Cincinnati Reds Swept By Kansas City Royals (Again), 4-3


7. 3. 61. . 4

W: Luke Hochevar (1-0)

L: Keyvius Sampson (2-2)

SV: Wade Davis (10)

If you gave up on Wednesday’s game after a one hour and 37 minute rain delay, you probably made a good choice. For the fourth and final time this season, the Cincinnati Reds were beaten by the Kansas City Royals, 4-3.

Keyvius Sampson and the Reds were in a hole immediately. Two batters into the game, the Royals grabbed the lead following a leadoff walk to Alcides Escobar and a Ben Zobrist double. Cleanup hitter Eric Hosmer brought home Zobrist two batters later to put make it a 2-0 lead early.

The Reds answered in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back solo home runs from Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. It could’ve been a three-run inning, but Jason Bourgeois, who batted in the leadoff spot, was picked off at first base after hitting a single. Unfortunately for Bourgeois, it wouldn’t be the last time that a baserunning gaffe from him hurt the team.

The top of the Royals lineup got to Sampson again in the second, tacking on two more runs to take the lead for good. With two outs, Escobar singled and Zobrist double again—his second of four hits on the night—before Lorenzo Cain brought them both home with a single that was misplayed by Bourgeois in center field.

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Sampson wouldn’t make it through the fourth inning in what was his first bad start as a major leaguer. He allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out two in 3.1 innings.

Eugenio Suarez helped get the Reds a run closer in the third with an RBI double to score Bourgeois from first, but that would be the last time a runner crossed the plate.

The Reds certainly had their chances, though.

In the fifth inning, a Bourgeois walk and a Suarez single put runners on first and second for Votto. The first baseman nearly had himself an extra-base hit, but left fielder Jarrod Dyson made a leaping catch against the wall to rob Votto.

A single from Brandon Phillips loaded the bases for Jay Bruce, who hit a towering pop-up in the middle of the diamond for out number two. Since there were runners on first and second with less than two outs, the umpires called an infield fly. A miscommunication between the pitcher and first baseman allowed the ball to drop, but Bruce had already been called out. Everyone stayed put and Todd Frazier got a chance with the bases loaded, right? Nope. Bourgeois inexplicably sprinted home, only to be tagged out for an embarrassing inning-ending double play.

The Reds also had an opportunity to break through with two runners on in both the eighth and ninth innings, but couldn’t push the tying run across.

If there was one positive tonight, it was the Reds’ bullpen. Pedro Villarreal relieved Sampson and fired 2.2 shutout innings, allowing only two hits and a walk (which was intentional). The seventh inning saw the return of Sam LeCure, who threw two perfect frames, striking out a batter in each inning. He was followed by Jumbo Diaz, who continued to pitch well with another shutout appearance.

Other Notes:

  • Phillips left the game after the sixth inning with inflammation in his right bicep. He suffered the injury while attempting to make a diving play on a single by Zobrist.
  • The struggles of Jay Bruce continued with another hitless night (0-for-4). He’s now 8-for-his-last-62 with 20 strikeouts.
  • The Reds are slowly creeping toward last place in the NL Central. At 51-67, they’re just one game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers (52-70). At least they’ll get a high draft pick out of this mess of a season.

Up Next: The Reds’ homestand continues on Thursday when the Arizona Diamondbacks come to town. John Lamb will make his second career start in game one, opposed by fellow lefty Patrick Corbin. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. EST.

Next: Reds place Billy Hamilton on 15-day DL