Votto in vintage form with evolved swing

Big second half pushing Reds star into NL MVP conversation

Votto in vintage form with evolved swing

CHICAGO -- Joey Votto has been producing for the Reds at the mega levels that allowed him to win the National League Most Valuable Player in 2010. He should garner top five MVP votes with his 2015 performance, but the first baseman's tremendous second half has been largely away from the baseball spotlight.

Not caring about attention, Votto just wished his spike in production meant more to his team in the big picture. The 55-77 Reds are last in the NL Central standings and have already been eliminated from the division race.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Iglesias K's 10-plus for third straight game

Righty becomes first rookie in Reds history to accomplish feat

Iglesias K's 10-plus for third straight game

CHICAGO -- Johnny Cueto never achieved what Raisel Iglesias did Wednesday as a Reds rookie, and neither did the likes of Tom Browning, Mario Soto, Gary Nolan, Johnny Vander Meer or any other first-year player in the team's history.

Iglesias struck out 10 batters during his seven-inning no-decision in the Reds' 7-4 victory over the Cubs. That made him the first Cincinnati rookie to ever record double-digit strikeouts in three straight starts. The last time a Major League rookie did it was in 1995, when the Dodgers' Hideo Nomo did it in four straight.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Votto's three-run jack picks up Raisel, bullpen

Votto's three-run jack picks up Raisel, bullpen

CHICAGO -- Joey Votto crushed a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth to power the Reds to a 7-4 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Chicago had tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on Kris Bryant's two-run home run, but Bryant's error helped keep Cincinnati's ninth alive.

Votto connected off Hector Rondon after Jason Bourgeois reached on an infield single and Jay Bruce was safe on a ball that went through Bryant's legs. With the win, the Reds won their first series since July 27-29 against the Cardinals.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Stoic through it all, Votto reaching new heights

Reds superstar making critics look foolish with vintage second-half surge

Stoic through it all, Votto reaching new heights

Joey Votto dropped the bat nonchalantly and looked briefly toward left field as the baseball soared into the seats. And then he was off circling the bases, head down, as always, expressionless, as always.

This was one more perfect moment in a season filled with them. If we're discussing the best baseball players on the planet, Votto is back on everyone's short list, a point that was driven home on Wednesday as he hammered a three-run home run in the ninth inning to set the Reds up for a 7-4 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recovering Hamilton ready to start throwing

Speedy outfielder went on disabled list Aug. 19 with sprained capsule in right shoulder

Recovering Hamilton ready to start throwing

CHICAGO -- Injured Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton was slated to take the next step Wednesday in his recovery from a sprained capsule in his right shoulder. Hamilton is back in Cincinnati rehabilitating.

"Today would be his first day of throwing," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's a right shoulder injury, so staying away from doing any throwing was part of the recovery stuff. Right now, from my last report yesterday, he's pain-free in all of his activity. I'm hoping for a good report when he gets done playing catch today. Hopefully we can initiate swinging the bat."

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Sampson looks to bounce back in opener vs. Crew

Sampson looks to bounce back in opener vs. Crew

When Keyvius Sampson and Matt Garza last faced each other on Saturday at Milwaukee, it was a good day for hitters on the Reds and Brewers. The two starting pitchers will be in opposition again on Friday when the teams open a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

In a wild 12-9 come-from-behind victory for Cincinnati, Garza lasted 3 2/3 innings and gave up seven earned runs on 11 hits. But he was taken off of the hook when his team battled back on Sampson, who gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits in his 3 2/3 innings while throwing 97 pitches.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Votto keeps rolling but bullpen falters vs. Cubs

Votto keeps rolling but bullpen falters vs. Cubs

CHICAGO -- Rookie Kyle Schwarber belted a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh and Kris Bryant drove in two runs to lead the Cubs to a 5-4 victory Tuesday night over the Reds for their second win in the last seven games.

"It was a really big win for us tonight," Chicago starter Dan Haren said. "We're down to 30 or so games left and every one is so important. It was really important to get that win."

