Cincinnati at Florida

W: T. Coffey (2-1) L: A. Benitez (2-5)
S: D. Weathers (19)
HR: CIN - R. Freel (3)   FLA - M. Olivo (8), J. Willingham (15)

Reds 7, Marlins 5

CBS wire reports

MIAMI -- Even Ryan Freel is playing a part in the Cincinnati Reds' surprising surge.

The struggling outfielder hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning Thursday night, and the Reds won their fourth straight game, rallying past the Florida Marlins 7-5.

Cincinnati blew an early 3-0 lead and trailed 5-3 before scoring four runs in the eighth against Armando Benitez (2-5). Freel capped the comeback with his third home run, giving him 15 RBI this season.

"It's obvious - my numbers show I've just been horrendous this year," said Freel, who came into the game hitting .238. "I actually saw the ball today, as opposed to the last three months. I had been closing my eyes and swinging. ... Hopefully we can put some more of those together."

Cincinnati, sixth and last in the NL Central for most of the season, climbed ahead of Pittsburgh and Houston with the win.

"What do we need to go to first?" interim manager Pete Mackanin asked. "We need to keep winning."

The Reds are still 13½ games behind division leader Milwaukee, but they are 10-4 since Mackanin became interim manager, replacing Jerry Narron.

"It just seems coming to the ballpark is a lot different than it was," said David Weathers, who pitched for the fourth straight day and earned his 19th save in 23 chances.

"We were so tense about everything. Pete has a laid back personality. He's a funny guy. It has kind of filtered into us, and we come in here expecting to win."

The Reds have two four-game winning streaks this month, their longest of the season.

"I've got to take notes," Mackanin said. "There are so many good things going on right now that it's hard to remember everything."

The Reds even had a little help -- they scored three runs in the first after right fielder Jeremy Hermida appeared to lose a routine two-out fly in the sun.

Matt Belisle was unable to protect the lead. Winless since May 29, he allowed nine hits and five runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Cincinnati loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh but failed to score, then mounted another rally in the eighth. Javier Valentin led off with a double, took third on Edwin Encarnacion's single and came home on a single by Norris Hopper.

A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners before Freel homered over the scoreboard. He came into the game 3-for-29 since the All-Star break and went 3-for-4.

"It's just a matter of time before he gets on track," Mackanin said. "He's that spark plug you can always use."

Todd Coffey (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and Weathers followed with a hitless ninth.

Miguel Olivo and Josh Willingham homered for the Marlins, who fell to 20-29 at home. One consolation: Few saw their latest loss. The crowd of 10,344 was the smallest at home this season for Florida, last in the NL in attendance.

The game started well for the Reds, coming off a three-game sweep of Atlanta, including a 15-inning victory Wednesday. With two outs and two on in the first, Adam Dunn's fly dropped in front of Hermida and bounced past him to the wall.

"The ball seemed like it had a lot of topspin, and he had the sun right in his face," Marlins pitcher Sergio Mitre said. "It's not his fault. You can't do anything about it."

Dunn was credited with a two-run double, and he scored on a double by Valentin.

Mitre shook off the misplay, shut out Cincinnati over the next five innings and left with a 5-3 lead. But he remained only 4-4 this season despite a 2.82 ERA in 17 starts.

"It seems like something bad happens when he pitches," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He just doesn't get the win."

A slumping Dan Uggla, back in the lineup after sitting out a game for the first time this season, hit a two-out double in the fourth to put Florida ahead.

Willingham hit his 15th homer in the fifth, but that was the Marlins' final run. Jared Burton, Jon Coutlangus, Coffey and Weathers shut them out over the final 4 2/3 innings.

"We've been playing some really good ball," Freel said. "Shaking up things with Pete coming in here, it looks like it has made a difference."


