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Reds susceptible to strikeouts of late

LOS ANGELES -- Entering play on Wednesday, the Reds had been one of the harder teams to strike out this season. They've struck out the third-fewest times in the National League, but you wouldn't know it lately.

In the past four games, Cincinnati's hitters have struck out 48 times compared to only seven walks. During Tuesday's 6-3 loss, they K'd 14 times with zero walks.

"We're facing good pitching, but we have enough talent to be more successful than we have been," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think we've definitely been in a down offensive cycle. My optimism for our offense and our team has been high and will remain high because we have guys who have been there and been successful."

Over the previous games -- all losses -- the Reds have encountered Jaime Garcia and Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals and the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke. There's not exactly a stiff in that particular group.

"One thing we haven't been able to do really is have one of those big innings that maybe knock out the starter and get into the bullpen," Price said.

Hitting coaches Don Long and Lee Tinsley have had the hitters trying to put themselves in better positions to succeed.

"They've been working on grinding out at-bats and living to see another pitch," Price said. "We've run into some tough pitching lately but we'll rebound."

Last season, the Reds were ranked 11th in strikeout totals in the NL.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
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