing but there will be times in a 162 games where your're not firing on all cylinders  We have to push the reset button and get started tomorrow."

Dickerson has been a Reds' nemesis with four home runs in the series which gives him 10 for his career against the Reds. He has now hit five against the Reds this year.

"Between Dickerson and Thames they have been Reds' killers," Riggleman said.  "We have to find a way to keep the ball in the ballpark, get the ball on the ground."

The subplot concerns the shadow of trade rumors concerning Harvey.

"I'm not talking about going to a different team and what not," Harvey said.  "My goal is to pitch every fifth day for this team.  I'm healthy and I'm throwing the ball pretty well.  Today was a rough one. There's work to be done that this doesn't happen again."

"It''s been awesome here.  Until today, it's been successful.  I have to flush this one and get back after it. I've learned that where ever you want to be or what you want to do this is a business.  Whatever is decided, my job is to go out and compete."

Reds Go With Six Man Starting Rotation In Anticipation Of A Matt Harvey Trade

Homer Bailey is rejoining the starting rotation on Tuesday after a rehab stint in Louisville in which he was stretched out to seven innings.

Bailey is following Tyler Mahle, Anthony DeSclafani, Matt Harvey and Luis Castillo with Sal Romano, who will get the ball on Wednesday as long as he is not needed in the bullpen.

The Reds will be using this six-man rotation until the trading deadline which is July 31.

Conventional opinions indicate that the Reds will trade Matt Harvey, who is starting the Sunday game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Harvey has handled the rumors well according to Reds' interim manager Jim Riggleman.

"Based on his comments he is enjoying pitching in Cincinnati," Riggleman said.  "He will just let it play out the way it does.  I think he enjoys it here and he keeps getting better and better.  We hope he stays here.  We're fortunate to have him.  It was a great acquisition for our front office to get him."

Riggleman has a lot of hope he won't be traded.

"It is something that'll be worked out with he and his agent," Riggleman said.  "Nick (Krall), Dick (Williams), Walt (Jocketty) and Mr. Castellini will deal with that part of the issue."

Harvey benefited from the relaxed scrutiny of the Cincinnati market in contrast to the frenzied media coverage from the New York media.  His health has improved as well.

"I think as much as anything it is getting healthier.  The types of injury he went through require a long recovery period.  As good as we've seen Matt, I think we may see a better, healthier Matt Harvey next year."

Romano has been held out of the rotation and has been available, though unused out of the bullpen since the All-Star break.

The Reds planned to plug him into the rotation as long as they didn't need him to pitch out of the bullpen.   They will try to avoid using him on Sunday.  If they need him, it could change their plans for him on Wednesday unless it was a short outing.

The move to six men in the starting rotation would leave the team one short in the bullpen each day.

"That would be a bit of a challenge," Riggleman said.  "If it puts too much strain on the bullpen, we would not be able to stay with that."

The Reds will have nine games between Sunday and the July 31 game with the Detroit Tigers.

"We will see where it falls but is not totally two times through," Riggleman said.

After the smoke clears from the trading deadline the Reds will return to a five-man rotation and an eight-man bullpen.  The makeup of which will depend on when and if a trade is made involving a pitcher.

"I have no indication that he's (Harvey) going to be traded," Riggleman said.  "We would not stay with six for a long period of time.  We could if we run into a period with few off days and those guys were giving us six innings.  If they're not it would put a strain on the bullpen."

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Corey Dickerson Powers Pirates To Win

The hot Pittsburgh Pirates used the power of its leadoff hitter to carry his team to its eighth straight win while sending the Reds to a three-game losing streak with a 6-4 win.

The Pirates swept the Milwaukee Brewers in five games leading up to the All-Star break.  By beating the Reds in two straight, they put together their longest streak since 2015, while the Reds suffered three losses in a row for the first time since June 2 -6 when they lost four in a row.

"That's baseball.  They've pitched pretty good," Jim Riggleman said.  "Pittsburgh was hot before the break. They're playing good baseball.  We're playing fine.  We just haven't kicked it in with the bats yet.  I think we will the effort is there."

Corey Dickerson hit his daily home run in the third inning to start the scoring off Anthony DeSclafani.   It was Dickerson's ninth of the season and the third day in a row.

The Pirates added a run in the fourth.  Greg Polanco doubled and took third on a ground out. Colin Moran walked and Josh Bell delivered Polanco with a double with one out.  DeSclafani escaped without further scoring.

