McCoy: Naquin, Miley lead Reds past Marlins

The mantra all season for the Cincinnati Reds has been, “Next man up.”

If somebody goes down with injury or becomes enmeshed in a slump, somebody steps up.

The latest is outfielder Tyler Naquin, who is doing a lively imitation of injured Jesse Winker.

Naquin replaced Winker in the number two spot in the batting order and has been blazing with the bat.

Three more hits Friday night in Loandepot Park extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games, the centerpiece of Cincinnati’s 6-0 whipping of the Miami Marlins.

The Reds have beaten the Marlins 11 times in their last 12 meetings, including a four-game sweep last week in Great American Ball Park.

Naquin got the ball rolling in the first inning with his career-best 19th home run and added a double and a single.

“We’re missing Winker and can’t wait to get him back,” said Reds manager David Bell. “But not only is Naquin playing great, he’s hitting in the spot where Winker typically hits in the order, a really important spot. He has made the absolute most of it.”

The Reds put it away in the fourth with four runs against the moribund Marlins, occupants of last place in the National League East with 79 losses. Two of the four runs scored on a throwing error by shortstop Miguel Rojas.

Naquin’s first-inning home run was all Reds starting pitcher Wiley Wade Miley needed. He muzzled the Marlins for seven innings on no runs and six hits en route to his 11th victory against four losses.

The highlight of the four-run fourth was an RBI double by Miley, made sweeter by the fact the Marlins intentionally walked Max Schrock to get to Miley.

His RBI was his first since 2014.

“That fired me up, obviously,” said Miley. “I want to be productive as I possibly can up there, Their pitcher (Zach Thompson) had just hit a double off me, so wanted to get him back.”

Bell chuckled about Miley’s hit, “Because Miley always calls a homer every time he goes up to the plate, but we’ll take the double. We’re waiting for the homer to come. He has a shot (for a hit) every time he goes up to the plate.”

Miley also was fired up over facing the Marlins. He faced them last week in Cincinnati and was removed with two outs in the fifth inning, one out from qualifying for the win.

And he was unhappy about being taken out.

“That one inning last week (the fifth), I kinda lost command of the baseball,” he said. “The defense played great, me and (catcher) Tucker Barnhart had a great plan going in tonight.”

The Marlins put at least one runner on base in all seven of Miley’s innings, but he pitched his way free of problems.

“I wasn’t as sharp as I needed to be, but we were able to execute pitches when we needed to,” he said. “We opened up in the middle of the game and that made it easier to pitch.

“I had opportunities for quick innings and I just kept making bad pitches in certain situations,” he added. “I told D.J. (pitching coach Derek Johnson) that I should have had three 10-pitch innings and they turned into 20 and 22-pitch innings. But it worked out at the end of the day.”

In addition to Naquin’s three hits, Mike Moustakas produced two hits, including a 427-foot solo home run down the right field line in the eighth.

Before the game, the Reds added an infielder, claiming Asdrubal Cabrera off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He is expected to join the team for Saturday’s game in Miami.

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