Reds held to one run in 6th straight loss

Reds held to one run in 6th straight loss

PITTSBURGH -- Behind Francisco Liriano's longest start of the season, the Pirates extended their winning streak to six games and finished April with a 5-1 victory over the Reds on Saturday night at PNC Park.

Liriano limited the Reds to one run over 6 2/3 innings, striking out six without a walk in his best start since Opening Day. The Bucs backed him by tagging Cincinnati right-hander Alfredo Simon for three runs in four innings, enough support with the way Liriano was pitching. John Jaso hit a leadoff home run, and Sean Rodriguez padded the Pirates' lead with a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his fourth homer of the season.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Reds on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillips makes insane behind-the-back flip, dabs on everyone

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Phillips makes insane behind-the-back flip, dabs on everyone

For 15 years now, Brandon Phillips has been the human embodiment of cool -- hatwear pioneer, grand arbiter of swag, expert dancer. Even the way he plays second base is cool, as if he used the glove as casually as the average person chews gum.

Exhibit No. 12,353: Saturday's Reds-Pirates game, when John Jaso hit a soft ground ball to the right side. It looked like it might end up an infield single, until Dat Dude came out of nowhere.

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Iglesias scratched from Sunday start vs. Bucs

Iglesias scratched from Sunday start vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- The Reds will turn to another starter for Sunday's series finale against the Pirates at PNC Park, as right-hander Raisel Iglesias will miss his scheduled outing with inflammation in his shoulder.

"We have to make a decision; he's obviously not going to start Sunday," manager Bryan Price said after Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Pirates. "We'll try to make a decision on how much time he will miss. We don't believe that it's considered something that will require any intrusive procedures. Surgery has been ruled out at this time. It's just some inflammation, and we hope we are able to knock it out here quickly."

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George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Improvement, but another loss for Simon

Improvement, but another loss for Simon

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Alfredo Simon pitched a little better on Saturday night than he has in recent outings, surrendering three runs in four-plus innings in a 5-1 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.

"There's a lot of pitches that were pulled off the outside corner to right-handed hitters, and it was primarily a right-handed-hitting lineup," manager Bryan Price said. "He fought through for a better second inning [after giving up a homer in the first], fought through and kind of battled his way through multiple innings."

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George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds playing 'wait and see' with DeSclafani

Reds playing 'wait and see' with DeSclafani

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani turned in an impressive performance on Friday night, going five innings in a rehab game with Class A Dayton, but he is still not ready to return to the Reds' rotation.

DeSclafani, who started the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique, threw 77 pitches through five innings of the Dragons' 6-4 loss to Clinton. He was on an 85-pitch limit. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three. His fastball routinely hit 93 mph and reached 95 in the first inning, but there was some discomfort reported.

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George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Adleman to make Major League debut in start vs. Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Looking to secure a series sweep, the Pirates will start left-hander Jeff Locke in Sunday's finale against the Reds at PNC Park.

Coming off a surprisingly strong start at hitter-friendly Coors Field, Locke will make his fifth start of the season against a team he's fared well against in the past. Locke is 3-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 12 career meetings with Cincinnati, and he pitched effectively against the Reds in his season debut, holding them to one run over six innings.

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George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds glad to have Bruce, Phillips back in lineup

Reds glad to have Bruce, Phillips back in lineup

PITTSBURGH -- The Reds got two big pieces in their lineup back in a 4-1 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park on Friday night.

Right fielder Jay Bruce was back from the paternity list, hitting fifth. He went 1-for-4 with a double.

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George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solid Straily, late offense not enough vs. Bucs

Solid Straily, late offense not enough vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Backed by home runs from Josh Harrison and Matt Joyce, right-hander Juan Nicasio delivered the Pirates' finest start of the season in a 4-1 win over the Reds on Friday night at PNC Park.

Nicasio fired seven scoreless innings, holding Cincinnati to three hits and a walk while striking out eight batters. Challenged earlier this month to work quickly and be more efficient, Nicasio did both in his fifth start of the season. He retired the final nine Reds he faced and needed only 97 pitches to deliver Pittsburgh's second seven-inning start of the year.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Reds on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reinforcements coming to Reds' rotation

Club expects Bailey, DeSclafani, Lamb to stabilize both starting staff and 'pen

Reinforcements coming to Reds' rotation

NEW YORK -- A cavalry of sorts is on the way to bring help to the Reds' beleaguered pitching staff. Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani and John Lamb are all nearing the end of their stints on the disabled list.

The trio's return could affect three-fifths of the rotation and reverberate to an overtaxed bullpen that has provided little support.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillips considers Baker a father figure

Reds second baseman supports new Nationals skipper

Phillips considers Baker a father figure

WASHINGTON -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips said he considers Nationals manager Dusty Baker a father figure and called him the best manager he ever played for.