A 45 minute rain delay followed.

The Reds had two hits off Pirate's starter Nick Kingham in the first four turns at bat.  Jose Peraza had a two-out double in the third.  Jesse Winker extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a two-out single in the fourth.

DeSclafani emerged after the rain delay and this time Dickerson didn't wait a day.  He drilled his second home run of the game past the Reds' bullpen in right.  His 10th home run of the season gave Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead.

"Anthony's velocity looked good and his stuff was crisp.  We just have to figure out a way to get their left-hand hitters out," Riggleman said.  "Whether we play them in this park or theirs, they've really done damage to us."

After DeSclafani struck out Starling Marte, who extended his own hitting streak to 14 games, with a single in the first inning.

"I felt okay coming back after the delay.  I told them I was good to go but he told me that I had a short least because I sat for an hour," DeSclafani said. "Physically, I'm 100 percent.  There's not a doubt in my mind.  I feel good. I'm recovering good.  I am going to do the same thing I do between starts and get better every day."

DeSclafani took a line drive off his left foot off Dickerson, the first batter of the game.

"Dickerson smoked that ball in the first inning.  It hit me on the top of the foot just below the ankle.  The x-rays were negative.  I just have a contusion.  It will feel better in a couple days," DeSclafani said.

DeSclafani lost his second straight start to fall to 4-3 on the year.

"The home runs have hurt me," DeSclafani said.  "Those solo home runs have been chipping away at me.  I have to keep them off balance and keep the ball off the barrel."

Michael Lorenzen took over in the sixth.  Bell reached base with his third hit.  One out later Jordy Mercer doubled down the left field line, sending Bell to third.   Kingham dribbled a seven bouncer past a drawn in infield to extend the Pirate's lead to 5-0.

The Reds got to Kingham in the seventh.  Winker singled for his second hit. Curt Casali hit a fence scraping home run one row into the left field seats.

Bell opened the eight against Jared Hughes with his fourth hit.  Sean Rodriguez laid down a bunt single.  Mercer tried to copy Rodriguez but Suarez fielded the bunt and retired Mercer at first.  He was credited with a sacrifice.  The Reds cut the run down at the plate.  Gennett turned pinch hitter David Freese ground out into a 4-2 play that retired Bell at home.  Hughes wild pitch, however, allowed Rodriguez to score.

Alex Blandino Out For The Season Brandon Dixon Recalled

On the muddy infield Friday night, Alex Blandino completed a double play in the ninth inning of an 11-1 game.  Pittsburgh Pirates base runner, Max Moroff slid into second base as Blandino was landing.  The result was a season-ending ACL tear of Blandino's right knee.  It will take five to six months to rehab from surgery scheduled for Monday.

"We have a good support staff here," Blandino said.  "I'm looking forward to getting back out there as soon as possible."

Blandino led the Reds with nine pinch hits in 24 at bats while backing up Scooter Gennett at second base and Jose Peraza at shortstop.  Overall, Blandino had a .234 average with one home run and eight RBI.

"He really did make a lot of strides," Jim Riggleman said of Blandino. "He came up from the minor leagues and solidified himself here.  He put himself in a position where we never thought he needs to go back.  He got enough at bats to stay sharp.  He led our club in pinch hits.  He got some big ones for us.  He did a nice job.  There is more than coming off the bench to hit for him in the future."

Dixon was recalled from Louisville to fill Blandino's role.  He was with the Reds for 29 games, hitting .219 with a home run and two RBI.  He was sent to Louisville to stay sharp.  Since he was sent to the Bats before the All-Star break, Dixon hit .346 in 30 games/  He hit for the cycle on Monday for the Bats.

"Brandon Dixon did very well when he went back down," Riggleman said.  "He had done well when he was down there before.  When he was here, he wasn't getting enough at bats.  He got a little rust on him.  That's not what we wanted for him."

"I think Brandon could go over there and play short but Suarez is more natural if we needed to take Peraza out for a few innings or get a day off."

Blandino was the victim of a muddy field rather than a malicious slide.  The field was under tarp for a 2:55 rain delay but was played in a light rain for three hours.bhat this team has done," Blandino said. "I'm proud to be a part of it so far.  We've shown the people of Cincinnati that there is a lot to look forward to.  We have a great group of guys here in Cincinnati.  I'm sad and upset that I won't be a part of it the rest of this year but I can't wait to get back with them."