It is going to be that type of season in Cincinnati. The Reds (3-8) lost their second game in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays (7-5) Saturday 1-0 behind another phenomenal outing by starting pitcher Alfredo Simon.
Like every other loss this season with the Reds the offense struggled to drive in any runs. Numerous times the Reds put runners on base, only to have terrible base running and lack of hitting doom them in.
Manager Bryan Price shook up the lineup a little Saturday hoping that it may spark some sort of offense. By moving Joey Votto to the second spot in the lineup and Brandon Phillips to the three spot Price was hoping Votto could get on base with only one out and the rest of the lineup could drive him in. His theory nearly worked and likely would have if third base coach Steve Smith had held Votto on a Phillips single, instead Smith sent Votto home where he was called out by a mile. Phillips was then caught stealing third and Jay Bruce struck out on the next pitch, it was that kind of day for the Reds.
The only bright spot was Alfredo Simon, the reliever turned starter for this season put in another stellar outing. A home run in the second inning was the only run Simon allowed and it happened to be the winning run. Simon went 8IP, allowing 5 hits, 1 run and struck out 4. Another impressive stat line.
Alex Cobb dealt for the Rays on Saturday. Cobb dominated the Reds line up going 7IP, allowing only 4 hits and no runs. Cincinnati did not have an answer for Cobb or the Rays relievers on Saturday.
Offensively for the Reds, the struggle continued. Billy Hamilton had another 0-4 game, Zach Cozart did not have an 0-4 game the struggling shortstop actually recorded a hit. Votto, Phillips and Todd Frazier accounted for the teams other three hits. How do you fix this offense? No one seems to have the slightest clue.
Cincinnati returns to GABP Sunday looking to avoid the sweep.