Misery continues for Reds, who fall to Marlins

11:55 p.m Friday, July 21, 2017 Journal-News Sports

A high-performance ATV with a triple-barrel souvenir launcher on the back has turned in the best performance night after night at Great American Ball Park since the All-Star break. By itself, Redzilla is worth the price of admission — especially for fans who catch the T-shirts or soft baseballs it fires high into the stands.

Redzilla distracts fans for only a few minutes during a game. Cincinnati Reds fans have to watch the real show the rest of the night, and it hasn’t been pretty this week.

The Miami Marlins had a 2-0 lead four batters into the game Friday. That was all they needed to beat the Reds 3-1 at Great American Ball Park. The game started a

“We weren’t able to do much,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We hit a few balls hard, but they didn’t go anywhere.”

Big picture: The Reds (40-56) fell a season-high 16 games under .500. They have lost seven of eight games on this homestand. They have the third-worst record in the National League.

Big play: Giancarlo Stanton scored from third on a wild pitch in the first inning as the Marlins took a 2-0 lead. That turned out to be the winning run.

Key stat: The Reds collected only four hits. It was the fifth time this season they’ve recorded four or fewer hits.

Missed chances: The Reds left the bases loaded in the fourth, and they loaded the bases with one out in the seventh and failed to score.

The Reds offense continues to slump. This was the fifth time in the eight games since the All-Star break, they have scored two runs or fewer.

“We talk a lot about just staying with the process,” Price said. “You can’t force the result. You can’t say, ‘Today’s the day I get four hits and break out of this.’ If you’re chasing hits, you end up chasing borderline pitches or pitches in the zone or pitches you don’t particularly like to hit, especially early in the count.”

Staff Writer
Reds against the Marlins on Friday, July 21, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Better performance: Reds starter Homer Bailey allowed two earned runs on eight hits in six innings. In his previous start, he allowed eight earned runs on eight hits in four innings. He lowered his ERA from 10.13 to 8.56.

The game started one hour and 45 minutes late because of rain.

“With the delay and everything, I thought we did a really good job,” Bailey said. “Sometimes you just get beat. That’s the way it goes. ... I think it’s going to be an up-and-down battle this year. There’s not really much I can do about it. You just try to  keep taking the ball and compete with what you have that day. Today you could tell the fastball had more life as opposed to a few other games this year.”

Defensive gem: Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton threw out Marcell Ozuna at home for the second out of the sixth inning. Ozuna tried to score from second on a single by J.T. Realmuto. Hamilton recorded his eight assist, tying Adam Duvall and Melky Cabrera for most outfield assists in baseball.

Key miscue: Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett threw the ball past shortstop Zack Cozart into left field while trying to turn a double play in the seventh inning. The error allowed the Marlins to extend their lead to 3-1. Christian Yelich drove in Miguel Rojas with a single two batters later.

On the board: The Reds trailed 2-0 when Billy Hamilton drove in Scott Schebler with a sacrifice fly in the third.

Old faithful: Marlins starter Jose Urena started every inning by spraying a mouthful of water high into the air on the mound. Urena (8-4, 3.78) allowed one earned run on three hits in six innings.

Looking ahead: Robert Stephenson (0-2, 8.03 ERA) returns from Triple-A to start for the Reds at 7:10 p.m. Saturday. The Marlins counter with Chris O’Grady (1-1, 5.23).

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