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One bad inning dooms Straily's outing

MLB.com @m_sheldon

ARLINGTON -- Sometimes a starting pitcher will say he was beaten because of one bad inning and it will ring hollow. That wasn't the case for Reds starter Dan Straily, who really did have one bad inning during his six-inning start vs. the Rangers on Wednesday.

Staily's first five batters reached safely in the fourth inning, and that resulted in four runs during the Reds' 6-4 loss. Before that, he allowed one hit and faced the minimum over the first three innings. After Prince Fielder's two-run single, Straily retired his final nine in a row.

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ARLINGTON -- Sometimes a starting pitcher will say he was beaten because of one bad inning and it will ring hollow. That wasn't the case for Reds starter Dan Straily, who really did have one bad inning during his six-inning start vs. the Rangers on Wednesday.

Staily's first five batters reached safely in the fourth inning, and that resulted in four runs during the Reds' 6-4 loss. Before that, he allowed one hit and faced the minimum over the first three innings. After Prince Fielder's two-run single, Straily retired his final nine in a row.

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"It was a very unusual game," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But you know what? Sometimes those games are won and lost in those moments."

And that's why Straily was kicking himself afterward.

"It was just really frustrating, to have been going like that and finish like that but have such poor command for three hitters in a row," said Straily, who ended with four runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. "It was just one of those things where I was trying to figure it out and just couldn't. It was just really, really frustrating."

It was a scoreless game when Straily opened the bottom of the fourth by walking Shin-Soo Choo on four pitches. Rougned Odor was hit on the foot by a 1-2 slider before Nomar Mazara walked on five pitches to load the bases.

That was a gift for Rangers cleanup hitter Adrian Beltre, who lined an RBI single to center field before Fielder added his two-run single to right field. With one out, Mitch Moreland grounded to first base, where Ivan De Jesus Jr. recorded the out before his throw to second base for the double play went into center field and enabled another run to score to make it 4-0.

Straily course-corrected before the fifth inning while making his warm-up pitches.

"I just threw a bunch of changeups when I was warming up, getting myself back up front," he said. "I was trying to use my reset pitch, if you will, a chance in between innings to make sure I didn't go back to that momentary lapse of a loss of command."

Straily is not a power pitcher by any means, but he touched 90 mph only five times in 92 pitches vs. Texas. Price chalked it up to fluctuations over a long season.

"That doesn't concern me. I think we've got to avoid the big innings," Price said. "He gave us two more innings because he's really been good for us this year. I don't want to under appreciate the fact that he's been one of our more consistent and reliable starters this year."

Straily, who was a waiver claim just before Opening Day and was expected to be a long reliever, is 4-4 with a 3.89 ERA in his 13 starts.

"I'm better than that," Straily said. "It's frustrating to have a day like that knowing I'm better than that and I caused that. I lost the game for our team because of something as stupid as a couple hitters where I couldn't find the zone when I wanted to."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cincinnati Reds, Dan Straily