More

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Badenhop's impressive homerless streak ends

Reliever had not allowed HR in 49 2/3 innings before Schwarber's in Chicago

Badenhop's impressive homerless streak ends

CHICAGO -- Reds reliever Burke Badenhop came into Tuesday's game vs. the Cubs having not allowed a home run for 49 2/3 innings, which was the fourth-longest active streak in the Majors. The only two homers Badenhop had given up all season were on back-to-back days, April 20-21.

Rookie Kyle Schwarber ended that streak at an inopportune time for the Reds in a 5-4 loss at Wrigley Field. In the bottom of the seventh, Schwarber hit a 3-2 changeup for a two-run homer to left-center field for Chicago's game-winner.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Cabrera, Contreras first September callups

Righty Axelrod designated for assignment

Cabrera, Contreras first September callups

CHICAGO -- Even though he was aware that rosters were expanding for September callups, catcher Ramon Cabrera didn't see this coming. Cabrera, along with reliever Carlos Contreras were promoted from Triple-A Louisville before Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Cubs.

"I felt surprised, first," Cabrera said. "I almost cried and then I called my mom. I also called all of my family in Venezuela. They were so happy and very proud of me. I've been working hard every day and kept my head down. That's what got me here."

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Prospect Travieso among Reds headed to AFL

Shortstop Blandino also set to play in Arizona Fall League

Prospect Travieso among Reds headed to AFL

CHICAGO -- Two of the Reds' top 10 prospects according to MLBPipeline.com were among those selected to play in the Arizona Fall League for the Peoria Javelinas after the season.

Class A Advanced Daytona right-handed pitcher Nick Travieso, who is ranked No. 6, and shortstop Alex Blandino, the No. 7 prospect that was promoted this season to Double-A Pensacola, will be leading the group of Reds farmhands in Arizona during October and November.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 bury Cubs with six-run ninth in opener

Reds bury Cubs with six-run ninth in opener

CHICAGO -- Eugenio Suarez and Adam Duvall each hit two-run homers in the sixth inning as the Reds came back to defeat the Cubs, 13-6, at Wrigley Field on Monday night. Cincinnati relievers combined to toss 4 1/3 innings while allowing only one earned run, including Aroldis Chapman's five-out save -- his first of more than three outs this season.

The Reds used five different pitchers in relief of starter Michael Lorenzen, who allowed five runs on six hits while striking five in a no-decision. Brandon Phillips and Ivan De Jesus each smacked RBI singles to back Lorenzen before he gave up four runs on four hits in the fifth inning.

More

Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Chapman scores a run, notches five-out save

Closer has second at-bat of big league career

Chapman scores a run, notches five-out save

CHICAGO -- Reds closer Aroldis Chapman isn't often asked to get a save requiring more than three outs. Needing him to bat for himself is even more of a rarity. Scoring a run while running the bases? That's a new experience altogether.

And it all happened Monday night for Chapman during a wild 13-6 Reds victory over the Cubs.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Duvall makes splash with HR in first Reds AB

Infielder/outfielder recalled, then hits go-ahead two-run blast vs. Cubs

Duvall makes splash with HR in first Reds AB

CHICAGO -- Adam Duvall introduced himself to the Reds in dynamic fashion.

Duvall hit a go-ahead, pinch-hit two-run homer in the sixth inning during his first at-bat with the Reds in Monday's 13-6 win over the Cubs. Reliever Justin Grimm hung a 2-2 curveball.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Top prospects among Reds' possible callups

Many potential September additions could be auditioning for 2016

Top prospects among Reds' possible callups

CHICAGO -- Once summoned, several of the Reds' September callups could be getting multiple auditions to set themselves up for making the big league team in 2016.

"Our primary need, barring any injuries to the position players, is going to be pitching," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Monday, the day before rosters can expand. "We're not just going to need a number of pitchers, we're going to need guys that can throw innings."

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Reed continues to dominate for Blue Wahoos

Reds No. 9 prospect throws eight scoreless for Double-A Pensacola

Reed continues to dominate for Blue Wahoos

Cody Reed is making a strong impression on his new organization.

