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.
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."
"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."
"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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