Bailey's struggles continue as Reds drop finale

Starter records 1,000th career strikeout; Peraza hits 10th home run

September 6th, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- Homer Bailey might one day look back on his performance against the Pirates at PNC Park on Wednesday and remember it as the night he became the 12th Reds pitcher in franchise history to reach 1,000 career strikeouts.

For now, though, the veteran right-hander can't see past being on the hook for his seventh straight loss after allowing three earned runs over five innings in the Reds' 3-2 defeat.

"It doesn't mean as much when you just lost your 14th game of the year," Bailey said of the milestone.

The loss dropped Bailey to 1-14 on the season, and the Reds have lost in 19 of his 20 starts in 2018. Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman told reporters after Bailey's last start against the Cardinals that the right-hander was "pitching into some bad luck," and that misfortune carried over into Wednesday as four of the six hits he allowed yielded a hit probability below 50 percent, per Statcast™.

"I thought we threw the ball pretty well," Bailey said. "It was one extra-base hit on a ball that a guy was really out in front of, but I don't think they hit a single ball that I would necessarily say they struck well. That's kind of it in a nutshell."

Pittsburgh's lone extra-base hit off Bailey came in the second inning. Pitching with a lead, thanks to 's solo home run off Pirates right-hander in the opening frame, Bailey threw a 3-2 knuckle curve to . Moran drove it to right field for a double, scoring Corey Dickerson to tie the game at 1.

Bailey's misfortune continued in the third inning when, with one out, he worked into an 0-2 count before surrendering a soft grounder for a single. In the next at-bat, fell behind 0-2 before poking a ground-ball single to right field to put two on. The next two at-bats resulted in first-pitch RBI singles that gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead.

"A couple plays we didn't make. A couple balls get in here and there. [Bailey] did a good job, really," Riggleman said. "Specifically to Marte, his slider was outstanding. He threw the ball fine. It's more of the same. A few runs, and it cost us. We're not scoring when he pitches, and it's contributing to a rough year for Homer."

The Reds put themselves in position to score runs and lift Bailey off the hook in the fifth inning. Peraza and Joey Votto notched back-to-back one-out singles, and was later hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. However, struck out to keep the Reds' deficit at two runs.

Trailing in the ninth inning, Cincinnati applied pressure to Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez. Curt Casali singled to lead off the inning and scored two pitches later on 's RBI double. A pair of two-out walks drawn by Peraza and Votto loaded the bases once again, but Scooter Gennett grounded a ball back to Vazquez that resulted in a game-ending forceout.

"We had the bases loaded [in the fifth inning]. They got out of that one," Riggleman said. "They had the one there late. Just coming up short. I'm satisfied with the effort we get. The guys play hard, they play with intensity, but we're not getting the results."

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SOUND SMART

With his home run in the first inning, Peraza became the third shortstop in Reds franchise history with 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season, per STATS LLC. He joins Dave Concepcion and Barry Larkin as the only Reds to accomplish the feat.

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After giving up four consecutive singles in the third inning, Bailey was backed up by his defense to escape the frame. Dickerson lined a ball directly to Gennett, who snagged it and fired back to first base to double off and end the frame.

UP NEXT

Right-hander will take the mound on Thursday as the Reds return to Great American Ball Park to open a four-game series with the Padres at 6:40 p.m. ET. Castillo is coming off one of his best performances of the season. He recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings in a shutout win against the Cardinals on Saturday. Left-hander will start for San Diego.