CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- This time the Cincinnati Reds kept an
impressive effort by Chris Reitsma from going to waste.
Reitsma (3-0) pitched a season-high 7 2/3 innings, allowed one
earned run and struck out six as the Reds posted a 6-1 triumph
over the Florida Marlins.
In his last start, Reitsma allowed just one run on four hits in
seven innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, but left with the
game tied. On Tuesday, Reitsma escaped a bases-loaded jam in
the fourth inning to preserve a 1-1 tie, then retired 13 of the
next 15 batters.
"You tell yourself you have to execute," Reitsma said. "You try
to go as hard as you can as long as you can. You know what to
do, (but) it's a matter of doing it. I knew it last year but I
had to learn to trust myself enough to (execute)."
Reitsma has not allowed more than one earned run in four of his
last five games for the Reds, who are 7-2 when he starts.
"He's been our most consistent pitcher," Cincinnati manager Bob
Boone said. "Last year he knew what he had to do, but his
mistakes happened and he lost focus. Sometimes as a manager, you
have to suffer through that. His heart is off the charts. He's
motivated. He worked hard over the winter and is a lot
stronger this season."
The Reds broke open the game with five runs in the fifth inning.
Sean Casey put Cincinnati ahead, 2-1, by plating Barry Larkin
with a single to left. Austin Kearns provided insurance with
his first career grand slam.
"It was nice to get one (grand slam)," Kearns said. "I don't
think I've hit one in pro ball. Maybe in high school or summer
Florida starter A.J. Burnett (5-4) gave up six runs and five
hits in five innings. He struggled with his control, walking
After holding opponents to four runs or less in seven of his
first eight outings, Burnett has surrendered at least five runs
in each of his past two starts.
Burnett's problems began in the second inning when he walked in
Cincinnati's first run. Kearns opened the inning with a flyout
but Walker doubled to left. Burnett got Aaron Boone to strike
out for the second out.
The Marlins intentionally walked Corky Miller to get to Reitsma,
who fouled off four pitches before drawing another walk to load
the bases. Burnett then walked Larkin, scoring Walker.
"First of all, I throw a 2-2 curveball to (Reitsma)," Burnett
said. "I should go right at him. The guy is hitting zero, I
think. I just couldn't find it (control) all night."
Burnett faced a similar situation in the fifth after
surrendering base hits to Juan Encarnacion and Casey then
loading the bases with a walk to Adam Dunn. Burnett got behind
in the count, 3-1, before tossing a fastball which Kearns
blasted over the left field wall.
"That's the kicker, the walks," Burnett said. "The guy hits the
grand slam and that (stinks), but the five walks. If I make
pitches and get ahead, the pressure is on him. But I didn't so
the pressure was on me."
"I made up my mind that I was going to take another pitch," said
Kearns, who was given the green light on a 3-0 count. "The more
pitches you see, the better. I figured he would throw me a
fastball. It's his best pitch and the one he can throw for
The Marlins, who have lost five of their last six games, had an
opportunity to take advantage of another bases-loaded situation
in the eighth but Reds closer Danny Graves got Charles Johnson
to ground out to end the inning.