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Published: Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 6:30 PM
CINCINNATI — The decision to wait two hours and 35 minutes to play Sunday paid off in one way for the Cincinnati Reds. They did get to play baseball. The few fans who waited that long in the rain — with no guarantee that the game would be played until an announcement at 3:10 p.m. — did get to see baseball.
However, the only winners Sunday — and the only winners all weekend at Great American Ball Park — were the Saint Louis Cardinals, who completed a four-game sweep with a 3-2 victory.
Adam Duvall homered to lead off the ninth to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 3-2. Tucker Barnhart then reached on a bunt single and moved to second on an error, but he was stranded there. Billy Hamilton lined out to left to end the game.
“That was a game we could have won,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We needed to come up with a big hit. Billy smoked that ball.”
The Reds (2-13) lost their eighth straight game. They continue to keep pace with the 1931 Reds, the last team to start 2-12 and 2-13. The Reds would have to start 2-18 to pass the 1931 Reds for the worst start in franchise history.
The Reds are one of 41 teams in baseball history to start the season 2-13 or worse. Only seven teams have started 1-14. Only three teams have started 0-15.
Sweep dreams: The Cardinals swept a four-game series in Cincinnati for the first time since July 8-10, 1949. The Cardinals have won eight games in a row against the Reds and nine straight at Great American Ball Park.
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Quality effort: Homer Bailey (0-3, 3.42 ERA) delivered his third quality start in as four tries, allowing three earned runs on four hits in seven innings. He walked two batters and struck out four.
“Regardless of my numbers, it’s what we’re doing as a team,” Bailey said. “We’re just going to have to figure out a way to turn things around.”
Price said this is the best Bailey has pitched since 2014.
“Forget the quality start thing, it’s quality stuff,” Price said. “Results are good. He’s that guy, the guy that carries the burden as the No. 1 guy who comes in and performs on a consistent basis to try to take some of the load and pressure off the young guys that are trying to stop a losing streak. He gave us a chance to win. He pitched winning baseball in a loss.”
Strong stuff: Carlos Martinez (2-1, 1.75) started for the Cardinals and threw seven shutout innings. He allowed two hits and walked four. He struck out 11.
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Big blow: The Cardinals’ Harrison Bader, who had not hit a home run or driven in a run in his first 14 at-bats of the season, hit a two-run home run against Bailey in the second inning.
Milestone hit: Hamilton recorded his 500th career hit. His solo home run got the Reds on the board in the eighth, trimming the Cardinals’ lead to 3-1.
Bader hits two-run home run. Reds trail 2-0. pic.twitter.com/thqEe61iAr— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) April 15, 2018
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 12:08 AM
CINCINNATI — In his first All-Star Game at-bat, Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett saved the National League — for one inning.
Gennett’s two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth tied the 89th All-Star Game at 5-5, but two Houston Astros, Alex Bregman and George Springer, hit back-to-back home runs in the 10th and the American League addded one more run to win 8-6 Tuesday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The AL has won six straight All-Star Games. Bregman was named the game’s MVP.
Gennett’s home run was the third game-tying home run in the ninth inning or later and the first since Fred McGriff’s in 1994. The only other was hit by Ralph Kiner in 1950.
Gennett also became the first Red to hit a home run in the All-Star Game since Dave Concepcion in 1982.
With that streak over, Joey Votto hit a home run in the 10th inning to draw the National League within one run. That was Votto’s first hit in an All-Star Game. He was 0-for-12 in six games after starting this game 0-for-2.
An error by Votto almost cost the National League the game in the eighth inning.
Votto dropped a foul pop off the bat of the Seattle Mariners’ Jean Segura. It wasn’t the easiest play. Votto was about to run into the rail by the dugout. He still received an error.
Segura hit the next pitch into the stands in left for a three-run home run, giving the American League a 5-2 lead.
Votto and another Reds All-Star, third baseman Eugenio Suarez, entered the game in the top of the sixth. This was the first All-Star Game for Suarez, who ranks second in the National League with 71 RBIs. In his first at-bat in the seventh inning, he was hit by a pitch. He struck out in the ninth.
