CINCINNATI -- It's been a rough 10-game homestand for the Reds, as starting pitching and offense both sputtered coming out of the All-Star break. But both came together with synergy to net a 6-3 victory over the Marlins that salvaged a game from their three-game series. Cincinnati finished the homestand with a 2-8 record.
Scooter Gennett had two hits and two RBIs, including a home run, to spark the Reds, while Eugenio Suarez and Tucker Barnhart each added homers in the sixth inning. Rookie starting pitcher Sal Romano pitched a solid six innings with one earned run, three hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. A.J. Ellis' two-out solo home run in the fourth inning was the only run Romano allowed as he retired 13 of his last 14 batters.
"Any time you can get separation from a team, it helps a ton," Barnhart said. "It kind of takes the pressure off guys. Everybody up and down the lineup had good at-bats all day today. I think everybody contributed something, and that's good to see."
Marlins starter Tom Koehler gave up six runs (five earned) and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. It was a 1-1 game when Gennett led off the bottom of the fourth inning with his 17th homer of the season, a shot to right field. In the two-run fifth, Gennett added a two-out RBI single to right field that scored Zack Cozart before Joey Votto was thrown out trying for third base.
"Bullpen's been worked a little bit," Koehler said. "You get a chance to maybe sneak out the sixth there, and with those balls going out -- between that, and you go to bounce a curveball with two strikes, and [Billy Hamilton], like, cricket-hits it for a single as the last pitch you throw -- it's extremely frustrating. But no one's going to feel sorry for me. ... The Reds aren't when I see them again on Friday. ... Guys in here aren't going to feel sorry for me. I just got to keep going out there, attack hitters and hope that this turns around."
In the top of the seventh inning against reliever Michael Lorenzen, Ellis hit a double and scored on Miguel Rojas' hit to right field. Scott Schebler fumbled the ball for an error that allowed Rojas to reach second base. That enabled Rojas to score on pinch-hitter Marcell Ozuna's RBI single to center field.
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"It's tougher for guys to have quality at-bats that aren't getting those every day," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Ellis. "But most of those guys, and the guys you see have success doing that, [are] really hard workers, work on their swing all the time, put themselves in all kinds of situational things throughout the other days that they don't play."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Airmailed throw: With one out in the Reds' fifth and runners on the corners, Votto hit a comebacker to the mound that should have started an inning-ending double play. But Koehler's throw to second base sailed into center field, scoring Hamilton easily from third base and sending Cozart to third base on the error. Cozart later scored on Gennett's two-out RBI single.
"You get the chance to get out of an inning against a very good hitter, [he] gives you an opportunity for a double-play ball -- that's a play I have to make," Koehler said. "Throwing that ball away kind of deflates the rest of the guys because you've got to at least get one there, and then if we turn two, that could totally change the momentum on our side. For me, that was just completely unacceptable."
What a lift: Leading off the sixth against Koehler, Suarez effectively put the game out of reach. On a 2-1 pitch, he lifted a high popup to left field that kept carrying. It eventually landed in the first row of seats inside the foul pole for a home run that made it a 5-1 game. According to Statcast™, the drive had a 45 percent launch angle and left the bat at 99 mph. It had a hit probability of only 3 percent. It was the highest launch angle on a homer by a Reds player since Statcast™ was introduced and the lowest hit probability for a home run. Suarez now has 16 homers, including four in his past seven games.
"I don't believe that," Suarez said. "I just thought it was an easy fly ball. When I turned at first base, I saw Ichiro [Suzuki] run back and said, 'Oh, I got that one.'"
"I think we have to hunt the victories. We have to show some momentum. We have to create it. I just think it's important. I don't think we can sit here and go, 'We're getting better,' and you lose 95 games. I just don't think that's the message that we want to send our players, our fans, our ownership. We have the ability here to win enough games to feel like we're moving in the right direction and kind of digging ourselves out of the hole that we've created." -- Reds manager Bryan Price
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During the homestand, the Reds were outscored, 72-31, by their opponents, and they gave up 23 homers compared to hitting 10.
In the second inning after Schebler scored on Hamilton's single, Barnhart also tried to score from second base. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton made a perfect throw to Ellis, and Barnhart was out as he collided with Ellis at the plate. The Reds challenged the call, believing that Ellis violated the plate blocking and collision rules, but after a review, officials upheld the original call because the catcher's initial setup was legal, and he moved into the lane to catch the throw.
Marlins:Adam Conley gets the start as the Marlins begin a three-game series with the Rangers at 8:05 p.m. ET on Monday. This will be Conley's second start since being called up from the Minors on Tuesday. In his first outing, the lefty struck out three and gave up two runs over six innings.
Reds: Instead of an originally scheduled off-day, the Reds will be in Cleveland to make up a game vs. the Indians that was rained out on May 25. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET. Tim Adleman will make the start for Cincinnati and is coming off of a six-inning, three-run start in a no-decision vs. Arizona on Wednesday.
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