DeSclafani escape artist before luck runs out
Twins 0-for-10 with RISP when Reds righty was on mound, but four-run seventh tarnishes start
CINCINNATI -- Reds rookie starter Anthony DeSclafani labored and flirted with the potential of big innings through much of a long Tuesday night vs. the Twins. During an 8-5 loss, trouble caught up to DeSclafani in what turned into a four-run seventh.
While throwing a career-high 122 pitches on a night that started with a two-hour, one-minute rain delay, DeSclafani was on the hook for six earned runs and 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings with two walks, seven strikeouts and two wild pitches.
"I battled most of the night with runners on," said DeSclafani, who is 5-6 with a 3.68 ERA in 16 starts. "I thought I did a good job up until that seventh inning, and I've got to do a better job that inning."
Some of the Twins' numbers against DeSclafani would suggest he had the better night. Minnesota was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position while the right-hander was on the mound. Two of the Twins' three double plays were induced by DeSclafani to end the third and fifth innings.
Including Torii Hunter's solo homer in the top of the first, there were no smooth 1-2-3 innings for DeSclafani. The leadoff hitter reached four times on him.
"They still struck out a few, but they really do a nice job of taking advantage of early strikes and battling with two strikes," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "And they put the ball in play. They make things happen -- hit-and-run, straight steal, do some things to get their runners in scoring position. They did a really nice job of putting the bat on the ball. It wasn't like our outfielders were chasing gappers all night.
"I didn't think he threw poorly at all. I thought he had to really battle. We had a couple of things happen in the early innings that led to some runs. Unfortunately we were a little short with our bullpen. I had to leave him out there a little longer than I wanted to."
Brian Dozier started the Twins' seventh with a double, sparking the big inning. Following a wild pitch, there was a one-out walk and a run that scored on Trevor Plouffe's fielder's choice. DeSclafani was done after Eddie Rosario's single, but Burke Badenhop allowed two inherited runs, plus one of his own.
DeSclafani's previous career high of 112 pitches came only four starts ago on June 14 vs. the Cubs.
"I wasn't even thinking about it," DeSclafani said of his pitch count. "They asked me if I was good to go back out, I said, 'Yeah.' I pitch until the ball is taken out of my hand, that's the only thing I can control, so I've just got to do a better job that inning.
"I just fell behind, made some bad pitches. Leadoff double that inning and things just kind of spiraled from there."