Reds Lose Heartbreaker

Things started off great for the Reds as they took an early four-run lead in a big series at St. Louis. Unfortunately for them it did not end that way and a Cardinal rally was capped off by a grand slam that gave them a win that put them alone in first place in the NL Central Division.

The Reds allowed a grand slam in the seventh inning to give them an 8-6 loss in the opening game of their series at St. Louis. The verdict had extra disappointment because most of the contest it appeared they would notch a win after a couple of two-run triples in the second inning by Zach Cozart and Todd Frazier gave them an early four-run lead. A three-run homer by Matt Holiday in the next frame reduced it, but another RBI hit from Cozart in the sixth added some insurance. It would not be enough because the Cardinals plated another run before the shot from Allen Craig. Jay Bruce came back with a homer to lead off the eighth to cut the final deficit to two.

Cozart led his team with two hits and three RBI while Bruce stroked a single in addition to his long-ball. On the mound Mike Leake allowed only a three-run homer before running into trouble in the seventh. He finished six-plus innings, allowing five runs on seven hits for no decision. Manny Parra entered to face a couple of left-handed batters, one of which he walked that would later score and pin the loss on him. J.J. Hoover was the third pitcher in the inning and allowed the game-winning hit. Logan Ondrusek finished by retiring the eighth inning in order with a couple of strikeouts.

The lead dropped the Reds three and a half games and four in the loss column behind the Cardinals who overtook the lead in the NL Central over the idle Pirates. Cincinnati is now three games behind Pittsburgh for the first wild card spot with thirty games left in the season.

It will be interesting to see how the Reds respond after a disappointing loss. They came into the series on a 13-6 run since losing two embarrassing games to the Cardinals in their last series against them in Great American Ball Park. St. Louis has maintained dominance over Cincinnati, especially on their home field and for most of the contest last night it appeared that the Red would finish the game in a strong position to win a series. However the early three-run shot and the inability of the bullpen to shut down a rally left them on the short side of the score again.

The Reds will be counting on Mat Latos to right the ship in the second game against Joe Kelly. He's fared well against the Cardinals this season, going 2-0 in three starts and allowing three earned runs in nineteen innings pitched. Kelly has not faced Cincinnati this season and lifetime against them he made two relief appearances in 2012, allowing one run in five innings.

Now approaching the final month of the season the pennant stretch has begun and there won't be many opportunities to protect a four-run lead over a team that is ahead in the standings. A series win is still possible, but they're looking at Adam Wainwright in the finale. First things first and they need to get back on track in game two and Latos is a good man to run out to the mound for that. The competition is tough, but so goes the nature of vying for a division championship. The opponent showed no quit in themselves last night and the Reds need a strong showing Tuesday to get back that game in the standings.

Other Organizational Action:

Louisville rallied for two runs in the seventh inning in their 2-1 win over visiting Columbus. The Bats scoring was provided by back-to-back homers by Neftali Soto and Felix Perez. Kanekoa Texeira got the start and allowed one run on three hits in five innings while striking out five without a walk. Zach Duke relieved him with two scoreless innings and got the win. Jose Diaz tossed a scoreless ninth for the save and lowered his ERA to 1.76.

Pensacola had three two-run rallies in their 6-2 home win over Birmingham. Yorman Rodriguez had three hits and two RBI in the contest while Mike Costanzo had two hits including a two-run homer. Devin Lohman reached with two hits plus a walk and Travis Mattair also had two hits and drove in one. Josh Smith had another strong outing for the win by allowing one run on two hits/five walks while striking out five over seven innings.

Bakersfield allowed three runs in the first inning in their 5-2 loss to visiting San Jose. Juan Silverio led the Blaze with three hits including a solo homer. David Vidal added a couple of hits and scored a run. Shaun Ellis took the loss for allowing three runs (two earned) off seven hits over six innings.

Dayton was blown out 18-6 at Lansing. Beau Amaral, Seth Mejias-Brean, and brent peterson had two hits each for the Dragons including a home run by Mejias-Brean. Amir Garret was roughed up for eight runs in three-plus innings for the loss.

Billings scored a single run in four innings in their 4-2 home win over Ogden. Robert Ramirez had two hits and two RBI. Luke Moran got the win for a splendid outing, tossing six shutout innings over which he allowed two hits/two walks and struck out seven.

The AZL Reds game against the AZL A's was cancelled by rain.


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