The first round of the Ohio Cup was one to forget as the Reds wrapped up the weekend series by getting swept on Sunday by the Indians, 5-2, in Cleveland.
Cincinnati (18-25) committed three errors en route to its eighth straight loss and the 11th in 14 games. The losing effort was so frustrating that Bryan Price apologized to any Reds fans that made the trip up to Cleveland. The Indians (20-23) are trending in opposite direction as they have now won six straight.
Raisel Iglesias (1-1) started in place of Johnny Cueto, who was scratched due to elbow stiffness, but didn’t stick around for long after needing 84 pitches to get through three innings of work. It was a struggle for the Reds pitching staff in general as six different pitchers combined to allow eight hits and issues seven walks.
Both teams had chances to score in the first two innings, but it was the Indians who cracked the scoreboard first in the third. Carlos Santana led the inning off with a double and three batters later scored on an RBI single by David Murphy that went off the glove of Joey Votto as he tried to backhand the ball. Nick Swisher hit into what appeared to be an inning ending double play, but the sure handed Brandon Phillips was unable to field the ball cleanly to allow Brandon Moss to score. Iglesias retired the next two hitters to end the inning, but that would be all for the Cuban right hander.
Ryan Mattheus pitched two innings of scoreless relief and then J.J Hoover came on in the sixth and that’s when the game got out of hand. Hoover allowed the first runner to reach when he couldn’t cleanly field a comebacker and then he walked the bases loaded with one out in the inning. He retired the next hitter he faced and had a chance to get out of the inning, but an error on Votto allowed two runs to score and make it 4-0. Burke Badenhop came on in relief to record the final out of the inning.
Marlon Byrd finally got the Reds on the board against Trevor Bauer (4-1) when he hit a solo home run in the seventh. Jumbo Diaz worked around a leadoff double in the seventh to keep the Reds within reach and they came close to getting back into the game in the eighth inning against Bauer. Kristopher Negron led off the inning with a double and then moved to third on a ground ball, but Skip Schumaker struck out and then Marc Rzepczynski came on to retire Votto and end the scoring chance.
Aroldis Chapman came on in the bottom of the inning and joined in the pitching woes when he allowed a run and had to work out of a bases loaded jam. Cody Allen came on in a non save situation and the Reds were able to scratch out a run when Brayan Pena doubled in Jay Bruce. Allen rebounded by retiring Byrd and then struck out Brennan Boesch to end the game.
The Colorado Rockies (17-25) come to Great American Ballpark for a three game series including a 1:10 p.m. start time on Memorial Day. The Rockies will arrive in Cincinnati later than expected after a rain filled weekend at Coors Field caused the finale of the Rockies Giants contest to be delayed. Jason Marquis (3-4, 6.91 ERA) will try and give the bullpen a rest and try to end his three game losing streak and will square off against Eddie Butler (2-5, 4.38 ERA). Last season the Rockies tallied 44 runs in seven games against the Reds and belted 14 homers including seven in three games at GABP.