Realmuto homers twice as Marlins beat Reds

July 22nd, 2017

CINCINNATI -- Reds pitchers have given up a staggering 22 home runs since the All-Star break, most in the Majors. That total includes two long balls from J.T. Realmuto, who provided most of the Marlins' offense with three hits and four RBIs in a 5-4 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday night at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds held a 2-1 lead in the second inning when Realmuto hit 's full-count pitch for a two-run homer to left field. It was a 3-3 game in the sixth when Realmuto returned to slug Stephenson's first pitch to left field again for another two-run shot.
"It's one of the more friendly parks out there, but you've got to go out there and have the same approach no matter where you're at," said Realmuto, who recorded his second career multi-homer game. "Just try to put good hard contact with the ball. I was able to do that today."
Hit the road for two jacks, Realmuto
Stephenson, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to make his first start of 2017, gave up five earned runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts. The game began following a 60-minute weather delay.
Marlins lefty labored with six walks over 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision. O'Grady allowed three earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts. He permitted a leadoff infield hit, followed by three-straight walks -- including one to that forced home a run in the first inning. The Reds let O'Grady off the hook, however, as grounded into a double play that scored a second run before Scooter Gennett was called out on strikes.

Reds manager Bryan Price was frustrated as his club went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
"I think we needed to take advantage of what we had against O'Grady early," Price said. "He was really struggling to throw the ball over. He was able to turn a double play and limit us to two runs in the first. You deliver the knockout blow in that inning, and we're into the bullpen. That's how things set up even better for us tomorrow, getting into their bullpen early. We just weren't able to do it."
O'Grady attributed his early command issues to not being able to get a grip on the ball on a humid Cincinnati night.
"It's something I've never experienced before," said O'Grady, who was making his third big league start. "I had to use rosin for the first time in my career. I've never had to use any kind of substance like rosin or anything like that, and had to do it for the first time tonight, and it just took a little getting used to."

Leading off the fifth, clobbered O'Grady's 2-1 changeup for a game-tying homer.
The Reds scored a run in the eighth inning off of reliever , but AJ Ramos recorded the final three outs in the ninth for his 19th save. Cincinnati is 1-8 on its 10-game homestand to open the second half.
Video: MIA@CIN: Ramos K's Votto to earn the save
Bour's snag saves game: Tazawa pitched himself into trouble in the eighth by hitting a batter and giving up two singles, including Scooter Gennett's RBI hit up the middle. Tazawa struck out before Kivlehan scorched a line drive to first base. Holding the runner, was right there and quickly reacted for the catch. With Gennett breaking toward second base, Bour stepped on first to turn the unassisted double play to prevent extra bases and likely two runs from scoring.
"He just got the glove there -- an inch away from potentially getting the game-winning run in there, but it's just the way things are going right now," Kivlehan said. "We're struggling. We keep fighting, and hopefully, we turn it around and get something going."
Added Marlins shortstop : "It was an unbelievable play, because as a first baseman, I've played there before, and you never expect a right-hander to hit like that on a line drive like that. That shows me that he was in the game, and that was huge for us."

Wittgren puts out fire: With two outs in the Reds' fifth inning, Cozart hit a triple off of O'Grady and Joey Votto was intentionally walked. Marlins manager Don Mattingly summoned reliever Nick Wittgren, who got Duvall to look at a 92-mph fastball down the middle for a called third strike to end the threat. Wittgren was credited with the victory.

"Those were opportunities lost, and they happen, but when you're losing, it just stands out. When you're not winning games like that, they hurt more than they would normally." -- Price, on missing the chances vs. O'Grady and Tazawa
Marlins:Tom Koehler will start for the Marlins in Sunday's series finale. The right-hander struggled in his last start, allowing four runs and walking three over five innings, but he has had success against the Reds in his career (1.88 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET.
Reds: Rookie will take the ball for Cincinnati on Sunday for his fourth big league start. Romano gave up six earned runs and six hits over four-plus innings on Tuesday in an 11-2 loss to the D-backs. He was pitching well until a rough fifth where he did not retire a batter.
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