The Cincinnati Reds added a fresh arm to the bullpen Monday, promoting Jackson Stephens from Triple-A Louisville and sending Kevin Shackelford to Louisville.
They need to make that move after using six relief pitchers Sunday in an 8-5 loss to the Miami Marlins, and a four-inning start by Homer Bailey on Monday resulted in another long night for the bullpen in a 7-6 loss to the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park.
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Stephens pitched the fifth and sixth innings, allowing one run on three hits.
“We needed a little bit of length,” Riggleman said, “somebody in the bullpen who could give us as much as four or five innings, so we brought in Stephens. Shackelford is going down. He did a good job, but he’s gone two days in a row, and we didn’t look at him as somebody who would be out there going three or four.”
Stephens was 1-1 with a 5.04 ERA in five starts for Louisville. He made one relief appearance for the Reds in the second game of the season against the Washington Nationals and allowed two earned runs in an inning.
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Last year in Cincinnati, Stephens started four games and made three relief appearances. He was 2-1 with a 4.68 ERA.
“I like what he did up here in the past,” Riggleman said. “I thought he was composed. He’s really a young guy. But he threw strikes. He got his breaking ball over and all that.”
Great catch: Adam Duvall made a diving catch in left field to rob former Red Todd Frazier of extra bases Monday. Duvall went 1-for-4. His average stands at .164.
“I just can’t say enough about Duvall’s plays in left field,” Riggleman said. “Adam’s been struggling with the bat, but he shows his character by laying out for a couple of balls.”
Hot bats: Billy Hamilton is hitting .368 (7-for-19) in the last six games. Scooter Gennett went 2-for-4 and is hitting .359 with three home runs in his last nine starts. Eugenio Suarez has three home runs in his last six games.
Pregame tribute: Former Reds third baseman Todd Frazier played his first game at Great American Ball Park as a visiting player Monday, batting fifth for the Mets. Before the game, the Reds paid tribute to Frazier’s career in Cincinnati with a video showing his career highlights, including his victory in the Home Run Derby in 2015.
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Teddy Kremer, who served as a bat boy several times during Frazier’s career, hugged Frazier in front of the Reds dugout after the video.
Looking ahead: The Reds start a four-game series on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. Following that series, the Reds play 16 straight games against teams with winning records: the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.