The two worked together from 2008 to 2013 and went to the postseason three times, when Baker was the skipper in Cincinnati. Under Baker, Phillips was a three-time All-Star. Phillips also pointed out that the Reds were not a good team before Baker's arrival in 2008.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002.and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winker, Peraza among top prospect performers Thursday

Pirates prospect continues to impress while Boston outfielder stays hot at the plate

Winker, Peraza among top prospect performers Thursday

With Jameson Taillon's impressive start to the 2016 season, you would never suspect that he hadn't pitched competitively since '13.

The Pirates' No. 4 prospect (No. 51 overall) improved to 2-0 on Thursday, firing seven innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Indianapolis in a win against Norfolk. Taillon scattered five hits and issued two walks in the outing, which was his longest of the season for the Indians.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds unable to solve Mets in NY finale

Reds unable to solve Mets in NY finale

NEW YORK -- Mets historians will not easily forget what the team did in Cincinnati last September, clinching its first National League East title in nine years on Southwest Ohio turf. But that has hardly been the extent of the Mets' supremacy over the Reds in recent years.

The Mets extended their dominance with an 11th straight win over the Reds on Wednesday, riding Neil Walker's Major League-leading ninth homer to a 5-2 win and a three-game sweep at Citi Field. The Mets have won six consecutive games, while Cincinnati has lost six of its last seven contests.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aquino among top prospect performers Wednesday

Indians' No. 3 notches three extra-base hits, Rangers' No. 29 prospect strikes out 11 in one-hit shutout

Aquino among top prospect performers Wednesday

Bobby Bradley is on a roll right now, and his hot hitting continued on Wednesday.

Baseball's No. 90 overall prospect (Indians No. 3) helped Class A Advanced Lynchburg to a 12-6 win over Winston-Salem by going 3-for-5 with a home run, a pair of doubles and three RBIs. Bradley's three-run homer was part of a 10-run fifth inning for the Hillcats, who erased a 4-1 deficit.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moscot once gave up seven home runs to, um, Rob Schneider

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Moscot once gave up seven home runs to, um, Rob Schneider

By all accounts, the Reds' Jon Moscot is a good pitcher. He's the 24th-ranked prospect in Cincinnati's system, he tallied 19 wins and a 3.67 ERA in parts of four Minor League seasons and he's cemented himself on the big club's 2016 starting rotation.

But, as you can learn in the main clip above, a younger Moscot gave up seven home runs to Rob Schneider in the 2006 movie "The Benchwarmers."

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Bailey grinds out second rehab start

Reds righty throws 78 pitches in 4 innings, works through 5 errors behind him

Bailey grinds out second rehab start

NEW YORK -- The second rehab start for Reds pitcher Homer Bailey was not routine and he did not reach his desired innings total. However, that was less about him and more about circumstances out of his control.

On Tuesday for Double-A Pensacola vs. Jackson, Bailey threw 78 pitches over four innings, allowing five runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks. He struck out three and hit a batter. Not helping him was Pensacola's defense, which committed five errors.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Finnegan, Price liked chances vs. Cespedes

Finnegan, Price liked chances vs. Cespedes

NEW YORK -- Reds manager Bryan Price and pitcher Brandon Finnegan liked the situation they had in the seventh inning on Tuesday vs. the Mets. And Price felt good about his decision to let his starter face pinch-hitter Yoenis Cespedes.

What nobody liked in the end was the outcome. Cespedes hit a game-tying, three-run homer on a first-pitch fastball en route to a 4-3 Reds loss. Until that fateful hit, Finnegan had given up four singles in the game.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamilton defied gravity and levitated on this leaping catch

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Hamilton defied gravity and levitated on this leaping catch

Billy Hamilton put on a skills clinic on Tuesday night. With the Reds taking on the Mets in Queens, Hamilton first took part in the race of a century when he went up against Bartolo Colon in the third inning. 

He somehow topped even that when he made this leaping catch against Kevin Plawecki in the bottom of the fifth. 

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One pitch spoils Finnegan's outing as Reds fall

One pitch spoils Finnegan's outing as Reds fall

NEW YORK -- Special players, Mets manager Terry Collins likes to say, tend to do special things. So it was Tuesday, when Yoenis Cespedes all but single-handedly hauled the Mets out of the depths of defeat, hitting a pinch-hit, game-tying homer to lead them to a 4-3 win over the Reds at Citi Field.

In his first appearance since having fluid drained from his bruised right leg on Monday, Cespedes redirected Reds starter Brandon Finnegan's first-pitch fastball off the left-field wall, above the home run line for a three-run shot in the seventh inning.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winker, Reed among top prospect performers Tuesday

Pirates No. 1 prospect strikes out 11 in scoreless start for Triple-A Indianapolis

Winker, Reed among top prospect performers Tuesday

After he struggled in his last start for Triple-A Indianapolis, Pirates No. 1 prospect Tyler Glasnow returned to form Tuesday to fire six scoreless innings in a win against Durham.

