BOSTON- Already playing with a lineup missing three regular contributors, and having to add a designated hitter for Interleague Play at Fenway Park, the Reds were quite shorthanded on Tuesday night vs. the Red Sox.
But this was a game that could have been won, and the Reds knew it. In a game where both clubs missed early chances repeatedly, the Red Sox handed Cincinnati a 4-3 loss in 12 innings on Grady Sizemore‘s walk-off RBI single off the Green Monster.
“We’ve been beat up from Day 1. It’s no excuse,” said left fielder Ryan Ludwick, who had a double and sacrifice fly. “That’s baseball. Some teams get hurt. Some teams don’t. Unfortunately, we’ve caught a couple of bad breaks as far as guys with injuries.”
The Reds lacked Jay Bruce, who was on the disabled list and Billy Hamilton, who is dealing with two sprained left knuckles. Brayan Pena did not start behind the plate in favor of rookie Tucker Barnhart. Rookie Neftali Soto, now 2-for-27 in the big leagues, was the DH.
“These guys don’t want any sorrow from anybody. None of us do,” said manager Bryan Price, who has had a big league high 11 players on the DL this season. “We’re not going to lower our standards or our expectations and say, ‘We’re not supposed to win against the better teams because we’re a little banged up.’ It was a disappointing loss. It was a game that was winnable and we didn’t win it.”
Back in late January, the Reds thought they had Sizemore all but locked up to make his comeback in Cincinnati after two seasons out of baseball because of knee injuries. Then at the last moment, Sizemore jumped on a deal with the Red Sox. On Tuesday to cap a game that stretched over four hours, he burned his former suitor.
Reds starter Homer Bailey wasn’t crisp, but he got through six innings and allowed three runs and five hits while he walked five (one intentional) and struck out five. It was good enough for a quality start and a no-decision.
“They had some really good at-bats. Of course, I was kind of all over the place and they took advantage of it,” Bailey said. “I had several walks, which is kind of uncharacteristic of me. I just didn’t have the right feel tonight. It was just one of those games that I had to grind out.”.
“I think any time you lose a game, you think about missed opportunities,” Ludwick said. “Obviously, it’s tough when you play extra innings. Guys always want to win those games. It’s a momentum builder a lot of times. It’s a tough one. We’ve got another one tomorrow.”