Acquired from the Royals at the Trade Deadline in the Johnny Cueto deal, the Reds' No. 9 prospect fired eight scoreless innings on Monday as Double-A Pensacola defeated Jackson, 1-0.

More

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lamb's quality start shows off rookie's talent

Southpaw struck out eight over six innings in Sunday's loss

Lamb's quality start shows off rookie's talent

MILWAUKEE -- John Lamb felt bittersweet about how things went on Sunday. On one hand, the Reds rookie starter was his most consistent from beginning to end of his outing. On the other hand, it still went down as a 4-1 loss to the Brewers.

Lamb gave up two earned runs and five hits over six innings with a career high-tying eight strikeouts and 87 pitches thrown. He did not walk a batter and induced two inning-ending double plays.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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' bats unable to lift solid Lamb

Reds' bats unable to lift solid Lamb

MILWAUKEE -- Wily Peralta edged out John Lamb during a low-scoring duel on Sunday afternoon that the Brewers won, 4-1, over the Reds. Milwaukee (55-75) took two of three games in the series from last-place Cincinnati (53-76) to stay 1 1/2 games ahead of the last-place team in the National League Central.

It was a 1-1 game in the bottom of the third inning when Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-out RBI single to left field against Lamb that scored Martin Maldonado for the go-ahead run. The Brewers added two runs in the eighth for insurance and Francisco Rodriguez recovered from his first blown save of the year on Saturday to get his 31st save with a perfect ninth.

More

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com and Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amid tough season, Votto putting up big numbers

First baseman launched 25th home run in win over Brewers

Amid tough season, Votto putting up big numbers

MILWAUKEE -- As the Reds' season spiraled far out of orbit in the second half, first baseman Joey Votto has quietly been one of baseball's best hitters. It was Votto who hit his 25th home run of the season in the ninth inning in Cincinnati's 12-9 come-from-behind win over the Brewers.

"I have to do my job to the best of my abilities," Votto said on Sunday morning. "Whether we're winning or losing and no matter the score, my objective is to do everything I can in any situation available. I'm hopeful I get to do that for the next five weeks or so."

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Votto's homer in 9th leads Reds over Brewers

Votto's homer in 9th leads Reds over Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- Joey Votto delivered a two-run home run in a four-run top of the ninth inning that pushed the Reds ahead for an 12-9 win over the Brewers on a wild Saturday night at Miller Park.

Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez was on the mound to lock down a 9-8 lead in the ninth when he blew his first save of the season after he was a perfect 30-for-30 in chances. Jay Bruce opened with a single to center field. Next came Votto, who lifted a 2-1 pitch the opposite way for a two-run homer to left field -- his 25th of the season. A walk and two hits would follow as the Reds added two insurance runs. Milwaukee entered the night 51-0 when leading after eight innings. J.J. Hoover pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth for the win. Aroldis Chapman recorded his 25th save in the ninth.

More

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com and Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In need of big game, Bruce breaks out

Right fielder launches mammoth three-run homer to help Reds top Brewers

In need of big game, Bruce breaks out

MILWAUKEE -- A Reds team that needed in a win in the worst way got plenty of help from the player who needed a good game just as much.

Right fielder Jay Bruce was moved up to the No. 2 spot in the order for the first time this season. He collected three hits with a booming home run and three runs scored during Saturday's 12-9 slugfest win over the Brewers.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Right-hander Iglesias nearing innings limit

Rookie has struck out 87 over 80 1/3 Major League innings this season

Right-hander Iglesias nearing innings limit

MILWAUKEE -- Raisel Iglesias appears to be pitching his best lately, and looking his strongest, but the Reds rookie starter could soon be nearing an innings limit that would take him out of the rotation.

Reds manager Bryan Price is not revealing what that number of innings is. Following his seven innings during a 5-0 loss to the Brewers on Friday, the 25-year-old had 109 1/3 innings combined this season in the big leagues and Triple-A Louisville.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iglesias continues hot August with 10-K game

Rookie right-hander happy with stellar month in Reds' rotation

Iglesias continues hot August with 10-K game

MILWAUKEE -- When Raisel Iglesias was a freshly-minted free agent from Cuba last year, almost all of his suitors projected him as a reliever. But not the Reds, a team that liked him as a starting pitcher. Iglesias chose Cincinnati and has showed signs that he could become a dynamic member of the rotation.

