Chapman Takes Second Straight Loss as Cincinnati Reds Fall to Braves

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61. . 2. 17. 1

W: Luis Avilan (1-0)

L: Aroldis Chapman (1-2)

SV: Jim Johnson (2)

Yesterday, Aroldis Chapman gave up his first earned run since August 17 of last season and his first loss since July 20. So surely that won’t happen again any time soon, right? Especially not two games in a row? Unfortunately for Chapman and the Cincinnati Reds, that’s exactly what happened, as they fell to the Atlanta Braves after a one hour, 40 minute rain delay on Monday, 2-1.

After striking out the first batter of the ninth inning, Chapman gave up consecutive singles and allowed a steal of third. He struck out Andrelton Simmons for the second out of the inning, but then fired a pitch that was nowhere near the strike zone and glanced off of Tucker Barnhart‘s glove to allow the go-ahead run to score.

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While Chapman took the loss in this one, the offense deserves a big portion of the blame, too.

In the first inning, Billy Hamilton led off with a walk, stole second and reached third on an error, but the next three Reds’ hitters couldn’t bring him home.

The Reds’ only run of the game came in the second. After two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases, Barnhart sent a sacrifice fly to center to make it 1-0. The Reds had an opportunity to add on with runners on first and third and only one out, but they couldn’t capitalize.

The Braves tied it in the fourth on a solo home run by Simmons, which snapped Mike Leake‘s 19-inning scoreless streak.

Leake wasn’t as sharp in this one as he had been in his last two starts, but still surrendered just one run on eight hits as he worked in and out of trouble all night long before being relieved after six innings.

The Reds’ next scoring opportunity came in the seventh, but they again could not come through. Brandon Phillips walked to start the inning and next batter Jay Bruce nearly put the Reds in front with a home run, but Nick Markakis was able to make the catch with his back against the right field wall. Phillips moved to third after a two-out single from Barnhart, but Skip Schumaker — who Bryan Price chose to use as a pinch hitter over Devin Mesoraco, who had his first multi-hit game of the season yesterday — grounded out to end the inning.

After Chapman gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth to make it 2-1, the Reds had another opportunity in the ninth after Phillips hit a one-out single, but Jay Bruce continued his slump by striking out and Kristopher Negron grounded out to end the game.

Other Notes:

  • After Negron was hit by a pitch in the second inning, the Reds went 15 consecutive batters before reaching base again.
  • With an 0-for-3 performance, Hamilton’s batting average has now dipped below the Mendoza Line at .198.
  • Zack Cozart was originally in the starting lineup rather than Negron, but was scratched before the game with a sore left wrist.

Up Next: The Reds and Braves meet again on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET for game two of their three-game series. Anthony DeSclafani (2-3, 2.50 ERA) makes his seventh start of the season and will face off against Mike Foltynewicz (2-0, 5.23 ERA), who will be making his third career start.

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