Reds activate Simon, option Smith to Louisville

Reds activate Simon, option Smith to Louisville

ANAHEIM -- Needing a long reliever in their bullpen, the Reds activated right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon from the disabled list and optioned reliever Josh Smith to Triple-A Louisville on Monday.

Following Homer Bailey's one-inning start in an 11-2 loss to the D-backs on Sunday, Smith pitched four innings of relief.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Schebler, Phillips HRs not enough as Reds fall

Schebler, Phillips HRs not enough as Reds fall

PHOENIX -- Even with their top two hitters on the bench, the D-backs had no trouble swinging the bats on Sunday. They used a four-run first inning to take an early lead and Yasmany Tomas padded it with a pinch-hit, three-run homer in an 11-2 win over the Reds in the series finale at Chase Field.

"He wasn't happy about not being in the lineup," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Tomas. "He actually talked to me, spoke very good English, and said he was ready and his back felt fine, why wasn't he in the lineup? So I explained I wanted Michael Bourn in right today, be ready to come off the bench and do something."

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05.

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Trahan on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Trahan on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

We here at MLB Pipeline are running out of superlatives for Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Luckily for us, we're running out of weeks for the Prospect Team of the Week.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sore biceps, ineffectiveness end Bailey's day early

Sore biceps, ineffectiveness end Bailey's day early

PHOENIX -- Homer Bailey may be back from 15 months-worth of Tommy John surgery rehab on his right elbow but Sunday's poor results showed that the Reds pitcher was not all the way back quite yet.

In an 11-2 loss to the D-backs, Bailey lasted one inning and gave up four runs (three earned) and five hits to fall behind by a 4-0 score. He did not walk anyone but also did not log a strikeout. It turned out he was dealing with tenderness in his right biceps.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Schebler working on hitting to opposite field

Schebler working on hitting to opposite field

PHOENIX -- When Reds right fielder Scott Schebler hit his second home run of the game in the second inning of Saturday's 13-0 win over the D-backs, it didn't just mark the first multihomer game of his big league career. It was also the first time this season he cleared the fence hitting to the opposite field.

He didn't have to wait long for his second, as Schebler did it again in the Reds' 11-2 loss on Sunday.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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 call on streaking Straily against Angels

Reds call on streaking Straily against Angels

Dan Straily, who is 6-0 in his last eight starts, gets the call for the Reds in the opener of a three-game series against Matt Shoemaker and the Angels on Monday at Angel Stadium.

Straily has earned the win in each of his last four starts, and he has a 1.98 ERA since July 17. Straily threw six shutout innings last Tuesday against the Rangers for his ninth quality start in 10 games.

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schebler hits two of Reds' five homers in rout of D-backs

Schebler hits two of Reds' five homers in rout of D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Reds were homerless in their last five games entering Saturday night. That changed in a hurry as Scott Schebler swatted a home run in each of the first two innings for two of Cincinnati's five long balls in a 13-0 drubbing of the D-backs at Chase Field. Meanwhile, Anthony DeSclafani threw his first career shutout.

Schebler had the first multi-homer game of his career, driving in a career-high five runs. He and Brandon Phillips each collected three hits, while Joey Votto, Zack Cozart and Adam Duvall also went deep. The Reds' 13 runs matched a season high for the second time.

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Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Disco tosses first career shutout

Reds righty gets plenty of run support, strikes out nine D-backs

Disco tosses first career shutout

PHOENIX -- The Reds lineup had already greased the wheels for pitcher Anthony DeSclafani with a bunch of run support. Conditions could not have been easier or smoother for him to work the first shutout of his career.

It came in the form of a four-hitter and 13-0 victory for the Reds over the D-backs on Saturday night at Chase Field. DeSclafani gave up four singles, walked his first batter of the game in Jean Segura, who was erased by a double play, and struck out nine. It may have looked easy, but DeSclafani refused the comfort of feeling that way.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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 turns to Straily for changeup advice

Reds starter turns to teammate to improve crucial pitch

Finnegan turns to Straily for changeup advice

PHOENIX -- The D-backs were given a surprise of sorts by Reds starter Brandon Finnegan, as he struck them out a career-high 12 times on Friday during a 4-3 loss in 11 innings. Finnegan not only has a changeup, but he's figured out how to use it.

It's a pitch manager Bryan Price considers essential for a Major League starter to master in order to have a credible repertoire and a potentially longer career. Against Arizona, Finnegan notched nine of his strikeouts by getting Arizona hitters to swing and miss on a changeup.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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 add Lopez for catching depth, option Renda

Reds add Lopez for catching depth, option Renda

PHOENIX -- This time when catcher Raffy Lopez was summoned from Triple-A Louisville, he could actually put on a big uniform and stay for a while. Lopez had his contract selected Saturday, while infielder Tony Renda was optioned to Louisville.

