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Reds lose sixth straight to fall to 2-11

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 10:45 PM


            CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 13: Scooter Gennett #3 of the Cincinnati Reds swings and misses at a pitch in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on April 13, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 13: Scooter Gennett #3 of the Cincinnati Reds swings and misses at a pitch in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on April 13, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Well, at least the Reds’ control improved for a game.

After issuing 11 walks in Thursday’s 13-4 loss to St. Louis, Cincinnati pitchers combined to allow just two – both with two outs in the ninth inning – in Friday’s second game of the series.

Instead, the offense practically disappeared at the hands of Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina continued to torment the Reds with a home run and three runs batted in, helping extend Cincinnati’s losing streak to six games with a 5-3 win.

A crowd of 19,561 saw the Reds’ record slip to 2-11, equaling their worst two-win start since the 1931 team opened with two wins in its first 19 games. The last time Cincinnati was 2-11 was in 1955.

They are 1-5 at Great American Ball Park going into Saturday’s third game of the series and homestand. Left-hander Brandon Finnegan is expected to be activated from the 10-day disabled list to make his first start of the season. Finnegan opened the season on the disabled list after straining his left biceps during spring training. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m., and rain is in the forecast.

Outfielder Jesse Winker was scratched from manager Bryan Price’s original starting lineup with right shoulder soreness. Phillip Ervin took Winker’s place in right field.

Rookie right-hander Tyler Mahle (1-2) allowed one run and four hits through five innings, but hidden damage from errors committed by third baseman Cliff Pennington on back-to-back plays in the fifth may have contributed to Mahle losing effectiveness in the sixth.

Molina gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead with a second-inning, two-out, opposite-field homer into the right field seats on a 2-1 pitch, his second homer in two games and 14thof his 15-year career at Great American Ball Park. He has 51 runs batted in Cincinnati and 21 homers and 90 RBIs overall against the Reds.

The Reds overcame Pennington’s errors that loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth. Mahle got Kolten Wong to pop out to shortstop Jose Peraza in foul territory – Peraza calling Pennington off the ball – and Weaver to ground into a double play turned successfully by the Reds.

“It’s always nice to grind through an inning like that. We were all pretty pumped up.”

The errors not only meant Mahle needed extra pitches to get out of the fifth, but he was facing the top of the Cardinals’ lineup to start the sixth instead of the bottom. Fowler led off the sixth by getting ahead, 2-0, and launching his second homer of the season into the right field seats. That was the first of four straight Cardinal hits, a groundout, and Molina’s two-run single to left through a drawn-in infield with first base open that knocked Mahle out of the game, trailing, 5-0.

“They have a pretty solid lineup,” Price said. “There’s not a whole lot of places to go. If you pitch around Molina, they’ve got DeJong behind him.”

DeJong went into the game hitting .286.

“They hit some good pitches that hurt, and I made some bad pitches,” Mahle said. “It was a little bit of both. It all just kind of blew up.”

“They have a veteran team,” catcher Devin Mesoraco said. “The third time through, they made some adjustments and got the barrel of the bat to it.”

Mesoraco beat out a grounder up the middle for a fifth-inning leadoff infield hit to break up Weaver’s no-hitter. The play survived a 2 minute, 55-second video review and snapped at 11 Weaver’s streak of consecutive retired hitters.

Mesoraco broke up the shutout in the seventh, following Scooter Gennett’s leadoff single with a two-run homer that barely reached the first row of seats in left field. Mesoraco’s first homer of the season.

Joey Votto drove in Billy Hamilton from second with a one-out single to left in the eighth, but Dominic Leone picked Votto off first base to end the inning.

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New Bengals linebacker gets his old jersey number at surprising cost

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:18 PM


            ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Preston Brown #52 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates stopping the Atlanta Falcons on fourth and one during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Preston Brown #52 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates stopping the Atlanta Falcons on fourth and one during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

When Preston Brown walked through the Bengals locker room for the first time after signing a one-year, $5 million contract, he noticed his number — 52 — already was assigned to Brandon Bell.

“I’ll have a talk with him and see what we can work out,” Brown said.

But that conversation never happened.

›› Bengals RB Mixon hoping Baker Mayfield doesn’t end up in Cleveland

“When I showed up last week (for the start of voluntary offseason workouts), I already had it,” Brown said.

Bell was just as surprised was Brown, but he said he understood.

“It’s a veteran thing,” Bell said. “I get it. They say we’re still rookies. I don’t mind it too much. It is what it is.”

