McCoy: Reds break three-game losing streak with 7-0 victory over Diamondbacks

Hunter Greene was so good Monday night in Great American that the Arizona Diamondbacks needed a court order to get a hit.

They got one. . .a bunt leading off the game by Daulton Varsho. Greene then easily and swiftly retired the next 20 in a row, and not a ball was hit hard.

And the Reds provided their 22-year-old wonder child with ample offense en route to a 7-0 victrory, snapping a three-game losing streak.

The game was stopped with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when a massive rainstorm dropped enough water into the outfield that would make Moby Dick comfortable.

And Greene pitched a whale of a ball game. For his seven innings, he gave up Varsho’s leadoff bunt single up the third base line against the shift, and nothing else.

The game was not resumed and Hunter was credited with a complete-game shutout.

Varsho was caught stealing as Josh Rojas struck out, so Greene faced the minimum of 21 batters through seven innings and needed only 87 pitches to get there.

He struck out eight of the 21 he faced and when he wasn’t striking out hitters he was coaxing five fly balls to left fielder Tommy Pham.

Greene dialed back a bit on his fastball, from his usual 100 to 101 miles an hour to 97 and 98 to achieve command and it worked. Varsho’s bunt was a fastball and after that the D-Backs were 0 for 10 on his fastballs.

“I didn’t try to do too much tonight, just tried to keep it real simple,” Greene said during his post-game media session. “Some of my past starts I tried to do too much on a pitch. Tonight I just said, ‘Here it is,’ tried to simplify it and let the pitches go where they need to be.

“I used my eyes and my sightings to where (catcher) Tyler Stephenson was set up and trust that ability,” he added.

He needed only five pitches in his last inning and probbly could have gone another inning if Mother Nature hadn’t said, “That’s enough.”

“It was nice not to go up too much on the pitch count and if I could do that every start it would be awesome,” he said. “I’m working toward getting there as I learn more about the game.”

Greene was not upset about Varsho’s bunt single and even gave him credit.

“It looked foul right off the bat,” said Greene. “From my angle, it looked foul. But it was a great bunt, one of the best I’ve seen. So good for him. The game is funny. . .but it was a great bunt.”

Reds manager David Bell called it Hunter’s best, even better than the ‘no-hitter’ he lost in Pittsburgh.

“We seen some good starts, some great starts from Hunter,” he said. “That might have been the best. Just a great mix of pitches. Just really impressive how he located his fastball, another good slider and threw some change-ups.”

The third pitch, the change-up, has been missing from Greene’s arsenal, but he implemented it Monday.

“I had a good mix,” he said. “I really plan to mix that in a little more and trust it. Nobody seemed too comfortable in the box and I’ve been trying to get away from that. Nobody should be comfortable in the box when I’m throwing the way I was throwing.”

The Reds easily picked apart Arizona starter Madison Bumgarner, he of a $23 million salary this season to Greene’s $700,000.

Bumgarner was touched for four runs and eight hits over five innings and the Reds added three more in the seventh against relief pitcher Taylor Widener.

And with two outs in the seventh, a monsoon swooped over the stadium and the grounds crew had difficulty covering the field with the tarpaulin,

The only run Greene really needed was provided one out into the bottom of the first when Brandon Drury, who spent the first three seasons of his career with the Diamondbacks, drilled his 10th home run into the right field seats.

The Reds added a run in the second on Alejo Lopez’s leadoff double and Nick Senzel’s single.

Two more were scored against Bumgarner in the fifth on Kyle Farmer’s line drive double that skipped past center fielder Alek Thomas as he tried for a diving catch. And it was 4-0.

Tyler Stephenson’s two-run double off Widener in the seventh and Albert Almora Jr.’s single made it 7-0 before the deluge halted proceedings.

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