McCoy: Listless Reds swept by Mariners

When the Cincinnati Reds set wheels-down in Seattle, the Mariners had neither swept a series nor even won a series this embryonic season.

That ended abruptly the last three days when the Mariners soundly thrashed the Reds Wednesday afternoon, 5-1, to not only win the series but to complete a three-game sweep of the Reds.

To slightly alter a movie title, the Reds were ‘Winless in Seattle.’ It dropped them to 9-9, 2 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the National League Central.

And Wednesday was total futility as the Reds had one hit, a home run by Elly De La Cruz, and one other baserunner, a nine-pitch walk to Tyler Stephenson. The last 22 Reds were sent back to the dugout.

After sweeping three games in Chicago, outscoring the White Sox, 27-5, the Reds were outscored 17-5 by the Mariners.

“Those guys can pitch, there’s no question,” Reds manager David Bell told Bally Sports Ohio. “You never want to get swept, but three games does not define our team by any means.

“I’m not happy about this, about how it went, but to a point, they made it tough,” Bell added. “They have really good arms (pitchers), they made pitches, threw strikes. So at this point we’re just looking forward to going home.”

After a day off to regather and recuperate, the Reds open a three-game series Friday night in Great American Ball Park against Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels.

The Reds had 12 hits in the three games, the same amount as they had in the first game against a weak and depleted White Sox team.

On Wednesday, the Reds were baffled and bewildered by Seattle right-hander Bryce Miller.

Matters looked bright early when the Reds scored first on De La Cruz’s two-out home run in the second that gave them a 1-0 lead. Stephenson followed with a walk. . .and that was it.

Miller retired the next 13 in a row en route to his third victory, all against National League

Central teams (Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati). In those three games he gave up no runs and seven hits over 19 1/3 innings.

And it looked as if De La Cruz’s home run might hold up because Cincinnati starter Andrew Abbott was on his ‘A’ game.

He retired the first five Mariners flawlessly, two via strikeouts. But with two outs in the second, Cal Raleigh tied it with a home run.

Then Abbott gave up a two-out homer to Mitch Garver in the sixth to push Seattle in front, 2-1. Through six innings there were three runs scored, all three on two-out home runs.

Abbott left after six innings with a good-looking line of two runs, four hits, three walks and six strikeouts.

“Abbott pitched well, gave us exactly what you want, exactly what he needed to be successful,
 said Bell. “He threw strikes, used his fastball. You can live with the solo homers. If he keeps doing that, good things will happen.”

Miller also was lifted after six with a near-perfect line of one run, one hit, one walk and seven strikeouts.

So it turned into a Battle of the Bullpens and the Reds were unarmed and not dangerous.

Lucas Sims replaced Abbott to open the seventh and his first pitch to pinch-hitter Josh Rojas crash landed in the right field seats, a home run that gave Seattle a 3-1 lead.

The unnerved Sims then walked No. 9 hitter and rookie Jonatan Clase, playing his third major league game. Clase stole 72 bases in Class AA and showed how he did it by stealing second, his first big league theft. That enabled him to score on Mitch Hanigar’s single.

With two outs, Sims walked three straight, the last one forcing in a run as Bell left him in long enough to walk four and throw a one-inning career-high 36 pitches.

Meanwhile, three Seattle pitchers each worked one perfect inning —Trent Thornton, Gabe Speier and Austin Voth. Speier struck out the side in the eighth.

The Reds’ offense was severely crimped by the absence due to illness to Jeimer Candelario and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. And leadoff hitter Jonathan India was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and is encumbered in a 0 for 23 slump with 11 strikeouts.

“Of course we want everyone here and we want everyone healthy,” said Bell of the missing Candelario and Encarnacion-Strand. “All teams go through this, and our team fully expected to go out and win today.”

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