MIAMI -- Lately, for Cincinnati, winning games has almost become secondary to just scoring runs. One night after being shut out for the fourth time in their last seven games, the Reds narrowly avoided being blanked again on Saturday, falling 5-1 to the Marlins in the third of a four-game
MIAMI -- Lately, for Cincinnati, winning games has almost become secondary to just scoring runs. One night after being shut out for the fourth time in their last seven games, the Reds narrowly avoided being blanked again on Saturday, falling 5-1 to the Marlins in the third of a four-game set at Marlins Park.
It's become a real conundrum for manager Jim Riggleman.
"There's really not much to do," Riggleman said. "Guys are working hard, doing everything they can do to prepare for the ballgame. We've been a pretty good offensive ballclub most of the year. Here lately it's been a real struggle, this road trip in particular.
"We can hit, we're just going through one of those periods where collectively we're not putting a lot of hits together; not rallying to do much."
Pinch-hitter Gabriel Guerrero belted hisfirst career home run to lead off the eighth inning for Cincinnati's lone run.
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani was coasting along against his former team through the first three innings, at one point striking out five Marlins in succession. But his own error with one out in the fourth opened the door for Miami to take a 2-0 lead. He misplayed a chopper back to the mound and then with two outs walked Brian Anderson before yielding back-to-back RBI singles.
"For some reason we see pitchers have trouble with those balls quite often," Riggleman said. "Two runs resulted from that. He was throwing the ball so good.
DeSclafani tied his career-high for strikeouts (10) in a game one batter into the fifth inning, fanning Marlins starter Jose Urena for his final strikeout of the game.
"Everything just kind of fell apart [from there]," DeSclafani said. "Velo was there, slider was there for the most part, I think the one difference with the strikeouts was just that I kind of had that comeback two-seamer. I know it's a big part of my game, so I feel like if it's on then I make things a little bit easier on myself."
But he didn't make it out of the sixth inning after giving up a run-scoring single to Anderson and a two-run homer to Austin Dean.
"We've seen it too many times we give up runs in the sixth inning," Riggleman said. "That [third] time through the lineup, and shame on me for not making the adjustment quicker. I like the matchup with him on Dean there, but Dean homered. We've had that happen numerous times. That one was on me."
Only three of the five runs were earned off DeSclafani who, in addition to striking out 10, yielded six hits and walked one.
"I don't really care about the strikeouts to be honest," DeSclafani said. "I just care about getting outs and getting through lineups and getting through innings and keeping zeros on the board. I'll take 20 balls smoked right at people if it means zeros."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Later innings have been a problem for DeSclafani this year and Saturday was no exception. He struck out 10 batters over four innings but gave up a double, single and home run in a three-run sixth inning that proved to be his undoing once again.
"It's definitely frustrating," DeSclafani said. "I'm just going to leave it at that. I really don't know what to say about it. It just seems to be the normal and it's frustrating. Wish it was different but it's just not. So I've got to figure out a way to get over the hump."
Jose Peraza's sixth-inning single extended his hitting streak vs. Miami to nine games. That was after he was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning, setting a single-season career high for HBP with eight.
HE SAID IT
"He's a great kid. Comes to work with a smile on his face, he's thrilled to be here. It's a great achievement for him. I'm sure his family will really enjoy that moment." -- Riggleman, on Guerrero's first Major League home run
The Reds close out their final road trip of the season with a 1:10 p.m. ET start on Sunday. Right-hander Michael Lorenzen gets the call for Cincinnati, looking for his first career win at Marlins Park. In his most recent start on Tuesday, Lorenzen went four innings, striking out three and allowing one unearned run on one hit. The Marlins send Trevor Richards to the mound seeking his first win since July. It's also his first career appearance against Cincinnati.
*Glenn Sattell *is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.