Marlins 7 Reds 6
Well, that was brutal. Three outs from the feel good of a strong outing from Graham Ashcraft and a series win over the Marlins, the Reds bullpen imploded in a three run 9th inning that resulted in a 7-5 loss Thursday afternoon at GABP. Hunter Strickland, brought on to save it, blew it, allowing a pinch-hit game-tying homer to Jesus Sanchez. Strickland allowed three runs without recording an out. Tommy Pham single in a run the bottom of the 9th to make it 7-6. But Joey Votto struck out with two on to end it.
Nice outing: Graham Ashcraft 6.2 IN, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, HR, 100 pitches/63 strikes. He took the mound leading 5-3 in the 7th inning at 91 pitches.
Bell visited the mound with 2 outs and a runner on third (double) in the 7th. He left Ashcraft in to face Jesus Aguilar, who had homered against him earlier. Aguilar lined an RBI double to cut the lead to 5-4 and Ashcraft was done. But it was a confidence vote moment from Bell and a moment Ashcraft can file in his pitching memory bank to learn from. In the 3rd inning, Aguilar had crushed a 2-run 419-foot homer to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead.
Rescue effort: Alexis Diaz replaced Ashcraft and stranded the tying run at 2nd with a strikeout of J.J. Bleday. He went back out and struck out two in a perfect 8th inning. His ERA dips to 1.91.
Blow up: Hunter Strickland served up a pinch-hit game-tying homer to Jesus Sanchez leading off the 9th inning. It ended a 15 inning consecutive inning scoreless streak by the Reds pen dating back to Saturday. Strickland walked a batter and hit a batter before being replaced by Buck Farmer with 2 on and 0 outs. Farmer allowed an RBI double to Joey Wendle and a sacrifice fly to Nick Cortes to give the Marlins a 7-5 lead. Strickland: 0.0, HR, 3 R, BB, HBP.
Early action: The Reds put a run on the board in the 1st inning on back-to-back doubles by Brandon Drury and then Tommy Pham. It was Pham's first extra base hit since June 10 and just his fifth run batted over 22 games this month.
Answer back: Down 3-1 in the 4th inning, a Tyler Naquin ground out score one run and a Mark Kolozsvary double plated the tying run.
Go ahead: Donovan Solano continues to swing a sizzling hot bat. He lined an RBI single to cap an eight pitch AB and give the Reds a 4-3 lead in the 5th inning.
Add on: Naquin roped a solo homer (No. 7) vs LHP Steven Okert in the 6th inning (417 feet) to increase the lead to 5-3.
Contributions: All starters, with the exception of Jonathan India, collected at least one hit. 3 hits Pham, 2 hits Drury. Votto singled and was hit by a pitch.
Whiffing: Votto struck out in the 9th to extend his career high streak of 15 consecutive games with a strikeout.
Scary: Marlins pitcher Daniel Castano took a Solano line drive off his head (104 mph). The ball deflected in the air all the way to 3B for the out. The Marlins say he suffered a forehead contusion and mild concussion.
contusion and mild concussion.