The Reds needed a catcher because Tucker Barnhart is bothered by a right hand contusion and is day-to-day. Lopez will back up the backup catcher, Ramon Cabrera.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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 can't capitalize on rallies in 9th and 10th

Reds can't capitalize on rallies in 9th and 10th

PHOENIX -- After the D-backs blew a lead in the ninth inning and had to rally after falling behind in the 10th, Brandon Drury scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 11th to lift Arizona to a 4-3 win over the Reds in the series opener at Chase Field on Friday night.

"I was just looking for a ball in the dirt, and that's what he threw," Drury said. "You've got to be ready for a ball in the dirt and any time it goes to the backstop, you've got to score on that play."

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Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Bullpen takes brunt of hard-luck loss to D-backs

Reds relievers let extra-inning lead, game slip away

Bullpen takes brunt of hard-luck loss to D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Reds bullpen is ranked 29th in ERA this season, while the D-backs are one spot back at the bottom of the league. With second-half improvement, the Reds haven't pitched like their ranking much lately, but it found a creative way to let a win slip away.

The culmination was a Blake Wood wild pitch to Jean Segura in the bottom of the 11th inning that scored Brandon Drury for a 4-3 walk-off loss on Friday night.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Cozart eager for return to starting lineup

Reds shortstop healthy after being sidelined with Achilles inflammation

Cozart eager for return to starting lineup

PHOENIX -- Reds shortstop Zack Cozart is really itching to play again, especially since he is no longer bothered by the left Achilles tendon inflammation that's kept him out of the lineup since Aug. 17.

"We've been playing so well. It's been a lot more fun to watch than if we were losing, but I want to be out there and help the team win just as much. I'm ready to get out there," Cozart said Friday before the Reds' 4-3 loss to the D-backs in 11 innings.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

DeSclafani looking for sharp outing in Arizona

DeSclafani looking for sharp outing in Arizona

Joey Votto is closing in on a rare feat for the Reds by batting .400 in consecutive months. Votto batted. 413 in July and is at .417 so far in August, with five days remaining. If successful, Votto would be the first in the Majors since Josh Hamilton in 2010 to have consecutive months with a .400 average.

Vada Pinson in 1961 is the only Reds player in the modern era to hit .400 in any two months of a season.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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 among Reds' potential prospect callups

Cincinnati could also use Herrera, Stephenson, Garrett in September

Winker among Reds' potential prospect callups

CINCINNATI -- The end of August in the Major Leagues signals that reinforcements will soon be summoned. Rosters are allowed to expand on Sept. 1, often an opportunity for prospects and deserving players to get some exposure to the big leagues.

For the Reds, the possibilities this September offer some intrigue. Will outfielder Jesse Winker get his long-awaited promotion? Will pitcher Robert Stephenson be recalled despite an inconsistent year? Infielder Dilson Herrera, acquired from the Mets in the Jay Bruce trade on Aug. 1, should be wearing a Reds uniform for the first time.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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 pick up Adleman, but Rangers strike late

Reds pick up Adleman, but Rangers strike late

CINCINNATI -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre's 2,900th Major League hit was a game-winner on a night Yu Darvish's first career homer stole the show.

Beltre's two-out double in the eighth inning Wednesday drove home Ian Desmond with the go-ahead run, and the Rangers held on for a 6-5 victory over the Reds at Great American Park.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

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

Hamilton dazzles with another diving snag

Hamilton dazzles with another diving snag

CINCINNATI -- What does Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton do for an encore after making one of the best catches of his career? He goes back to work and takes away another hit with another tremendous defensive effort.

For the third out of the Rangers' fourth inning during the Reds' 6-5 loss, Mitch Moreland hit a fly ball off Tim Adleman to right-center field. It had Hamilton take a wide turn to his left and race into position to once again leave his feet to make the diving catch.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Cozart takes 'first step' toward return from injury

Cozart takes 'first step' toward return from injury

CINCINNATI -- Reds shortstop Zack Cozart made progress toward getting back in the lineup on Wednesday when he was able to take ground balls on the field and batting practice. Cozart, who has not been in the lineup since Aug. 17, was bothered by a sore right knee and left Achilles tendon inflammation.

The knee improved more quickly, but the Achilles needed extra time and treatment.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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, Trahan among top prospect performers Thursday

Brewers' No. 2 prospect notches first multi-homer game for Sky Sox

Winker, Trahan among top prospect performers Thursday

Lewis Brinson seems to be enjoying life in the Brewers' organization.

