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Garrett endures first rough start of career

Rookie left-hander allows nine earned runs in loss to Brewers
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Amir Garrett made things look smooth and easy from the mound during his first three big league starts for the Reds. But Monday's performance in an 11-7 loss to the Brewers was a reminder that Garrett remains a rookie still figuring things out.

The left-hander allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings with four walks, one strikeout and three home runs -- including two by Eric Thames.

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CINCINNATI -- Amir Garrett made things look smooth and easy from the mound during his first three big league starts for the Reds. But Monday's performance in an 11-7 loss to the Brewers was a reminder that Garrett remains a rookie still figuring things out.

The left-hander allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings with four walks, one strikeout and three home runs -- including two by Eric Thames.

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"I just wasn't myself today," Garrett said. "Everything I threw they were able to hit, they were able to capitalize on my missed pitches, which I had a lot of today. There's going to be days like this. It's how you bounce back. I am definitely going to bounce back from this."

Garrett's ERA jumped from 1.83 to 5.09.

"When other teams have a lefty on the mound, I think we can put together a pretty good lineup against them," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "I think that's a strength of ours. He has pitched well his first [three starts], but I think we had a good feeling coming in."

Garrett's 3-2 slider to Thames was slugged for a solo homer to right field two batters into the first inning. Hernan Perez added a three-run homer off a first-pitch changeup later in the first, and Thames returned in the second inning with a two-out, two-run opposite-field homer on an 0-2 slider.

"He pitched more behind today, a lot more offspeed, it seemed, to me," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The mistakes he made got hit."

Of his 80 pitches in the game, Garrett threw 49 four-seams fastballs, according to Statcast™. That was his lowest percentage of usage yet at 61 percent. He also threw 19 sliders. In his first three starts, opposing hitters made contact against his slider a total of three times. On Monday, the Brewers put sliders into play seven times.

"I was just missing spots, leaving it up in the zone," Garrett said. "It wasn't normally what I do. I like to keep it down in the zone. This is a learning experience. I will be OK."

Because the bullpen was shorthanded with long relievers, Price had to leave Garrett in the game longer than he would have liked. Ariel Hernandez took over with two outs in the fourth inning after two more runs scored to make it an 8-4 game.

"I was OK. At that point, I was trying to go as deep as I can for my team," Garrett said. "Things like that happen. I wanted to get through as much as I could. Today wasn't my day."

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

Cincinnati Reds, Amir Garrett