The ball bounced the Marlins' way in the fifth on a grounder by Cincinnati's Scott Hatteberg. His chopper deflected off the glove of 1B Mike Jacobs high into the air, and Mitre caught it as he crossed first base ahead of the batter for a bizarre 3-1 putout. ... Freel made a diving catch in center to rob Miguel Cabrera of a hit in the sixth.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

M. Olivo
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1

R. Freel
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

Related Video

Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF4133000 .247
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3100201 .305
Ken Griffey Jr., RF5000014 .283
Brandon Phillips, 2B5120023 .284
Adam Dunn, LF4111014 .257
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Conine, PH1000000 .256
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
Javier Valentin, C5121011 .260
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4120011 .264
Pedro Lopez, SS3010002 .227
    Jon Coutlangus, P0000000 .000
    Norris Hopper, LF1111000 .274
Matt Belisle, P2000021 .103
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   b- Jeff Keppinger, PH-SS1010000 .238
a-popped out for Coffey in the 9th
b-doubled for Burton in the 7th
2B - Javier Valentin 2 (9, Mitre, Benitez), Jeff Keppinger (2, Mitre)
HR - Ryan Freel (3, Benitez)
SH - Jeff Keppinger (2)
RBI - Ryan Freel 3 (15), Adam Dunn (64), Javier Valentin (15), Norris Hopper (3)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Dunn (30), Javier Valentin (6)
SB - Ryan Freel (15, 2nd base off Mitre/Olivo), Brandon Phillips (18, 3rd base off Mitre/Olivo), Edwin Encarnacion (7, 2nd base off Mitre/Olivo)
CS - Ryan Freel (7, 2nd base by Mitre/Olivo)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Ken Griffey Jr. 1
DP - Keppinger-B. Phillips-Hatteberg
E - Edwin Encarnacion (10, Throwing), Ken Griffey Jr. (6, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Matt Belisle 4.2954252 5.13
Jared Burton 1.1000030 3.75
Jon Coutlangus 0.1100200 3.94
Todd Coffey (W,2-1) 1.2200010 4.54
David Weathers (S,19) 1000120 3.28
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Belisle 85-55, Jared Burton 18-14, Jon Coutlangus 15-5, Todd Coffey 26-17, David Weathers 22-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Belisle 7-3, Todd Coffey 2-1
Batters Faced - Matt Belisle 26, Jared Burton 4, Jon Coutlangus 3, Todd Coffey 6, David Weathers 4
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS5021022 .329
Dan Uggla, 2B5021022 .244
Miguel Cabrera, 3B5010013 .328
Mike Jacobs, 1B4010012 .275
    Jason Wood, 1B0000100 .246
Josh Willingham, LF3111211 .258
Jeremy Hermida, RF2110103 .245
   a- Cody Ross, PH-RF1000111 .296
Miguel Olivo, C5222013 .243
Alfredo Amezaga, CF4120001 .277
Sergio Mitre, P2000023 .120
    Taylor Tankersley, P0000000 .000
    Justin Miller, P0000000 .000
    Armando Benitez, P0000000 .000
   b- Todd Linden, PH1000001 .227
    Lee Gardner, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Hermida in the 7th
b-lined out for Benitez in the 8th
2B - Dan Uggla (34, Belisle), Miguel Cabrera (25, Belisle), Jeremy Hermida (11, Belisle)
HR - Josh Willingham (15, Belisle), Miguel Olivo (8, Belisle)
SH - Sergio Mitre (4)
RBI - Hanley Ramirez (40), Dan Uggla (55), Josh Willingham (61), Miguel Olivo 2 (39)
2-OUT RBI - Hanley Ramirez (12), Dan Uggla (11)
Team LOB - 11
E - Jeremy Hermida (7, Misplayed grounder)
Florida Marlins
Sergio Mitre 6932140 2.82
Taylor Tankersley (H,6) 0.1000110 6.38
Justin Miller (H,8) 0.2000010 2.08
Armando Benitez (BS,4; L,2-5) 1444001 5.25
Lee Gardner 1000020 2.95
HBP - Freel (by Sergio Mitre)
Pitches-Strikes - Sergio Mitre 93-58, Taylor Tankersley 8-4, Justin Miller 8-5, Armando Benitez 24-17, Lee Gardner 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sergio Mitre 8-5, Armando Benitez 2-1
Batters Faced - Sergio Mitre 28, Taylor Tankersley 2, Justin Miller 2, Armando Benitez 7, Lee Gardner 3
Game Information
Attendance - 10344
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Ed Hickox