Reds' offense struggles during rocky start

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm •  Published: April 10, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds' season has started a lot like the last one ended, with a lot of losses set up by a lot runners stranded on base.

All they can do is ride it out.

Cincinnati has lost all of its three series to open the season, with its lack of clutch hitting the main culprit. The Reds (3-6) have stranded 71 runners in their nine games and are batting only .214 with runners in scoring position. With runners on scoring position and two outs, it's .129.

And it's the main reason they're taking up the rear in the NL Central.

"Who would have said that?" pitcher Homer Bailey said. "I don't think anybody in here would have expected that or could have even conceived it in their mind. We just need to be better."

It's reminiscent of the last week of the 2013 season, when Cincinnati couldn't hit and couldn't win. The Reds lost their last six games, including the wild-card playoff in Pittsburgh. They failed to score more than three runs in any of those games during the slide, which cost manager Dusty Baker his job.

They're at it again under Bryan Price, who was promoted from pitching coach. The Reds have scored 27 runs, the third-fewest in the National League. Their .234 team batting average ranks 11th in the league.

"We're running our guys out there," Price said. "The core guys, these are the guys that when the season is over, they're going to have their numbers."

For now, they're trying to get healthy and get it together.

The Reds opened the season with eight players on the disabled list, the most in the majors. Catcher Devin Mesoraco was the only missing regular, and Brayan Pena has done well as his fill-in, batting .353. But leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton is batting .192, Joey Votto .250 with only one RBI, Jay Bruce .188 with a team-high eight RBIs, Zack Cozart .038.

Continue reading this story on the...