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Castillo outduels Straily as Reds top Marlins

July 30, 2017

MIAMI -- Luis Castillo showed flashes of being a front-line starter and played the role of stopper to lift the Reds to a 6-4 win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.Castillo allowed one run over a career-high eight innings and added a squeeze bunt, while Tucker Barnhart

MIAMI -- Luis Castillo showed flashes of being a front-line starter and played the role of stopper to lift the Reds to a 6-4 win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.
Castillo allowed one run over a career-high eight innings and added a squeeze bunt, while Tucker Barnhart drove in three, including a two-run single in a four-run seventh inning. With Castillo setting the tone, Cincinnati snapped a six-game skid. Miami saw its four-game win streak snapped.
"I think today was I tried to hit the spots," Castillo said through interpreter Julio Morillo. "I wasn't focused on striking everyone out. I tried to pitch to contact. I think that was the key. Be around the zone, let the guys get out. I know I have a really good defense behind me. I tried to be around the zone with every pitch. Today was a good day for me."
Facing ex-club, Castillo validates Reds' faith

The game matched two pitchers traded for each other in January. The Reds sent Dan Straily to the Marlins for Castillo, reliever Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White. Both right-handers were impressive.
Sporting a fastball that maxed at 99.1 mph, per Statcast™, Castillo showed why he has a promising future. He scattered three hits and struck out six. For Straily, the question remains if his tenure with the Marlins is coming to an end. Miami is entertaining trade offers for the 28-year-old, who may be moved by Monday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Before Deadline, Straily boosts stock
"Both guys were really good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I thought Dan early just had a little hiccup. You could kind of see it in the third, he hit a rhythm. He was kind of on cruise control after that. He kinda could have kept going.
"Their guy was good, showed good composure. Obviously, his stuff is good. He showed the whole package today -- fielded his position, got bunts down, held runners. He was good."
The Reds pushed across two runs in the second inning on four hits and one walk. The frame nearly proved disastrous for Straily, who was shaken up on Castillo's squeeze bunt that scored Jose Peraza from third.
"They know what the situation is," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's just a very difficult play to defend if you have a pitcher that can put the ball in the right area and a baserunner that has some instincts on the bases, and the foot speed to score on that play. It worked out very well."
On the play, Straily made a sliding flip attempt to the plate and appeared to tweak his right hamstring. The training staff and Mattingly came to the mound. After a couple of warmup pitches, Straily continued to pitch six innings of two-run ball.
"Yeah, my hamstring just kind of grabbed real quick," Straily said. "A little cramp. I'm not going to throw another pitch until that is completely gone, because otherwise you're kind of leaving yourself vulnerable for another one."

Marcell Ozuna delivered a three-run homer off Raisel Iglesias during a non-save situation in the ninth inning for Miami. Ozuna now has a career-high 24 home runs. It was the first homer that Iglesias has allowed since June 11.
Change-of-direction DP: In command through five innings, Castillo showed vulnerability in the sixth. With one out, the right-hander walked Dee Gordon before A.J. Ellis lined an RBI double to center. Leading, 2-1, with a runner in scoring position, Castillo attacked Christian Yelich with three straight changeups. Yelich tapped the third in play. Yelich, not knowing if the ball was foul, was tagged out by catcher Barnhart, who threw to third baseman Eugenio Suarez to tag Ellis and complete the inning-ending double play.
"I don't think I've ever seen a ball sit on the plate like that," Mattingly said. "This game, you see something different almost every day. At that point, A.J.'s probably thinking [Barnhart] is probably going to first. The third baseman wasn't anywhere near the base. It was one of those plays that was a little bit funny."

Batting around: After the Marlins got on the board in the sixth inning, the Reds broke the game open with four runs in the seventh. Nine batters came to the plate, and Cincinnati capitalized on four walks. Hunter Cervenka got into a jam by issuing a leadoff walk to Billy Hamilton. A run scored on Adam Duvall's fielder's choice grounder. After Peraza walked with the bases loaded against Drew Steckenrider, Barnhart's two-run single gave Castillo a five-run cushion.
"[It] ended up being the game-winning hit if you want to look at it that way," Price said. "It's a difference maker. [Barnhart] gives us professional at-bats every time he's in the lineup. It didn't surprise me he got a hit there."

"I still just kind of ignore it, honestly. I know you guys have some questions for me, and I do my best to answer them, but I just go up there and leave every pitch on the line for the Fish. And if the day comes where I'm not here, then so be it, and I'll go compete the same way I always do for a new team." -- Straily, on trade speculation
"I haven't necessarily felt like myself of late at the plate. You've kind of got to grind out your at-bats and try to put some good things together. I felt a lot better today and a lot more like myself. Hopefully that's just a good sign for at-bats moving forward." -- Barnhart
Ozuna, who started in left field for the National League in the All-Star Game, hit his first home run since July 5. Statcast™ projected Ozuna's tater at 465 feet, his second-farthest homer this year. The 114-mph exit velocity is his hardest tracked by Statcast™, which launched in 2015.

Reds: Following an off-day on Monday, Cincinnati's four-city road trip resumes in Pittsburgh at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday with the first of three games against the Pirates. Homer Bailey, who threw the first of his two no-hitters at PNC Park on Sept. 28, 2012, will make the start for Cincinnati.
Marlins:Jose Urena (9-4, 4.04 ERA) opens the three-game series against the Nationals at 7:10 p.m. on Monday at Marlins Park. Left-hander and South Florida native Giovany Gonzalez (8-5, 2.81 ERA) gets the nod for Washington. Urena has a career 6.10 ERA in 10 1/3 innings vs. the Nationals.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.