Amid a 5-0 Reds loss to the Brewers on Friday at Miller Park, Iglesias still put on a nice show. In his sixth-straight quality start, he allowed three earned runs and four hits over seven innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 blanked by Brewers in series opener

Reds blanked by Brewers in series opener

MILWAUKEE -- Domingo Santana homered in his Miller Park debut and Taylor Jungmann delivered a quality start in the Brewers' 5-0 win over the Reds on Friday night.

The Reds (52-75) lost for the 13th time in 14 games while the Brewers (54-74) snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided falling 22 games under .500 for the first time this year. Jungmann led the way with six scoreless innings on an even 100 pitches to snap Milwaukee's streak of eight games without a quality start.

More

Adam McCalvy and Mark Sheldon are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jocketty: Price's status safe for rest of season

Jocketty: Price's status safe for rest of season

CINCINNATI -- The Reds have lost 12 of their past 13 games, but manager Bryan Price will get to finish this season at the helm, as general manager Walt Jocketty and CEO Bob Castellini have no changes planned.

"There have been no discussions. We're not looking at anything else or anyone else," Jocketty said on Thursday.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 let golden chance vs. Greinke slip away

With 1st and 3rd in 5th, DeSclafani can't get bunt down and Schumaker whiffs

Reds let golden chance vs. Greinke slip away

CINCINNATI -- The Reds' frustration showed in the moment Thursday when they missed a chance to break through against the Dodgers and Zack Greinke. When the final score turns out to be a 1-0 defeat -- Cincinnati's 12th loss in its past 13 games -- well, that's some added salt that burns the wound.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Jay Bruce led off with a walk after he started in a 0-2 count. Bruce stole second base with Jason Bourgeois batting. With one out, Tucker Barnhart hit a single that put runners on the corners. Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani sought to get down a sacrifice bunt to get both runners into scoring position.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

DeSclafani sharp, but Reds blanked by LA

DeSclafani sharp, but Reds blanked by LA

CINCINNATI -- Zack Greinke fired a four-hitter for seven scoreless innings to outduel Anthony DeSclafani as the Dodgers edged the Reds on Thursday afternoon, 1-0, for their first series sweep at Great American Ball Park since 2008.

The Reds have lost 12 of 13, while the Dodgers had lost the first five games of the trip in Oakland and Houston before the three-game sweep. The win left the first-place Dodgers 2 1/2 games ahead of the Giants, who beat the Cubs, 9-1.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stephenson could be among Reds' callups

Club's top pitching prospect activated off DL at Triple-A

Stephenson could be among Reds' callups

CINCINNATI -- The Reds have yet to finalize or reveal who their September callups might be, but it seems possible that top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson would be among them.

"Those are conversations I'll have with Walt [Jocketty, the Reds' general manager] when we finalize the roster of guys that are coming up," Reds manager Bryan Price said Thursday. "I just don't have the ability or the right to tell you guys who would be coming up because we haven't had that final conversation. There's a chance he could be a part of that September conversation."

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Villarreal's relief keeps Reds in position to rally

Continuing ability to eat up innings, righty tosses 3 1/3 scoreless after Holmberg's early exit

Villarreal's relief keeps Reds in position to rally

CINCINNATI -- When Reds reliever Pedro Villarreal is asked to eat up some innings, the chances are strong that the starting pitcher didn't have a good -- or a deep -- outing. It's happened more frequently lately as the all-rookie rotation struggles for consistency, and it was the case again Wednesday during a 7-4 loss to the Dodgers.

Villarreal's long relief helped make the game interesting by the late innings. Reds starter David Holmberg was roughed up again for six earned runs and seven hits -- including three home runs, all in the fourth -- in 3 2/3 innings. When Villarreal took over, it was a 6-0 game with two outs in the fourth. He pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings with one hit allowed, one hit batter and two strikeouts as he retired 10 of 12.

More

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.