MIAMI (AP) — Though the Cincinnati Reds are assured of their worst pre-All Star break record in eight years, they’re showing life more recently behind dominant pitching.
They’re hoping rookie Raisel Iglesias can rise to the occasion and continue that trend when they visit the Miami Marlins on Saturday.
Even if the Reds (39-45) sweep the rest of this series, they’ll finish with their fewest wins before the All-Star break since 2007 when they were 38-45. They’ve won three of four while allowing four runs and 16 hits, however, and held Miami to four hits in Friday’s 1-0 victory. Mike Leake struck out 10 over eight innings, giving the club its fourth quality start in five games.
Anthony DeSclafani was responsible for the only non-quality start in that span and this would have been his next turn in the rotation, but he has been scratched because of a strained gluteal muscle. It’s not expected to keep him out past the All-Star break, manager Bryan Price told MLB’s official website.
That provides an opportunity for Iglesias (1-1, 5.11 ERA), who hasn’t pitched in the majors in more than a month due to a strained oblique. He was hammered in his last start, giving up five runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings in Cincinnati’s 8-5 win over Washington on May 30.
He has allowed two runs in 7 2-3 innings over two starts for Triple-A Louisville since June 30.
“We’ve been looking forward to getting Iglesias back here,” Price said. “We think he’s a big leaguer, and a guy that’s gonna benefit greatly from being in the rotation and pitching at the big league level. We see him as part of this ballclub moving forward, and these are valuable innings for him.”
Jay Bruce homered and doubled Friday and continues to rack up extra bases, recording 11 doubles, four home runs and a triple for a .650 slugging percentage over his last 21 games. He was slugging .389 prior to that stretch.
“It was a hole that I had to dig myself out of, and there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said. “I’m still not even close to where I want to be.”
For Iglesias, he won’t exactly be facing murderers’ row in the feebly hitting Marlins (36-51), who have been held below four runs in seven straight games and 14 times in the last 17. They struck out 13 times Friday, including a season-worst three by Dee Gordon, who is 5 for 31 (.161) over his last eight games. Miami is fanning once every 4.1 plate appearances over its last 13 contests.
The Marlins are also holding back their initially scheduled starter, with Mat Latos missing his chance to face the Reds for the first time since they traded him in December for DeSclafani and catcher Chad Wallach. Latos injured his right foot Thursday when he was hit by Christian Yelich’s foul ball.
Adam Conley will take Latos’ place for his first career start. He pitched a perfect inning of relief at Toronto in his major league debut June 10 before being sent back to Triple-A New Orleans the next day. The left-hander is 8-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 16 minor league games this year, including 15 starts.
He was credited with a two-hitter Sunday against Iowa in a game that was called after seven innings due to rain.
The Reds are 9-12 this year against left-handed starters.
Cincinnati’s Marlon Byrd is 20 for 57 (.351) during a 13-game hitting streak.
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