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Reds not lacking in effort despite rough stretch

MLB.com @m_sheldon

MIAMI -- The rate of losing games is accelerating quickly for the Reds these days, and it's definitely starting to wear on everyone associated with the club. Saturday's latest defeat, 7-3 to the Marlins at Marlins Park, extended the skid to six games and put Cincinnati at 2-14 since the All-Star break.

"I don't think anybody is happy losing. I know I'm not," left fielder Adam Duvall said. "It's not fun to lose game after game. We've got to turn it around."

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MIAMI -- The rate of losing games is accelerating quickly for the Reds these days, and it's definitely starting to wear on everyone associated with the club. Saturday's latest defeat, 7-3 to the Marlins at Marlins Park, extended the skid to six games and put Cincinnati at 2-14 since the All-Star break.

"I don't think anybody is happy losing. I know I'm not," left fielder Adam Duvall said. "It's not fun to lose game after game. We've got to turn it around."

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On June 8, the Reds were one game under .500 at 29-30. Now, they are 22 games below at 41-63 and have the fourth-worst record in the Majors.

The rotation has lacked all season, including the first three games of this series in which no starting pitcher has reached five innings. The offense, which had helped keep the team afloat, has recently dried up.

But the disappointment hasn't affected the effort on the field. All three outfielders underscored that point on Saturday to help out starting pitcher Tim Adleman.

In the first inning, right fielder Patrick Kivlehan threw out speedy leadoff hitter Dee Gordon at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.

Video: CIN@MIA: Reds nab Gordon at second after review

In the fourth inning, Duvall and center fielder Billy Hamilton made nice diving plays.

Video: CIN@MIA: Hamilton lays out, robs Rojas of a hit

Duvall's play was particularly difficult, as he covered 52 feet of left field in 3.3 seconds to rob Tomas Telis of a hit. He took a risk by diving on the low liner and snagged it in his glove just before the ball bounced. According to Statcast™, it was a five-star play since it had a catch probability of 5 percent.

"It was one of those do-or-die plays where you're either all-in or all-out. I felt like I was all-in," Duvall said.

During their rebuilding years, the Reds have known a lot of losing. In 2015, the club endured a 13-game skid as the season ended. In May '16, there was an 11-game losing streak. It often felt like players came to the ballpark expecting to lose.

During the current stretch, the Reds are trying to prevent that attitude from seeping into the clubhouse.

"It's definitely tough. Nobody expects to go out there and go through a stretch like this," catcher Devin Mesoraco said. "A lot of it is the effort is definitely there. Guys are working hard. This is definitely one of the best clubhouses I've been in. Guys get along. I think that sometimes as a player, you put too much pressure on yourself to go out there and produce, go out there and get hits. I think, collectively, we have to relax a little bit and just show up with a good attitude and try to start over the next day."

Manager Bryan Price realizes no one feels sorry for him, or his club, and that it will have to create its own good luck. Price also wants to fight cynicism.

"You come in here, and it's not morose," Price said. "I think maybe some people think it should be. We don't want that. We don't want the ballpark to become a place that nobody wants to come to. The work routine stays very similar. From that perspective, what changes is when you're playing well, you expect to win, and when you're not playing well, you don't have the same expectation. Some don't have the same expectation. I think we go out there and play hard. However, we need something to go our way. But that's our responsibility. It's not fate's responsibility for things to go our way."

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