The Reds can only be glad that road trip is over with. Cincinnati to Phoenix to the Bay Area and back to Texas. Eight games, plus two off days bookending a two-game series vs. the A’s. A 2-6 road trip. It could have been 3-5 had they not blown the ninth-inning lead in the second game in Arizona. It could also have been 1-7 considering they won yesterday in 11 innings.
The wayward journey ended Sunday with a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. Click here for the game story on MLB.com.
The Pirates won their game over the Brewers in 14 innings. That put the Reds 5 1/2 games out, a season-high.
Frustrating for the fans? Yes. Time to freak out? Nope. Not with 80 games left. But many things need to improve soon.
*Cincinnati has dropped seven of its last nine games.
*Over their last 15 games, the Reds were 12-for-112 (.107) with runners in scoring position.
*Todd Frazier is batting .238 after going 3-for-24 on the trip.
*Shin-Soo Choo was 4-for-27 on the trip
*Brandon Phillips was 5-for-23 but missed the Oakland series.
*The rotation had a 5.03 ERA while going 1-5.
*On the plus side, Joey Votto was 2-for-3 on Sunday and 10-for-29 (.345) in the eight road games. He has reached safely in his last 16 games.
*Mat Latos deserved better. It’s the second time in three games the lineup didn’t score for him while on the mound. He pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs (two earned). In the seventh, he had runners on the corners when he was visited at the mound by Dusty Baker. Latos was allowed to continue to face Nelson Cruz, who lifted a soft lined single into right field.
“He was very strong. That’s why I left him out there,” Baker said. “He was still throwing the ball good. Plus, we’re trying to get him over the threshold of coming out early before he gets to 100 pitches. That’s two times in a row he got past the 100-pitch mark.”
Reds ace Johnny Cueto does indeed have another strained right lat muscle — the muscle near the bottom of his shoulder. It was confirmed during an ultrasound test performed in Cincinnati on Saturday.
“It’s in the almost identical spot on the scan, over basically the scar tissue that had built up over that muscle,” head trainer Paul Lessard said on Sunday. “It’s a small, tiny tear that was healing. He just picked that scab basically.”
Cueto will be shut down from throwing for at least a couple of weeks. There is no timetable for a return yet. This is Cueto’s third trip to the disabled list with essentially the same injury.
“We’ll probably go a little slower this time,” Lessard said. “It’s probably going to be an issue the rest of the season. We’ll have to take some more time. Hopefully the scans show it healing over before we start a throwing program.”
Reds lineup vs. Rangers
Reds lineup vs. Rangers
*Following tonight’s outcome, the Reds will be at exactly the halfway point of the season. They enter tonight at 45-35 and 4 1/2 games out of first place behind the Pirates
*Here are some recent 81-game records for the Reds:
2012: 44-37 (2nd place, 1 game out)
Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto is in Cincinnati to be examined by Dr. Tim Kremchek for tightness in his right lat muscle after last night’s brief start.
There are no results yet revealed from the exam. But if Cueto is placed on the disabled list, the Reds are expected to recall RHP Logan Ondrusek from Triple-A Louisville.
***UPDATE: Cueto has been placed on the DL. Ondrusek move is official. There are still no updates as of yet on Cueto. Also, Tony Cingrani will move back to the rotation and take Cueto’s next start, which is Wednesday vs. the Giants.
Ondrusek was 2-0 with a 5.64 ERA in 21 appearances for the Reds during his previous call-up from Double-A Pensacola April 10-June 8. At Louisville, he had six scoreless relief appearances totaling eight innings with four hits, two walks and six strikeouts. He last pitched on Thursday.
With or without Ondrusek, the Reds need a deep start from Mike Leake tonight after the bullpen was used following Cueto’s second-inning departure. This is game 2 of a stretch of 17 games without a day off.
*It was announced by Triple-A Louisville on Friday that the Reds have released RHP Mark Prior after he was activated from the disabled list — thus stalling his latest comeback attempt.
Prior, who signed a Minor League contract with the Reds during Spring Training, had a 4.66era in seven games with the Bats. He had been on the DL since April 25 with a right shoulder strain.
It’s been a long comeback attempt for Prior, who has not pitched in the Majors since 2006. The former Cubs star had reconstructive shoulder surgery in 2007. The previous three seasons have been spent pitching in the Minors or independent leagues, including the Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox organizations.
*Also with Brandon Phillips returning from the paternity list, INF Henry Rodriguez was optioned to Louisville. Rodriguez did not get an at-bat during his two-game stint at Oakland.
Reds lineup vs. Rangers
Don’t expect RHP and setup man Jonathan Broxton to be off of the the 15-day disabled list this weekend. Broxton, out since June 15 with a flexor mass strain in his right elbow, is eligible for activation on Saturday.
“Very unlikely,” Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said on Wednesday. “It needed some time to settle down. It was his first time playing catch yesterday. It went fine. He’ll play catch again today.”
LHP Sean Marshall is making progress and pitched on flat ground on Tuesday. He was very pleased.
“I jammed it out yesterday, 35 pitches,” Marshall said. “It felt good. Usually when I take a day off, I get a little bit out of sync but yesterday was good and today should be great.”
Marshall, who has been on the DL since May 24 with a left shoulder sprain, long tossed in the outfield today.
“Probably Texas, I will get on the mound,” Marshall said. “I might throw a light bullpen this weekend.”
Reds lineup vs. A’s