Roark labors as Reds' streak ends in crazy affair

Righty goes just 3 1/3 innings before benches empty in 9th

July 31st, 2019

CINCINNATI -- In the ugliest turn yet in the Reds-Pirates rivalry, the benches cleared on Tuesday night as Cincinnati saw its three-game winning streak end with an 11-4 loss at Great American Ball Park.

There had already been arguments, ejections and words exchanged between the two clubs earlier when Pirates reliever Keone Kela threw a 97-mph fastball high and inside on Derek Dietrich. By the ninth inning, a full melee broke out with Amir Garrett charging the visiting dugout and trading punches with opposing reliever Trevor Williams.

Meanwhile, Bucs hitting coach Rick Eckstein had Reds manager David Bell on the bottom of the pile in a chokehold. Bell had already been ejected in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes on behalf of Yasiel Puig, but the skipper stormed out of the tunnel when the fight broke out. And while all of that was going on, multiple reports had Puig being dealt to the Indians in a three-team deal that sent starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Reds, while Taylor Trammell, ranked as Cincinnati’s No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was sent to the Padres. The clubs have not confirmed the trade.

Reds starter Tanner Roark was tagged for five earned runs and six hits over 3 1/3 innings with a season-high four walks and two strikeouts. It was only the second time all season he gave up more than three walks in a game.

“It’s just a weird, weird night,” Roark said.

It hasn’t been a great post-All Star break stretch for Roark, who has a 7.30 ERA over his last four starts. That included giving up seven earned runs and a career-high 13 hits against the Rockies at Coors Field on July 13. Overall, he is 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA -- marking the first time his ERA has been over 4.00 since April 29.

Pittsburgh took a 2-0 first-inning lead on Starling Marte’s two-run double and made it a 5-0 game in the third on Corey Dickerson’s two-run single and Kevin Newman’s RBI single, both with two outs. Dickerson later hit a pair of homers for add-on runs.

“I felt phenomenal, but I was behind in the count a lot,” Roark said. “My delivery was just off a hair. I was rushing a lot. That stuff doesn’t play. I felt like I was missing.

“I stunk, as simple as that.”

Against Pirates starter Joe Musgrove, Joey Votto hit a solo homer to right field in the third inning and Jose Iglesias connected for a two-out solo homer to left field in the fourth.