Seattle Mariners Hand Reds Second Straight Sweep
It was another team and another series for the Cincinnati Reds. But, the results were still the same. The Seattle Mariners knocked off the Reds in a weekend series that ended with a 5-4 victory. The Reds went winless, during their homestand. The loss dropped Cincinnati to 15-28, for the season.
The Reds opened the game with a three-run first inning off of Mariners’ starter, Wade Miley. Zack Cozart started the fireworks with a double, and came around to score on a two-run double from Brandon Phillips. After Billy Hamilton was hit by a pitch, Joey Votto singled to load the bases. Jay Bruce delivered the final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
Starter Alfredo Simon was again subpar and couldn’t hold the lead. He picked up his fifth loss of the year. Simon (1-5) gave up nine hits and five runs, through five innings.
“Simon had early success with his split, but later, he started to get the pitch up,” Manager Bryan Price said. “The worst thing for a groundball pitcher is to get your pitches up. A couple of times, he got the ball down in the zone, then elevated them.”
Hopefully, the Reds will be able to rebound on the road. The Redlegs travel to the sunny shores of Los Angeles, to tangle with the Dodgers. They’ll be facing the ace of the Dodgers’ staff. Clayton Kershaw will be waiting to do battle with Cincinnati.
“You certainly want to face the best, but you’d also like to get on a roll facing the worst,” Reds manager Bryan Price said via The Cincinnati Enquirer. “You’d like to go out there and beat the crud out of some guys who have mediocre stuff, but you know what? Sometimes to turn things around, you have to go out there and beat somebody’s ace.”
The Reds’ pitching woes have continued, despite Simon being brought back as an insurance arm. The bullpen was in total disarray coming into the season. Now, the starting rotation has been beset with injuries and inconsistency.
As the lone veteran on the staff, Simon was expected to give stability to the youngsters. The results have been mound appearances that have not been spectacular.
The Mariners got to Simon in the third, after a leadoff single from Miley sparked a three-hit, two-run rally. Seattle took the lead in the fifth. The scoring frame was started by center fielder Leonys Martin‘s bunt single and Nori Aoki’s base hit. Robinson Cano had a sacrifice fly. Kyle Seager chipped in with an RBI single. Then, catcher Steve Clevenger knocked in the go-ahead run with a single after Adam Lind was intentionally walked. All five runs were credited to Simon.
The Reds’ starter did his best to summarize the problems he’s experiencing.
“Sometimes baseball is really tough. Every time I go out there, I try to win a game and right now everything is backwards. There’s nothing I can do.”
The loss extends the Reds’ losing streak to seven games, their longest of the season. Adam Duvall sent a towering homer to centerfield, to lead off the bottom of the fourth. That was the last thing Reds’ batters did to help the cause.
Eugenio Suarez continued to struggle. After whiffing in his first two at-bats, he struck out looking in the final two plate appearances. Price addressed Suarez’s slump, per MLB.com.
“The bottom line is here at this level, what we’re finding with a lot of our young players is they have to learn the fight portion of this as far as staying in the battle. I think Suarez is going to be a terrific player, I think he’s already a solid player, but I think he’s going to be a really, really good player.”
The Reds will need every bat to be productive when they face the Dodgers on Monday night. They’ll also need starter Brandon Finnegan to go deeper than four or five frames.
[Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]