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Jay Bruce’s Home Run is Bright Spot in Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Loss to the Miami Marlins

August 10th, 2014 at 10:19 AM
By Cody Dalga

Jay Bruce launched his 12th home run of the season but the Cincinnati Reds were unable to erase a two-run deficit heading into the ninth inning as Brad Penny and the Miami Marlins topped them by a score of 4-3 Saturday night at Great American Ballpark. 

Trev Stair / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Penny, 36, made his first appearance in the Major League since 2012 and his first start since 2011. He went five innings against the Reds allowing just two runs, a single earned, on four hits. 

"We were surprised to hear that when we got in today," Bruce said about the Marlins starter. "Other than minus-2 mph, he was pretty much the same guy. He didn't throw quite as hard, but he had the same style. You are who you are when it comes to that kind of stuff."

The Reds and Marlins traded runs throughout the first three innings. After Giancarlo Stanton's first inning sacrifice fly, Bruce followed with his solo home run in the bottom half of the inning. Another Marlins runs in the top of the second gave them the lead for a short period until a Todd Frazier RBI single again evened the score, this time at two. 
Cincinnati starter Alfredo Simon lasted just five innings allowing the two earned runs on just four hits while walked five and striking out five. The pitching staffs from both teams combined for 13 total walks.

"It really comes down to pitch execution," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "They hit the first four balls on the screws. He got to two strikes on a handful of guys, but he would leave the ball up. He's not executing like he was. His arm is behind him and he's getting balls up."

Sam LeCure took over for Simon in the sixth inning allowing two earned runs in less than an inning of work. 
In the eighth, the Reds looked to rally from behind. Devin Mesoraco doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third when Brayan Pena singled. With two on and no out, Skip Schumaker grounded into a force out allowing Mesoraco to score and cut the lead to one. Relief pitcher Bryan Morris retired the next two batters to end the inning.
After Aroldis Chapman retired the Marlins in the ninth, Cincinnati looked to produce at least a run in the last at-bat. Chris Heisey led off with a single but was picked off with Billy Hamilton at the plate. 

"Nobody feels worse than him," Price said. "In a nutshell, it wasn't a well-played game by either side. They outlasted us. There were a lot of walks for both teams. They did what they needed to do. Our execution wasn't there."

The Reds will attempt to foil the Marlins plan of a three-game sweep Sunday afternoon with Johnny Cueto on the hill. He will be looking for his 14th win of the year. 

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