›› RELATED: Cincinnati Bengals 7-round mock draft

Bell wore 11 in college so he didn’t have an attachment to 52. This year he will wear 51, which belonged to Kevin Minter last year.

Even though Bell didn’t have a say in the swap, Brown said he still plans to thank him.

“I’m going to have to take him out to dinner or something,” Brown said.

›› Bengals 2018 schedule features a number of franchise firsts

“I’ll take him up on that offer,” Bell said. “A nice steak would be great.”

Cordy Glenn, whom the Bengals obtained in a trade with Buffalo last month, also will wear the same No. 77 he wore with the Bills. That number, worn by Andrew Whitworth from 2008-2016, was not assigned to anyone last year.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use parrot to deliver 4th-round pick in NFL draft

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:12 PM

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use a parrot to deliver its fourth-round draft pick Saturday.
Keith Tsuji/Getty Images
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use a parrot to deliver its fourth-round draft pick Saturday.(Keith Tsuji/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be winging it during the latter stages of the NFL draft.

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The NFL announced Monday that the Bucs will have a parrot deliver its fourth-round selection from the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium to an announcer during Saturday’s televised Day 3 draft show.

The parrot, a Catalina macaw named Zsa Zsa, is based at the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Hudson, Florida.

The bird is not the first animal to participate in an NFL draft. Last year, an orangutan aided in the Colts announcing their fourth-round selection of offensive lineman Zach Banner, the NFL reported on its website. 

Reaction on the Buccaneers’ upcoming pick ranged from humor to squawks of surprise. One website, JoeBucsFan, posted a video of The Three Stooges’ 1936 comedy short, “Disorder in the Court,” where a parrot is figured prominently in the climactic court scene.

Undoubtedly, some fans will post the iconic parrot sketch from “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

Regardless, the Bucs will be giving the NFL the bird on Saturday.

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Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for 'joke' prom date gun photo 

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:05 AM

Former NFL Kicker Jay Feely Apologizes For Posing With Gun In Prom Photo

Former NFL kicker Jay Feely said he was trying to be funny when he posed in a Twitter photo standing between his daughter and her prom date holding a pistol, but in the wake of the Parkland shootings in February, social media posters did not appreciate the joke, WFLA reported.

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Feely, who played in the NFL from 2001 to 2014 and is an analyst for CBS Sports, apologized Sunday. 

In the photo, Feely has his left arm around his daughter and a pistol in his right hand at his side. Next to Feely is his daughter’s prom date, who is smirking. 

"Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom," Feely wrote, using the hashtag "#BadBoys."

The reaction from some on social media was swift and critical.

“Oh yay -- American dads have kicked off the season of 'let’s pretend I’m going to shoot my daughter’s date for impugning her chastity' pics," tweeted Shannon Watts, who is the founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action.

“The Stoneman Douglas shooting was 2 months ago,” author Geraldine DeRuiter posted on Twitter. “But sure, let's make jokes about murdering high schoolers.”

The backlash was vocal enough for Feely to issue an apology Sunday on Twitter.

“The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking," he wrote. "I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue."

Some Twitter users defended Feely’s post, noting that he was referencing the movie “Bad Boys 2.”

“He’s referencing a scene in the movie #BadBoys2,” Twitter user Mike McLeod wrote. “The kid knows it’s a joke -- it’s not pointed at anyone and barely in the picture. I’m sure there’s a picture with his daughter and just the date also. This isn’t anything to blow out of proportion.

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Bengals RB Mixon hoping Browns don’t take Baker Mayfield

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 1:25 PM


            PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates after Steven Parker #10 of the Oklahoma Sooners scores a 46 yard touchdown because of a fumble by Sony Michel #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates after Steven Parker #10 of the Oklahoma Sooners scores a 46 yard touchdown because of a fumble by Sony Michel #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon said he does have any insight as to where his former Oklahoma teammate, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, will get drafted this week.

But there’s one place Mixon is rooting against.

“Hell no I don’t want to play Baker twice,” he said when asked if he hopes Cleveland takes Mayfield.

›› RELATED: Cincinnati Bengals 7-round mock draft

“I want him on my team,” Mixon added. ” I mean, I know it’s not going to work like that, but at the end of the day, wherever he goes I just hope we ain’t playing him. That’s just what I’ve seen in the past. I know it’s a different level, but I’m sure wherever he ends up he’ll make an impact right away and I’m sure he’ll be that ‘it’ factor that team is looking for.”

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