Arizona Diamondbacks (46-60) vs. Cincinnati Reds (52-53), 7:10 p.m. (ET)
07/28/2014 10:50 AM
07/29/2014 10:32 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds are struggling, but they're staying positive.
The suddenly free-falling Reds enter game two of a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night having lost nine of 10 games since the All-Star break, falling from 1 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Central to six games behind.
Cincinnati struck out 18 times and notched just six hits in 15 innings in Monday's series opener, which resulted in a 2-1 loss that pushed the team below .500 for the first time in more than a month.
"There's not a whole lot to say," catcher Devin Mesoraco said. "Everybody's trying. They're giving good efforts before the game. We're just not doing our jobs on the field."
In nine games before the break, the Reds averaged 5.3 runs per game. In 10 since, they've batted .171 as a team, racked up 95 strikeouts and scored 17 runs.
In four of the last five games, they've scored just one run in each.
"I can't be critical of the effort, but we're not producing," manager Bryan Price said. "The tide will turn. It's just frustrating."
They face a turnaround opportunity in Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill, who's winless in six starts this season while losing five decisions and posting an 8.10 earned run average.
He allowed seven runs in an 11-5 loss to Detroit on Wednesday in his second appearance since returning from a stint in the minor leagues.
In one start against the Reds, he allowed one run in seven innings and got a no-decision in a game the Diamondbacks lost, 2-1.
Cincinnati starts with righty Mike Leake, who's lost two decisions in three starts while compiling a 5.68 ERA. In four previous starts, he'd won three times with a 2.20 ERA.
Run support has helped him in the past against Arizona, yielding a 3-0 record in six starts in spite of a 5.84 ERA. The Reds have averaged 6.81 runs in this six games.
In each of his last two meetings with the Diamondbacks, Leake has given up four runs and six hits in six innings, including a 6-4 win on May 30.
On Monday, Nick Ahmed's two-out RBI single in the top of the 15th inning gave the Diamondbacks a 2-1 win over the Reds.
Martin Prado drew a walk with one away against J.J. Hoover (1-8) and moved to second base on Didi Gregorius' groundout. Ahmed stepped in and came up with the biggest hit of his young career, lacing a single to left-center that easily scored Prado.
Oliver Perez (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings of relief and Addison Reed shut the door in the ninth to earn his 25th save. The Diamondbacks improved to 13-0 in games that go at least 15 innings.
Arizona starter Chase Anderson struck out a career-high eight batters in seven innings. He allowed just a run on three hits, departing when Juan Pacheco pinch-hit for him in the top of the eighth inning. Anderson needed just 89 pitches to get through seven.
Cincinnati's Homer Bailey was also efficient, throwing 95 pitches in eight innings of work. He yielded a run on five hits. But the top three hitters in the Cincinnati lineup, Billy Hamilton, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, finished a combined 0-for-16 with 10 strikeouts.
The Reds are 3-2 against the D-backs this season.
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