Manager Bryan Price has seen the same show too many times. Hollywood doesn’t turn out near as many sequels as the Cincinnati Reds.
One day after losing 10-7 to the Washington Nationals, the Reds lost 14-4 at Great American Ball Park. The Reds (39-52) have lost three games by double digits this season, two to the Nationals. They have allowed 10 or more runs 14 times.
“You can’t give up 14 runs,” Price said. “You can’t give up 10 runs. You’re not going to win games. We’ve got to get to the point where we’re not talking about 10- and 14-run games as often as we have this year.”
GAME STORY: Bailey gives up 8 runs in loss
The Reds reached the All-Star break with some momentum, having won eight of their last 13 games. They have lost their first three games since the break.
Asked if that was deflating, Price said, “Yeah, it is. It doesn’t mean we’re going to deflate, but you’re darn right, it is. It’s certainly not anything that anyone envisioned. Everyone goes, ‘Hey, it’s Washington. They’re on top of their division.’ It doesn’t matter. We’ve played good clubs and won games.”
Odd play: Homer Bailey reached first base after striking out in the third inning. He thought the ball hit the dirt and raced to first base. Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton threw the ball to third, thinking he had caught the ball. A replay seemed to indicate Lobaton was right, but the first-base umpire awarded Bailey first base.
The play helped the Reds cut an early 4-0 deficit in half. Billy Hamilton followed Bailey with a single. Bailey scored later in the inning on an error by shortstop Wilmer Difo. Hamilton scored on a groundout by Scooter Gennett.
Rookie’s chance: Jesse Winker made his first start in the field for the Reds, playing right field and hitting second. He was 1-for-2 with three walks.
Winker started two games at designated hitter in his second stint in the big leagues in June. This is Winker’s third stint with the Reds this season. He’s hitting .250 (4-for-16) in eight games.
“I’d like Wink to get an opportunity to play,” Price said before the game. “We’ve got a regular outfield alignment and guys off the bench. A lot of these guys are biding their time for opportunity as well.”
Injury update: Devin Mesoraco, who has been on the disabled list since July 3 with a shoulder injury caught a bullpen session Saturday, Price said, and everything went well. Price planned to discus the next step for Mesoraco on Sunday.
Attendance dropping: Through Saturday and 45 home games, the Reds ranked 23rd in baseball with average attendance (24,435). That’s a drop of 659 fans per game compared to the same point last season. That’s the 11th-biggest decrease in baseball.
The Reds drew a crowd of 25,712 on Sunday. There was a crowd of 36,462 on Saturday for Billy Hamilton Bobblehead giveaway.
Next game: The Reds and Nationals finish their four-game series at 12:35 p.m. Monday. Scott Feldman (7-6, 3.94 ERA) starts for the Reds against Stephen Strasburg (9-3, 3.43).