Glasnow, No. 8 on the Top 100, was nothing short of dominant, allowing two hits and one walk while setting a Triple-A career-high with 11 strikeouts. He threw 56 of his season-high 87 pitches for strikes and, after logging exactly five innings in his first three turns, the six frames marked his longest of the season for the Indians.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds picking spots for steals, not running wild

Reds picking spots for steals, not running wild

NEW YORK -- The Reds came into Tuesday leading the National League in steals with 17 and were tied for second in the Majors. That doesn't mean they're the "Running Reds," stealing bags at will. Players have been picking their spots and giving themselves the best opportunity.

"I think it's more about what's out there to take," Reds manager Bryan Price said Tuesday afternoon. "You get some of these pitching staffs that everybody is a 1.1-1.25 [seconds] to the plate from the stretch and there's really very little you can do. Some teams might be quick with a runner at first base, [but] the runner gets to second and they go up by three- or four-tenths of a second. That makes third base an option to try and steal with a lot of optimism that guys can make it."

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lorenzen in early stages of throwing program

Lorenzen in early stages of throwing program

NEW YORK -- When the Reds transferred pitcher Michael Lorenzen from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list Monday to create 40-man roster space for the callup of reliever Layne Somsen, it would be natural to wonder if he had another setback with his elbow.

But that was not the case. Lorenzen was shut down from throwing when he suffered a strained right elbow ligament and tendinitis in early March and contracted mononucleosis in early April. He simply won't be ready to return before June 2, his new eligible date for activation. Following his recovery from mono, which caused him to lose 20 pounds, Lorenzen began playing catch last week.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inability to keep foes in park smothering Reds

Pitching staff collectively surrendering home runs at historic rate

Inability to keep foes in park smothering Reds

NEW YORK -- Even with its fences moved in over the years, Citi Field is not known as a haven for home runs. It's still considered a rather pitcher-friendly place. But at this point, no ballpark in the Majors can seem big enough to contain the homers being hit off Reds pitching this season.

Three more home runs were hit against the Reds on Monday, providing all five Mets runs in a 5-3 loss. The dagger was a two-run shot to right field by Neil Walker in the bottom of the seventh against reliever JC Ramirez that came on the heels of Cincinnati's game-tying rally in the top of the seventh.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds scrape but come up short in Queens

Reds scrape but come up short in Queens

NEW YORK -- Neil Walker's historic power binge continued on Monday with a go-ahead, two-run homer at Citi Field, giving the Mets a 5-3 win over the Reds.

In addition to establishing a personal record for any month in Walker's eight-year career, the second baseman's eighth homer landed mere minutes after the Mets coughed up a two-run lead. Starter Noah Syndergaard navigated around enough trouble to record two outs in the seventh but departed after two hits and an error brought the Reds within a run of the lead. Entering at that point, reliever Antonio Bastardo threw six consecutive balls, eventually serving up a game-tying single to Joey Votto.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garrett, Ervin among top prospect performers

Rangers' No. 1 hits go-ahead shot in third multi-homer game, Reds' No. 4 strikes out nine in scoreless start

Garrett, Ervin among top prospect performers

No. 7 overall prospect Joey Gallo slugged his sixth and seventh home runs of the season on Monday, including a go-ahead blast in the top of the 12th inning to help push Triple-A Round Rock past Memphis, 6-5.

The Rangers' No. 1 prospect drove in three runs and scored three times, also walking twice, as part of a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Gallo connected on a two-run shot to right-center field in his first at-bat against Memphis starter Jeremy Hefner, and then took reliever Heath Wyatt deep to right field to open the 12th inning.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Simon struggles as Reds lose in rout

Simon struggles as Reds lose in rout

CINCINNATI -- Through seven games of their season series vs. the Reds, the Cubs' offense has been relentless. Five of those contests have been blowouts in Chicago's favor, and Sunday was the latest romp. Led by Anthony Rizzo's two home runs, the Cubs recorded a 9-0 win over Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park.

Rizzo hit a two-run homer to right-center field in the first inning and another two-run shot to center field in the third inning -- both coming against Reds starter Alfredo Simon. The Cubs, who also scored two runs in the top of the second inning, had an 8-0 lead through three.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoulder is better, but Simon still slumps

Right-hander allows 8 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings after scratched start

Shoulder is better, but Simon still slumps

CINCINNATI -- It's not an enviable situation the Reds have regarding starting pitcher Alfredo Simon. His shoulder feels good again, but his results were as poor as they were when he was injured. Returning after a one-start break to rest said right shoulder, Simon was beat up in a 9-0 loss Sunday vs. the Cubs.

Simon lasted 2 2/3 innings, throwing 70 pitches and allowing eight earned runs, nine hits and one walk with three strikeouts. The big damage came via Anthony Rizzo, who slugged two-run home runs in both the first and third innings.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoover optimistic after honing delivery in 'pen

Right-hander removed as Reds closer after early struggles

Hoover optimistic after honing delivery in 'pen

CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever J.J Hoover returned to the clubhouse from the bullpen Sunday morning feeling optimistic. It's been a rough week, as continued poor results forced manager Bryan Price to remove him from the closer's spot and go to a committee system.

Why was Hoover feeling upbeat amid his struggles? He thought he might have discovered why things were going wrong. It had to do with something in his delivery.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.