What is more unbelievable?
Is it Aristides Aquino hitting 14 home runs in his first 28 games, a major league record?
Is it pitcher Alex Wood giving up 11 home runs in 34 innings?
Is it a minor league pitcher with a minor league record completely shutting down the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night in Marlins Park?
Or is it the continued poor performance by Reds relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias?
On this night, it probably is Iglesias. He was asked to protect a tie game in the 12th inning against the worst team in the National League.
To say he failed miserably is to insult the word miserable. His third pitch of the 12th inning was rocketed into the left field seats by Harold Ramirez.
The 4-3 defeat was the 10th loss of the season by Iglesias, an unbelievable number for a closer.
All four Marlins runs came on solo home runs.
There is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the Legend of Bagger Vance and the Legend of Hercules. And Hercules most fits Reds rookie Aristides Aquino, who drove in all three Reds runs and had three more hits, half of the Reds total of six.
After Miami center fielder Lewis Brinson dropped Joey Votto’s fly ball in the first inning Aquino did it again — a two-run home run to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
Then Wood did his thing — three solo home runs. One in the first to leadoff batter Jon Berti. One in the fifth to No. 8 hitter Austin Dean. One in the sixth to Starlin Castro.
And then there was Miami pitcher Robert Dugger. He was called up from New Orleans to make his second major league start. His record at New Orleans was 2-and-4 with a 7.89 earned run average.
His only major league start was earlier this month, a call-up from New Orleans to make a start in a doubleheader against the New York Mets. He gave up four runs and six hits and walked four in four innings.
So, of the four games in this series, the first three won by the Reds, this was the game Cincinnati figured it had tied up tightly in a duffel bag.
Dugger had other ideas.
Dugger walked Tucker Barnhart with one out in the second, then retired 14 straight through the sixth inning.
Then came the big, big seventh.
Sometimes a game can come down to a single at bat in the middle of the game. And that might have been the case in the seventh inning.
The Reds, down 3-2, had runners on third and first with two outs.
The battle was Jose Iglesias vs. Dugger and what a battle it was. Iglesias fouled off nine straight pitches on a 1-and-2 count. He took ball three, then struck out on a pitch in the dirt.
Dugger, though, was done, enabling the Reds to dig in against the gosh-awful Marlins bullpen.
Jarlin Garcia replaced Dugger in the eighth and he retired the first two he faced. Votto singled on a 3-and-0 pitch.
Ryne Stanek replaced Garcia to face Eugenio Suarez, owner of home runs in four straight games. Stanek wanted no part of him and walked him on four pitches.
That brought up the Legend of The Punisher and, no, he didn’t hit a home run. He drove a game-tying single to center field, his third hit and third RBI.
Michael Lorenzen pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts. He batted for himself with two outs in the ninth and drew a full-count walk. But he tried to steal second on the first pitch to Kyle Farmer and was thrown out.
Pitching with a bloody left elbow from his slide, Lorenzen gave up back-to-back one-out singles to Jorge Alfaro and Harold Ramirez, putting runners on second and first.
Isan Diaz struck out on a full-count change-up and Lewis Brinson lined softly to second, sending it into extra innings.
Pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich walked on four pitches from relief pitcher Jeff Brigham (0-and-3, 4.00 earned run average) to open the 10th. Phillip Ervin singled to center, putting runners on second and first with no outs.
Votto hit into a 4-6-3 double play, putting the go-ahead run on third with two outs. Suarez swung at a 3-and-0 pitch and grounded out to shortstop to end the promising inning with no promises fulfilled by the Reds.
Miami’s Tyler Kinley retired six in a row in the 10th and 11th and it didn’t take long for Raisel Iglesias to end it.
The Reds flew to St. Louis after the long, frustrating night, to begin a four-game series Friday night against the first-place Cardinals.
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