The No. 18 overall prospect (Brewers' No. 2) has done nothing but rake since he was acquired from Texas before the non-waiver Trade Deadline and that theme continued Thursday night with a pair of homers in Triple-A Colorado Springs' 5-0 win over Oklahoma City.

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

Reds to attend Tebow showcase

Reds to attend Tebow showcase

CINCINNATI -- When former NFL and college quarterback Tim Tebow attempts to show that he can play baseball next week, the Reds will be one of several clubs watching.

Cincinnati will have a scout in Los Angeles on Tuesday when Tebow holds a workout showcase. A signing seems to be a longshot, and the Reds' presence appears to be more of a due diligence-type effort similar to other clubs.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Billy bolt: Grab merits gold-medal glove

Reds' speedy center fielder robs Beltran of extra-base hit

Billy bolt: Grab merits gold-medal glove

CINCINNATI -- Usain Bolt, you've met your match.

The 2016 Summer Olympics are over, but Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton made a breathtaking catch on Tuesday worthy of Olympic gold. 

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Straily shuts down Texas for 6th straight win

Straily shuts down Texas for 6th straight win

CINCINNATI -- Reds right-hander Dan Straily is on a roll, and it didn't stop against the first-place Rangers on Tuesday night.

Straily, in a tight pitching matchup with left-hander Derek Holland, pitched six dominant innings, and the Reds held on for a 3-0 victory at Great American Ball Park. The Rangers have lost three straight, but remain 5 1/2 games up on the Mariners, who lost to the Yankees, 5-1, in the American League West with 36 to play.

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Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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

Straily proving to be valuable commodity

Righty tosses 6 scoreless innings vs. Rangers to win 6th straight decision

Straily proving to be valuable commodity

CINCINNATI -- Heading into the All-Star break, Reds starter Dan Straily was looking like a bargain.

Picked up off the waiver wire five days before the start of the regular season, Straily worked his way from the bullpen to the rotation and gave the team 101 1/3 innings over 16 starts with a 4.35 ERA, which was ballooned by one bad start at the end of June.

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Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Suarez impressing Reds with improved glove

Third baseman among MLB leaders in defensive runs saved

Suarez impressing Reds with improved glove

CINCINNATI -- Until this season, Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez's experience with his position, defensively, was more of a dabbler rather than master craftsman. Suarez had all of 10 innings in parts of three big league games and 48 Minor League games.

While his transition from shortstop to third base is not a completed project to warrant master craftsman status, the Reds have been pleased with his progress.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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 laughs, shrugs after latest crazy catch

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Hamilton laughs, shrugs after latest crazy catch

If it's a day ending in "y," you can probably assume Billy Hamilton is out there on the field doing things others dream about.

The speedburning Reds center fielder has a knack for the unbelievable, whether running the bases or making sprawling, diving catches that make more sense in video games than they do in real life.

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Reds to host 'Swing For Your Seats' event

Fans will have chance to hit HR at Great American Ball Park for free season tickets

CINCINNATI -- The second half has provided some optimism for the rebuilding Reds -- their record since the All-Star break is third-best in the Majors, and second to the Cubs in the National League.

For those fans confident that the trend might carry into next season and are looking to buy a season ticket package, the Reds are providing a rare opportunity.

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Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds roughed up by Dodgers in series finale

Reds roughed up by Dodgers in series finale

CINCINNATI -- If the Dodgers' bats came alive in Sunday's win, they were downright perky on Monday. With seven home runs, including four slugged during the top of the fifth inning, Los Angeles took a wild 18-9 victory over the Reds to gain a split of their four-game series.

Adrian Gonzalez did the most damage with three homers and a career-high eight RBIs, including a three-run shot in the first inning, a solo homer in the six-run fifth and another three-run homer in the seventh. The win helped inch the Dodgers' lead in the National League West standings to one game over the idle Giants ahead of the rivals' three-game series that opens on Tuesday.

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

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Dodgers on Monday.

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

Holt knuckles down, pitches 1-2-3 ninth

Bailey, four Reds relievers struggle in loss to Dodgers

Holt knuckles down, pitches 1-2-3 ninth

CINCINNATI -- Sometimes baseball can be a nutty game, indeed. In a blowout game on Monday between the Reds and Dodgers that had no shortage of scoring, it took an outfielder to have the best inning pitched.

Summoned to pitch the ninth inning of Cincinnati's 18-9 loss, reserve outfielder Tyler Holt retired the side in order -- using five pitches. It was the first time the Reds used a position player to pitch since Skip Schumaker did it in an 8-0 loss to the Braves on Aug. 21, 2014.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.