Three wild card comeback games after loss

Wade Miley knew where the ball was heading when Corey Seager hooked up on a first pitch slider for a two-run homer in the third inning on Sunday.

He just hopes the Cincinnati Reds’ playoff chances haven’t gone away.

Miley had another rough start, allowing six runs and nine hits in three innings, with future Hall of Fame member Clayton Kershaw throwing the other end. The Reds lost 8-5 in their series final to the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of 26,621 fans at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds have lost eight straight series, their longest losing streak since August 2015. They are four back in the losing streak for the St. Louis Cardinals with 12 games remaining in their season. The Cardinals swept the San Diego Padres and won eight straight games to take a three-game lead in the wild card race.

“We have to win games, build playoffs,” Miley said. “I know we haven’t won a series in a while. But we just have to keep playing. We can’t press. Anything can happen. 12 games left, Cardinals have (14) games to go. can go on a losing streak like we did. Hopefully we can turn things around and see what happens. “

Miley has allowed at least nine hits and five runs in three of her last four starts. Prior to that, he had allowed more than four points in a single start in his previous 24 outings. He struggled with the placement of his shots, making mistakes in the middle of the plate.

“Clearly,” Miley said, “I didn’t get it.”

Things snowballed quickly for Miley. The Dodgers saw four of their top five hitters hit him in the second inning. Will Smith hit a solo homerun that fell in the front row of seats in left field.

Two hitters later, it was Gavin Lux’s turn. Lux, who got the go-ahead in Saturday’s game, had a two-run home run down center. It was only his second homerun in the major leagues and his fourth hit against a left-handed pitcher in 108 career home plate appearances.

“Guys know what I’m going to do,” Miley said. “That’s the tricky thing; guys know what I’m going to do up there. It’s no secret and I just can’t get through baseball where I want it and just back down over it. plaque. It’s just not good. “

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino (44) reacts to a field strike by Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) in the second inning of the MLB baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, September 7.  December 19, 2021 at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

In the third inning, Albert Pujols walked out with one out and Seager followed with a 420-foot homerun down center for a 5-0 lead. Miley immediately called home plate umpire Ryan Blakney for a new ball, but the damage was done.

The left-handed hitters came on Sunday with a 0.195 batting average over Miley with three doubles and one homer in her 25 starts. Seager and Lux, the two left-handed Dodgers in addition to Kershaw, went 4 for 4 with two homers, two singles and five RBIs.

Miley was called out after three innings and 64 shots. He was tied for his shortest start to the season. Miley did not rule out that it was a physical issue, saying he would see the video of his departure again on Monday.

“Certainly the last few times he hasn’t felt so good,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I really want to make sure he’s healthy. Of course, there is fatigue this time of year. I really want to take a close look at this and make sure everything is okay.”

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino (44) watches a ball bounce off the field as Los Angeles Dodgers wide receiver Will Smith (16) gets a home run in the second inning of the MLB baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

The Reds haven’t done much against Kershaw, who made his second start since returning from the 60-day injured list (forearm inflammation). Kershaw allowed three hits and a run in five innings, striking out eight while relying heavily on his cursor.

Nick Castellanos scored twice with a strikeout in the fourth inning, climbed to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Groundout. He was the only runner to touch third base against Kershaw.

“I’m a little biased, but I thought he was stuck sometimes today,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “He was fantastic. I think the story of the day was that his slider was really good.”

TJ Friedl opened the sixth inning with a solo homer to right field for his first Major League hit. He became the first Reds player with a homerun for his first big-league hit since Juan Francisco on September 18, 2009.

No silent treatment after getting around the basics. His teammates congratulated Friedl and Tyler Stephenson, his good friend, waited at the end of the canoe to give him a bear hug.

“I remembered running in third place and coming home to really experience that moment and embrace whatever was going on,” Friedl said. “It’s a unique thing. You will never get that back. You will never get your first hit back. For that hit to be a home run, it’s so meaningful.”

Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl (29) steps into the dugout as Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) pats his helmet after hitting his first home run of his MLB career in the sixth inning of the baseball game MLB between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts asked fan, Michael Diddle of Portsmouth, who caught Homer to throw it at him, so they could save the ball for Friedl. Diddle immediately sent him back to Betts, and Betts rewarded him with a signed bat the next inning.

“When I turned around and saw Mookie running with a bat into the outfield,” said Friedl, “it was cold in the back, honestly. For him to do that for me was amazing.”

The Reds added two runs in the eighth inning and took the tie at home. Friedl hit a single with an out and Jonathan India called with an RBI double along the left field line.

Castellanos added a two-strikeout RBI single in shallow right field, reducing the Reds’ deficit to 6-4. The crowd, desperately waiting to cheer all afternoon, had visions of an epic comeback.

Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen struck out Tyler Stephenson on three shots.

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