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Johnny Cueto Sets Career-High in Strikeouts, Tops Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0

April 16th, 2014 at 5:33 PM
By Cody Dalga

If there is one thing that Cincinnat Reds fans can be excited about early on this year is that Johnny Cueto looks like his old self again. Although the starting pitcher had given up just five earned runs in his first three starts, he had yet to collect a win.

Lucky for him, he only needed a single run as he went the distance today allowing just three hits and striking out a career-high 12 batters in Wednesday's 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in Cincinnati. It was the fourth time in Cueto's career that he has struck out at least 10 batters.

'Reds v Astros 9.21.11' photo (c) 2011, Shawna Pairan - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Heading into the game, the Reds offense had only given Cueto a single run of production in his last 21 innings, it didn't take long for the Reds to double that total. Billy Hamilton led off the game with a walk. He stole second base and soon after reached third on a wild pitch.  Joey Votto walked and with Brandon Phillips at the dish, a wild pitch allowed Hamilton to score. 

Cueto and Pirates s starter Francisco Liriano then went to work. They rallied off five straight scoreless innings before the Reds added on to their lead.

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More Bad News for Mat Latos; Shutdown for at Least 10 Days

April 15th, 2014 at 7:18 PM
By Cody Dalga

It's been a rough start of the season for Mat Latos, and considering he has yet to make an appearance in a Major League game that doesn't make things any better.

Sunday may have made things worse as Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price announced that the starting pitcher had an MRI that showed a flexor mass strain in his right elbow. 

"They think they've kind of got it pinpointed as to what it is, but they want to make 100 percent sure," Latos said.

Most reports state that Latos will be shut down from any type of throwing for at least 10-14 days. Last week, Latos was scratched from his rehab assignment start for Triple-A Louisville after he felt discomfort. This past Friday, his bullpen session was cut short for the same reason.

"It's frustrating to not be able to get out there and throw," Latos said. "You take care of the bone chips that were bothering me at the end of the year to be healthy and try to come back stronger this year. It seems like every time I make step forward, I take eight steps backwards. I didn't last a week coming into Spring Training without having to have surgery, which is aggravating as hell."

Latos has had a string of injuries throughout the past year. In October, he underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow which forced him to miss the National League Wildcard Game. He also underwent a minor knee procedure at the beginning of Spring Training to repair torn cartilage in his meniscus. 
 
Alfredo Simon, who has been starting in the rotation in place of Latos, will most likely make at least two more starts. 
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Devin Mesoraco and Chris Heisey Come up Big for Cincinnati Reds in 12-4 Win Over Tampa Bay Rays

April 14th, 2014 at 11:59 AM
By Cody Dalga

The Cincinnati Reds used long balls from Joey Votto, Devin Mesoraco, and Chris Heisey to top the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 12-4 Sunday afternoon at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The win helped the Reds avoid a three-game sweep.

'Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19)' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/The Reds had scored just 11 combined runs in their last four games, winning just one game in that stretch.

"It does send the right message to the players," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We've had a couple of games where we scored early this season and we've given the runs back and we haven't been able to create the separation that we wanted, especially against the Cardinals. It's important. We did a nice job of that today. Guys were terrific in their at-bats. We didn't give a lot of at-bats away."

Cincinnati was able to plate seven of their 12 runs in the first three innings. Following a scoreless first inning, Zack Cozart smacked a bases-loaded ground-rule double to plate two runs. Prior to Cozart's double, Jay Bruce, Ryan Ludwick, and Devin Mesoraco all reached base on three consecutive walks. 

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Offense Continues to Struggle as Cincinnati Reds Fall to Tampa Bay Rays, 1-0

April 12th, 2014 at 7:42 PM
By Cody Dalga

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Alfredo Simon, who was making his second start this season after replacing Mat Latos, tied a career best eight innings pitched allowing just a single run on five hits. Unfortunately, the offense failed to support the starter as he took the loss as the Reds fell 1-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

'reds-astros' photo (c) 2007, Charles Meeks - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/The loss means that the Reds have lost each of the first four series to begin this season. 

Tampa's lone run came in the second inning as James Loney launched his first home run of the season, a solo shot to right. 

"I just missed it. Right in the middle," Simon said of the home-run pitch. "That's baseball. Then after that, I tried to keep the ball down. Everything was working."

Cincinnati had several opportunities to plate a run. In the third, Zack Cozart doubled with one out but failed to cross the plate. An inning later, Joey Votto began the inning with a ground-rule double but was thrown out trying to score on a Brandon Phillips single. They also spoiled an opportunity in the sixth, stranding a runner on third.

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Jonathan Broxton Activated, Trevor Bell Takes Place on Disabled List

April 8th, 2014 at 8:35 PM
By Cody Dalga

Cincinnati Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton, who has been out since August with a tear of his flexor mass tendon in his right arm, was finally activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. 

The Reds have been using several pitchers as a fill-in for closer Aroldis Chapman. With Broxton back in the lineup, he is expected to eventually take the role of closer until Chapman is 100 percent.

"I'd love to be able to get him into a game where he can just start an inning and get his feet wet," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "If I could, I'd like to get him into a game that wasn't the ninth inning for his first game. He definitely will be our closer once we get him re-acclimated to being here. That might be maybe one outing."

In order to make room for Broxton, the Reds placed pitcher Trevor Bell on the 15-day disabled list. Bell complained of shoulder soreness following Monday's loss to the Cardinals. He's allowed five earned runs over two-thirds of an inning.
 
After making the team as a non-roster invite, Bell will head to Cincinnati to be evaluated. 
 
Cincinnati start game two of the three game series in St. Louis. They fell yesterday by a score of 5-3. 
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