CINCINNATI -- The Reds came into Saturday's game leading the National League in runs scored in their previous 11 games. But Marlins pitchers abruptly ended that streak of success.Reds rookie right-hander Tyler Mahle allowed three runs -- on homers by Starlin Castro and Justin Bour -- over six innings, but Marlins
CINCINNATI -- The Reds came into Saturday's game leading the National League in runs scored in their previous 11 games. But Marlins pitchers abruptly ended that streak of success.
Reds rookie right-hander Tyler Mahle allowed three runs -- on homers by Starlin Castro and Justin Bour -- over six innings, but Marlins lefty Caleb Smith and three relievers combined on a four-hitter to hand Cincinnati a 6-0 loss at Great American Ball Park.
It marked the fifth time the Reds have been shut out this season.
The start of Saturday's game was delayed 10 minutes due to rain, but it didn't take long for the Marlins to get to Mahle. Castro's first homer of the season and the 100th of his career put the Marlins ahead, 2-0, in the first inning. He also hit his first career home run at Great American Ball Park in 2010.
"I looked up on the board and saw that he had zero home runs," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "I thought the law of averages might get us tonight. Mahle let a slider stay up, and Castro got him."
Castro went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Mahle struggled with his command early in Saturday's game, but he had retired 12 of his past 13 batters when Bour crushed his 3-2 pitch to make the score 3-0.
"I continued to make average pitches," Mahle said. "The balls they are hitting out is missed location. I throw a lot of fastballs, everybody knows it. So when I miss with that, it tends to get hit hard."
Bour's team-leading sixth homer of the season was a low liner with an exit velocity of 111 mph and a 17-degree launch angle, according to Statcast™.
Mahle (2-4) allowed his three runs on five hits and struck out four. He did not walk a batter during his team-high fourth quality start.
"I thought Mahle settled in and threw the ball pretty well," Riggleman said. "Three runs in six innings keeps us in the game and gives us a chance. I'm satisfied with what Tyler did. I'm sure he feels he wasn't on top of his game."
But the Reds didn't have many scoring chances against Smith, who scattered three hits in 5 2/3 innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. He has 26 strikeouts and only two walks in his last three starts over 18 2/3 innings.
"He was really good," Riggleman said. "We knew he had good stuff, and he showed it tonight. Nice easy delivery, and the ball's coming out 94, 95 [mph]. Good breaking ball. He was a real challenge."
Scooter Gennett, who returned to Cincinnati's lineup after missing four starts, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
It's the first time this season that the Reds' pitching staff hasn't issued a walk. Mahle was able to minimize the damage, but at the end of the day, it wasn't enough.
"Six innings, three runs isn't a good day in my opinion," Mahle said. "So, I'm not happy with that at all."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Reds can't capitalize: The Reds had few scoring opportunities in Saturday's game, but the best chance came in the sixth when Castro booted a routine grounder to put runners at first and second with two outs. Drew Steckenrider replaced Smith and got Eugenio Suarez, who was batting .345 in his past eight games, to pop out to second.
"We caught a break when they made the error, so we brought the tying run to the plate there," Riggleman said. "Their bullpen came in and nailed it down."
Twin killings: Smith got Devin Mesoraco to ground into a 5-3 double play -- one of four the Marlins turned in the game -- to end a threat in the fifth.
The Reds go for the series win in their three-game set against the Marlins at 4:10 p.m. ET on Sunday with left-hander Brandon Finnegan making his fifth start of the season. Finnegan has allowed three or more earned runs in each of his starts and has not pitched past the fifth inning. It's his second career start against the Marlins, who will counter with former Red Dan Straily.
Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.