Game 73: Blue Jays at Reds

Hamilton 8
Frazier 5
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Mesoraco 2
Santiago 6
Leake 1

Jumbo Diaz promoted

The Reds on Friday optioned left-handed pitcher Tony Cingrani to Triple-A Louisville and selected the contract of right-handed reliever Jumbo Diaz from Louisville.

UPDATE: Click here for the full story on Diaz, who dropped 69 pounds in the off-season.

On Thursday in a 4-3 loss to the Pirates, Cingrani issued three walks in 1 2/3 innings and walked home the winning run with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th inning. He was moved to the bullpen on Saturday after Mat Latos took his spot in the rotation.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the moved relievers Sean Marshall and Trevor Bell to the 60-day disabled list. Also, starting pitcher Brett Marshall was activated from the DL and optioned to Louisville.

Sean Marshall will have surgery on Tuesday to debride his left shoulder.

For the 30-year-old Diaz, his long road to the Majors is finally at its destination after 12 seasons and 340 games pitched in the Minor Leagues for four organizations.

Diaz was 2-2 with a 1.35 ERA and 18 saves in 30 appearances at Louisville.

Minor League moves

After a few days off, I’m back on the case on Friday. One of the things that went down this week was a bunch of promotions in the Reds player development system.

Among the notables going up to Double-A Pensacola

RHP Ben Lively, who led the California League in ERA (2.28), wins (10), strikeouts (95) and WHIP (0.92).
OF Jesse Winker — was batting .317 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs over 53 games for Bakersfield. Lively hails from Pensacola, so this will be a good time for him to pitch at home.

Also moving up were OF Kyle Waldrop and Marquez Smith and RHP Carlos Gonzalez and INF Ryan Wright and Seth Mejias-Brean.

Game 72: Blue Jays at Reds

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Blue Jays alter rotation

Instead of R.A. Dickey going for Toronto vs. the Reds on Friday, it’s now Liam Hendriks. Below is the new probable starting pitcher matchups:

Fri vs Tor: RHP Mat Latos (0-0, 0.00) vs RHP Liam Hendriks (1-0, 2.31)

Sat vs Tor: RHP Mike Leake (4-6, 3.80) vs LHP J.A. Happ (6-3, 4.05)

Sun vs Tor: RHP Johnny Cueto (6-5, 1.92) vs RHP R.A. Dickey (6-5, 4.08)

Games 69-71: Reds at Pirates

I have this part of the road trip off. Back at it Friday at GABP.

A whole lotta offense, and more

There was so much going on in the Reds 13-4 win over the Brewers, I couldn’t get it all into my story on MLB.com/Reds.com.

Some quick items of note:

*Billy Hamilton hit the Reds’ first leadoff homer of the season in the top of the first inning. Hamilton, who homered in his final at-bat on Saturday, has four total.

*Ryan Ludwick had three doubles, a career-high.

*It was the club’s season-high in runs, hits (19) and margin of victory.

“As much as I loved those 13 runs, we had a lot of great two-strike at-bats where we were fouling off pitches,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We got Estrada’s pitch count up to 85 or so after four innings. When he got that infield hit off of Leake, I thought maybe they might hit there and see if they can do some damage because at the time it was 3-0. He ends up getting the infield hit and Gennett gets the hit and they ended up getting themselves back into the game. That in large part wasn’t necessary his ineffectiveness as much as our guys grinding out at-bats. It was just tremendous, one after the other. Four, five, six, seven-pitch at-bats. It was impressive.”

*Since the bullpen has taken its lumps of late, time to give some credit. After Mike Leake departed after five innings and a 5-4 lead, Reds relievers Manny Parra, Sam LeCure and Tony Cingrani worked four scoreless innings. The big inning was the sixth when Parra and LeCure combined to work a 1-2-3 inning.

“We’ll just try to keep nailing it down the best we can, nobody’s lacking effort, that’s for damn sure,” LeCure said. “We’ll keep going out there and figuring out what we can do to get the ball to those last two guys and try to win all our games.

“I’d read something the other day … it might have been Ron Roenicke and he was saying there’s not going to be a lot of lopsided games, a lot of these games are going to be decided by the middle — those sixth-, seventh-, eighth-inning bullpen guys, and I agree with that,” LeCure said. “I kind of thought to myself, damn, you know? These couple of guys that I’m talking about could potentially decide this race in this division. I thought that was an exciting challenge for me and hopefully for the rest of the guys to go out there so that we can say we can go out there and make a big difference here. We’re not going to get the glory for it — and nobody wants it — but at the end of the day if we lock those innings down and get the ball to those last two guys, we’re going to be in good shape and be there right at the end.”

*Leake has allowed 14 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings over his last three starts.

“I think every pitcher goes through a little spurt where they don’t do exactly what they want,” Leake said. “I don’t know, maybe you could chalk it up to the neck or a little bit of arm tiredness, I don’t know. It’s just probably one of those little runs that you’d like to take away, but really you’ve got to go through it every year and work through it.”

Game 68: Reds at Brewers

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Game 67: Reds at Brewers

Hamilton 8
Frazier 5
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Pena 2
Cozart 6
Latos 1

Latos activated; Marshall DL

The Reds activated RHP Mat Latos as expected to start Saturday’s game vs. the Brewers. To make room on the 25-man roster, the club put LHP Sean Marshall on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder strain.

Marshall, who has been plagued by shoulder injuries the last two seasons now, was never right since he came off of the DL in late April.

In 15 games, totaling 14 1/3 innings, Marshall had a 7.71 ERA – 23 hits, 12 earned runs, 12 walks and 14 strikeouts. His velocity was pretty down. He retired only five of 15 first batters faced and five of his 11 inherited runners scored.

“I tried about everything. I’ve been feeling pretty good, really, the last several weeks,” Marshall said “Then I had some appearances with high pitch counts and the back-to-back vs. the Dodgers. I threw a couple of fastballs to [Dee] Gordon there and the second one, I pulled up again. I felt that pinching soreness in the back of my shoulder. It’s feeling better but I’m not myself.”

Although Marshall said he was feeling pretty good, he admitted it was only about 80 percent of his old self when he was more effective.

“We thought it was a good idea to try other things with my shoulder,” Marshall said. “I’ve tried a lot of things. I’ve tried acupuncture, creams and all sorts of stuff, and all the strengthening exercises you could think of. It’s not quite right where I want it to be. I feel like it’s a good time with Mat coming off and Tony being the long guy. I’ve lost some sleep thinking about some things, thinking about if I’m helping or hurting the bullpen as much I would want to help the bullpen. It’s a combination of figuring out a better plan of to get the shoulder working how I want it to work – back to 100 percent. We’ll kind of re-evaluate day-to-day.”

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