Starting pitching, thought to be a strength of the Reds going into the season, has become a major problem. Cincinnati lost 5-4 to Arizona on Tuesday night for its fifth defeat in six games.
Once again, a rough outing for the starting pitcher was the culprit.
The Reds are 4-8 since their 5-0 start. They have fallen into a first-place tie with the Brewers, just a half-game ahead of the Cardinals and Cubs and a game in front of the Pirates.
"You've got to keep playing," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You can't get down. You can't feel sorry for yourself. You've got to keep playing. We knew it was going to be a tough road sooner or later, especially when you've got two of your main horses out with (Johnny) Cueto and Homer (Bailey injured).
"Hopefully we can win some games before they get back and then really get on a roll."
In the first five games of the current homestand, starters have given up 24 runs in 24 1/3 innings. Only once has a starter gotten through the sixth.
Sam LeCure, one the starters who moved up after Cueto and Bailey were hurt, went 5 1/3 innings Tuesday, allowing five runs on nine hits. He gave up four home runs.
"What really bothers me -- not being able to go deeper into the game to save the bullpen more than the runs," LeCure said.
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