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Lohse pitches Reds past Pirates; Freel hospitalized

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Center fielder Ryan Freel had to leave Monday's game after a frightening outfield collision, but he still played a big part in the Cincinnati Reds' 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Freel was taken off the field on a stretcher after colliding with a teammate. Tests came back normal, and his hard-nosed hustle inspired his teammates to turn in several sparkling defensive plays that helped help Kyle Lohse throw a six-hit shutout, which snapped the team's six-game skid as well as Lohse's personal six-game losing streak.

"That's what we need -- pitching and defense," said catcher David Ross, who hit a two-run home run and blocked the plate to tag Humberto Cota and complete a double play that ended Pittsburgh's last scoring threat in the eighth inning.

"I think Freel's play was kind of a turning point for us."

Freel left the game in the third inning after running into right fielder Norris Hopper while catching Cota's fly ball on the warning track in right-center field. Freel was spun around and landed near the base of the wall. The game was delayed 13 minutes while Reds trainers and doctor looked at him before he was strapped onto a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance to be taken to a local hospital.

"He just goes out there and plays hard every play," Lohse said. "It's fun to watch, but it's scary."

The Reds announced in the fourth inning that Freel, who's known for his all-out play, had feeling in all of his extremities and was coherent. CT scans were normal and he was diagnosed with a contusion to the head and neck. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

Edwin Encarnacion added two RBI for Cincinnati as well as three sparkling defensive plays that helped keep the Pirates off the scoreboard.

"I know I can play down there," said Encarnacion, who was sent down to Triple-A Louisville on May 10, in part because of poor defense. "I never lost my confidence."

Lohse (2-6), who was ill during his last start and said he still hasn't regained the 8-9 pounds he lost, got past the fifth inning for the first time in his last four starts while shutting down a team that had scored 33 runs and won the first three games of the series. He struck out two and didn't walk a batter to avoid becoming the first Reds pitcher since Fred Norman in 1977 to lose seven consecutive starts.

"The defense picked me up today," Lohse said. "When they do that, it gives you the confidence to keep pounding the strike zone."

Pittsburgh starter Ian Snell acknowledged that Freel's play changed the game, but wasn't sure the umpires made the right call on it.

"It seemed like their defense stepped up when Freel caught the ball -- but I still don't think he caught it," Snell said.

The win was Lohse's first in eight starts since the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs, 1-0, on April 15 at Wrigley Field in Cincinnati's only shutout win of the season. Pittsburgh was shut out for the fourth time.

It was Lohse's fourth career shutout.

"You've got to give credit to him," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "He pitched ahead, and he had some help. He got a lift with his defense. We hit into some tough luck."

The game was scoreless until Alex Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to lead off the fifth inning and, one out later, Ross launched his sixth homer of the season into the left field seats to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.

The Reds added a run in the sixth when Adam Dunn doubled, moved to third on Snell's wild pitch and scored on Encarnacion's bloop to short right-center field over a drawn-in Pirates infield. Encarnacion gave Lohse some breathing room with a single to drive in Brandon Phillips in the eighth inning.

Snell (4-4) has lost his last two starts after getting wins in three of his previous decisions. Snell allowed five hits and three runs with two walks and six strikeouts in seven innings.

Notes

  • The Reds optioned RHP Kirk Saarloos to Triple-A Louisville and recalled LHP Bobby Livingstone before Monday's game.
  • RF Ken Griffey Jr. did not start Monday after starting each of Cincinnati's last 26 games. Griffey entered the game in the top of the third inning to replace Freel.
  • Umpire Bob Davidson missed his second consecutive game due to illness. He was replaced at second base by Adam Dowdy.
  • The Pirates announced that they had signed RHP David Copley, their 43rd round draft pick in last year's draft.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Ryan Freel is down after colliding with Norris Hopper and hitting his head on the warning track.  (AP)
Ryan Freel is down after colliding with Norris Hopper and hitting his head on the warning track. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

K. Lohse
IP 9.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 0
K 2
Cincinnati

D. Ross
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Bautista, 3B4010002 .265
Chris Duffy, CF4000002 .236
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4010000 .287
Adam LaRoche, 1B4010011 .206
Jason Bay, LF4010002 .302
Xavier Nady, RF4010001 .288
Jack Wilson, SS3000002 .254
Humberto Cota, C2010000 .286
Ian Snell, P1000010 .158
   a- Ryan Doumit, PH1000001 .330
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
    Josh Sharpless, P0000000 .000
Totals3106002  
a-popped out for Snell in the 8th
Batting
3B - Jason Bay (2, Lohse)
SH - Ian Snell (7)
Team LOB - 6
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (L,4-4) 7533261 3.14
Damaso Marte 0.2111000 1.02
Josh Sharpless 0.1100000 0.00
HBP - A. Gonzalez (by Ian Snell)
WP - Ian Snell (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 109-67, Damaso Marte 5-4, Josh Sharpless 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 6-8, Damaso Marte 1-1
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 28, Damaso Marte 3, Josh Sharpless 2
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF1000000 .251
    Ken Griffey Jr., RF3010010 .291
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3000101 .303
Brandon Phillips, 2B4110011 .284
Adam Dunn, LF3110111 .263
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4022002 .242
Alex Gonzalez, SS3110012 .268
Norris Hopper, RF-CF3000013 .244
David Ross, C3112010 .218
Kyle Lohse, P3000000 .235
Totals3047426  
Batting
2B - Brandon Phillips (11, Marte), Adam Dunn (8, Snell), Edwin Encarnacion (3, Sharpless)
HR - David Ross (6, Snell)
RBI - Edwin Encarnacion 2 (21), David Ross 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Edwin Encarnacion (10)
CS - Alex Gonzalez (1, 2nd base by Snell/Cota)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Hatteberg-Ross
Cincinnati Reds
Kyle Lohse (W,2-6) 9600020 4.59
HBP - Cota (by Kyle Lohse)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 105-75
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 13-11
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 33
Game Information
Attendance - 17905
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Adam Dowdy, Third Base - Sam Holbrook