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Price chalks up bullpen's hiccup to bad luck

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Baseball can be a cruel game sometimes, as the Reds experienced on Saturday night with a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers.

The Reds battled back from a three-run deficit after the first inning to tie the game on Devin Mesoraco's three-run homer in the sixth, but the Dodgers came up with two well-placed singles and a double off the Reds' bullpen in the ninth for their fourth walk-off win of the season.

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LOS ANGELES -- Baseball can be a cruel game sometimes, as the Reds experienced on Saturday night with a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers.

The Reds battled back from a three-run deficit after the first inning to tie the game on Devin Mesoraco's three-run homer in the sixth, but the Dodgers came up with two well-placed singles and a double off the Reds' bullpen in the ninth for their fourth walk-off win of the season.

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Drew Storen came out of the bullpen to open the ninth in a 4-4 game and allowed back-to-back singles to Yasiel Puig and pinch-hitter Justin Turner with one out. Left-hander Tony Cingrani then came on and struck out pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez before Dodgers star Corey Seager delivered a walk-off double.

The Reds felt they had a good chance to send the game into extra innings, but the Dodgers were able to find holes in the defense. Puig's single had a hit probability of 26 percent, and Seager's double had a hit probability of 19 percent, according to Statcast™.

"It's two ground balls," Mesoraco said. "If they're two feet to the other way, they're outs. So that's a hard thing to really get too frustrated over. They're going to find holes. Those were just hit in perfect spots."

Video: CIN@LAD: Seager drills a walk-off double in the 9th

Reds manager Bryan Price said he wanted to save closer Raisel Iglesias to pitch with a lead in the ninth or in extras, so he went with Storen to open the ninth with a pair of right-handers scheduled to hit. Iglesias hasn't allowed a run in his last 20 innings out of the bullpen, the longest active scoreless-innings streak by a reliever in the Majors.

"You hate to have to match up with the lead and extra innings," Price said. "We would have had Iglesias there in the ninth. Drew was going to be able to see right-handed hitters there in the ninth and then Tony would be lined up for the lefties, and they just happened to get their hits. They got three hits to win the game. You got to do that. Those guys are legitimate big league relief pitchers, and today they got us."

Cingrani threw a first-pitch fastball to Seager, who slapped it the other way to left field. Scooter Gennett made a diving attempt, but the ball found the ground and Puig scored from second to end the game.

"Good things happen when you put it in play sometimes," Cingrani said. "It is what it is. I would throw the same pitch again, probably get an out."

The Reds were in an early hole after starter Asher Wojciechowski allowed three runs on three hits in the first inning, including a homer to Cody Bellinger. Wojciechowski then settled in and held the Dodgers to one run over the next four innings, giving the Reds a chance to get back in the game.

"After that first inning, just settled down and tried to go as deep as I could and give this team a shot," Wojciechowski said.

The Reds had opportunities to take the lead against the Dodgers' bullpen.

After Mesoraco homered off Josh Fields to tie the game at 4, Gennett sent a deep fly ball to right-center and Chris Taylor made a leaping catch at the wall. The Reds also had a runner in scoring position with one out in the eighth, but couldn't bring Eugenio Suarez home.

"This is a tough place to win, obviously," Mesoraco said. "They put some good at-bats together in the ninth and were able to find some holes on some ground balls, and that will happen, and then Seager got the big hit to win it."

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Reds on Saturday.

Cincinnati Reds, Tony Cingrani, Drew Storen