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 3:43 PM
I’m going to change things up a bit as we tee up golf’s third major championship at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland this week.
Even though Dustin Johnson is the betting favorite to win The Open Championship, the world’s top-ranked player is not on my list.
Johnson faded on the final day at Shinnecock Hills, and although his game seems to suit most courses on the PGA Tour, I’m going to look elsewhere for a winner.
Let’s start with the best player to never win a major — Rickie Fowler. Ye, he shot an 84 in the third round at the U.S. Open, but he still finished 20th and he warmed up with a top-10 finish last week in the Scottish Open.
Speaking of the last major, Tommy Fleetwood almost stole the U.S. Open with a remarkable 63 on the final day. The Englishman will be in the hunt on Sunday.
Here’s one that might be off the radar a bit. Tony Finau owns top-10 finishes in both the Masters and the U.S. Open this year. He makes a lot of birdies and that’s never a bad thing.
Henrik Stenson won with a record 20-under par total two years ago at Royal Troon. That alone gives him a chance to do some damage at Carnoustie.
And finally, Justin Rose is going to win another major sooner than later, although his best finish the Open was the first one he played back in 1998 as an amateur — a tie for fourth.
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 10:15 AM
— Looks like Michigan football will count a player from the Miami Valley to be among its senior leaders on defense for the second year in a row.
At least that’s one thing that can be gleaned from Tyree Kinnel being among the Wolverines’ representatives at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago next week.
Kinnel, a fourth-year player from Wayne High School, earned All-Big Ten honorable mention last season when he had 70 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, and defended nine passes.
The 5-foot-11, 201-pound safety was named the team’s most improved player on defense for his efforts.
Joining him in Chicago will be running back Karan Higdon and defensive end Chase Winovich.
Ohio State will be represented by receiver Parris Campbell, defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones and offensive lineman Isaiah Prince.
Last year, Mike McCray II was among the prominent faces of the Michigan defense.
The senior linebacker from Trotwood-Madison was the only returning starter.
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 5:08 PM
DAYTON — Former Dayton Flyers point guard Scoochie Smith always felt he could play in the NBA. He showed he deserves a chance with his performance in the NBA Summer League.
Smith spoke to the Dayton Daily News on the phone from Las Vegas, Nev., on Tuesday as he prepared to leave town after playing seven games in 11 days with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While Smith had confidence about his ability to play at the next level, he said, “Sometimes you’ve got to reassure the people. That’s what happened.”
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Smith earned an invitation to training camp with the Cavaliers and said while he would probably accept it, he hasn’t made up his mind yet. He’s keeping his options open in case other teams express interest in him.
Smith averaged 8.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 16.9 minutes per game in Las Vegas. His role grew as the Cavaliers advanced past the preliminary round into the Summer League tournament.
Scoochie doing Scoochie things in the second half. pic.twitter.com/l4WHznE1si— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) July 17, 2018
Smith, who finished his Dayton career with 1,289 points in 2017 and ranks 28th in school history, said he learned to be more aggressive and stay in attack mode.
“I think that will help me a lot,” he said.
In a 112-109 double-overtime loss to the Lakers on Monday in the semifinals, Smith had 14 points, five rebounds and a team-high five assists in 27 minutes. He made 4 of 12 shots from the field.
Smith’s best performance came Saturday in the second round of the tournament. He scored 15 of his 17 points in the last seven minutes in a 92-87 victory over the Houston Rockets.
“I was just waiting on my moment,” Smith said. “I was fortunate enough it came during that Houston game, not right at the end of the tournament. I still got to showcase some more.”
Smith said the Cavaliers were happy with his play, and he thought they were maybe a little surprised by how well he performed.
“I think they learned a lot about me,” he said.
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This was Smith’s second experience in the Summer League. He played with the Boston Celtics in the Summer League a year ago but saw limited playing time.
“They drafted about four guys, so it was kind of tough for me to find an opportunity,” Smith said. “Staying positive and doing what I did in my first year (in pro basketball) helped me get the opportunity this week.”
Smith started his professional career last year in Australia and played in 27 games for the Cairns Taipans, averaging 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.