What a mess today. Ben Kozlowski, starting in place of Eric Milton who's out with a strained calf, did a decent impression of 2005 Milton by giving up a home run to Tigers' lead-off batter, Ivan Rodriguez. He also allowed three runs in the second inning, putting the Reds down 4-0.
The Reds rumbled into scoring form when newly acquired first baseman Scott Hatteberg hit a solo shot in the fourth inning. The Tigers scored again on Elizardo Ramirez in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-1, Tigers.
But the Reds were rolling. In the fifth, right fielder Ryan Freel stole second just in time for second baseman Tony Womack to knock him in. And you guys said he couldn't hit. In the sixth, DH Jacob Cruz doubled and scored, and the score was 5-3 Tigers after six.
Faltering Tigers' pitching allowed Cruz to walk in a run in the seventh, followed by catcher Miguel Perez sacrificing in another to tie the score 5-5 in the middle of the seventh. Unfortunately, that's about the time that Ryan Wagner gave up a solo home run to Reggie Taylor, followed by Omar Infante's two-run double that brought the score to where it would stay: 8-5 Tigers.
Pitching continues to be the festering wound of this Reds' team, but I'm even more dispirited to see that Wily Mo Peña followed up his two-walk performance yesterday with three strike outs today.
Tomorrow Justin Germano takes on Tigers' pitcher Mike Maroth at 1:05 p.m. in Sarasota. Meanwhile, Michael Gosling will be facing Brad Radke in Fort Myers, also at 1:05 p.m.