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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