The Cincinnati Reds are truly snakebit.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, also known as the Snakes, completed a head-scratching three-game sweep of the Reds on Thursday afternoon in Great American Ball Park, 14–11, in 10 innings.
After Arizona scored five runs in the 10th inning Wednesday to win, 8-5, the D-Backs scored six in the 10th inning off Lucas Sims and Cionel Perez on Thursday.
Arizona’s David Peralta crushed every Reds pitcher he saw with five hits, including a three-run triple in the 10th inning. He also cracked a two-run home run and drove in seven runs.
Not even six home runs clobbered by the Reds could salvage this wild, wild game.
The D-Backs have won nine games this season and five are against the Reds. Arizona took two of three earlier this month in Phoenix.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Reds and they have dipped to .500 at 9-9.
The loss came despite six Cincinnati home runs, two by Jesse Winker and one each from Eugenio Suarez, Nick Castellanos, Joey Votto and Jonathan India.
The first eight Reds runs came on the six home runs … and nothing else, until they scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th on an infield single by Tyler Naquin and a two-run single by Castellanos.
Once again, this one can be placed at the feet of the much-challenged and oft-abused Cincinnati bullpen.
The Sims-Perez 10th-inning misery was just the finishing touch the D-Backs put on the bullpen.
After the Reds rallied from a 4-1 deficit to tie it, 4-4, in the sixth, Carson Fulmer and Sean Doolittle were five notches below awful.
The D-Backs scored four runs on only two hits because Fulmer walked two and Doolittle walked three, five walks in one inning.
Fulmer started it by walking the first two batters he faced. Then it was Doolittle’s turn. He retired the first batter, then gave up a run-scoring single by Wyatt Mathisen to make it 5-4.
Doolittle walked Nick Heath to fill the bases and Peralta singled on a 0-and-2 pitch for two runs and a 7-4 lead. Doolittle walked Carson Kelly to refill the bases and walked Eduardo Escobar to force in another run to push the D-Backs ahead, 8-4.
The Reds retrieved three runs in the seventh on Alex Blandino’s double, Winker’s second home run and Votto’s home run.
India then broke from his 1 for 19 skid by leading the eighth inning with his first major league home run, tying it, 8-8.
Winker led the bottom of the first with a home run on the second pitch, his fifth career leadoff home run. When he struck out his second time up, he shattered his home run bat. But the new bat served him well in the seventh.
But after all the home runs, after the dramatic two comebacks, the Diamondbacks treated the Reds bullpen with absolutely no respect.
The Reds bullpen gave up 12 runs and issued seven walks.
“Any time you get swept at home, it’s tough,” said Castellanos. “The only thing we can do is shower it off and get ready for tomorrow.”
As for the bullpen issues, Castellanos said, “At the end of the day, we win as a team and we lose as a team. It’s all of us. We just have to do better to get into the win column.”
And what does tomorrow bring? The Reds open a three-game series in St. Louis on Friday night, the team against whom Castellanos had the dust-up that drew him a two-game suspension.
Asked if he expected to hear boos in Busch Stadium, he said, “I don’t know, we’ll see. We’ll find out.”