Reds set season record for homers allowed

Reds set season record for homers allowed

CHICAGO -- When the Reds' pitching staff broke the single-season record for home runs allowed Monday, it fittingly happened against the team that has stung them the most this season with the long ball.

In a 5-2 loss at Wrigley Field, the Cubs banged out three homers over the seventh and eighth innings as they scored five unanswered runs. That gave Cincinnati 242 homers allowed, eclipsing a record previously held by the 1996 Tigers.

"You want to associate yourself with all of the positive records, but if you're going to do this, you're going to get associated with some negative ones, too, if you do it long enough," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's certainly not good enough.

"The bane of our season has been base on balls as a pitching staff and home runs as a pitching staff. It's reflected in the team ERA and our won-loss record. That's not to hang a season on the pitching staff, but it does mean that we see where our strengths and weaknesses lie and we have to have more depth in our rotation and our bullpen. We know moving forward that will be a focal point."

The Cubs have hit 35 home runs this season vs. the Reds, with Kris Bryant's nine leading the team and all opposing hitters. Bryant actually had a quiet 0-for-4 night on Monday, but starter Tim Adleman's 2-0 lead was erased quickly in the seventh by others. Addison Russell led off by hitting a 1-0 fastball to left field for homer No. 240, which set a new National League record. Two batters later, Willson Contreras tied the '96 Tigers record when he hit the longest homer at Wrigley Field this season. It was a solo shot that landed on Waveland Ave. and went a projected 461 feet, according to Statcast™.

In the eighth, with the Reds down by a run, reliever Blake Wood's 3-1 pitch was lifted by Jason Heyward to left-center field for the new record.

Heyward's two-run home run

"We don't pay attention to that stuff. I don't think you can," Wood said. "It's one of those things where obviously we've given up a lot this year. I've been giving up a lot more lately than I have earlier in the season. Honestly, I couldn't tell you why. For whatever reason, they seem to be going out a lot more."

Other items of note that led to the record being broken:

• Starting pitcher Brandon Finnegan leads the NL with 29 homers allowed this season. Teammate Dan Straily is in second place with 28.

• The bullpen's 95 homers allowed in 2016 is also a single-season record. The previous record of 92 was held by the 1964 Kansas City Athletics.

• Of those 95 homers, 26 allowed by Reds relievers came vs. their first batter faced in a game.

• The Reds have 10 pitchers this season with double-digit homers allowed. The '96 Tigers had 10, led by the 30 given up by Felipe Lira.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for 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.