MIAMI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds made a mess of their final game before the All-Star break, and not just because of the ice scattered across the dugout floor after Johnny Cueto angrily sent a cooler flying.
Cueto threw a fit when he was pulled for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, and things went downhill from there for the Reds, who endured a drubbing by the woeful Miami Marlins for the second day in a row Sunday, 8-1.
The Reds went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position, committed two errors that led to three unearned runs and had another costly lapse when they failed to cover third base.
Afterward, manager Bryan Price held a 30-minute clubhouse meeting. His team lost three of four games in the series and was outscored 22-4 in the final two games.
“The last two games were disastrous,” Price said. “It was just not good baseball, and not the way we want to go into the All-Star break.”
Cueto (6-6) allowed five runs, three earned, and the Reds trailed 5-1 when he was pulled and threw his fit.
“It was not the right way to handle it,” Price said. “We’ve discussed that, and he knows that. It is not typical of Johnny by any means to have that type of reaction, and I certainly don’t condone it.”
Cueto was contrite.
“I feel bad,” the Dominican said through a translator. “You get frustrated; we’re all frustrated. But the manager is the manager, and the manager has a chance to do things like that, and that’s what he’s going to do.”
Both teams finished disappointing first halves. The Marlins (38-51) began the day with the second-worst record in the majors, while the Reds (39-47) were 15½ games behind NL Central leader St. Louis.
“It hasn’t been a great first half, for a number of reasons,” Price said. “It would have been a lot better to play better those last two games. We have to rally. We have 70-plus games left on the schedule and we’ve got to play better and get after it.”
They struggled to cash in off Haren (7-5), stranding seven runners in scoring position against the right-hander, and threatening in all but one inning he worked.
“There were a lot of opportunities with runners in scoring position, probably too many,” Haren said. “But I was able to pitch out of them. I had them off balance a bit. I was definitely pleased with the end result.”
Reds All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier had two hits and an RBI but also made his 11th error, which allowed Miami to score two unearned runs. An errant throw home by shortstop Eugenio Suarez resulted in another unearned run as the Marlins blew the game open with three runs in the seventh.
Suarez compounded his mistake by failing to cover third, allowing a runner to advance an extra base and eventually score.
Justin Bour had three hits and three RBIs for the Marlins. Casey McGehee, signed Friday for a second stint with Miami, drove in two runs for the second game in a row.
Haren was pleasantly surprised by the run support.
“Against Cueto, I thought I was going to have to give up zero or one run to have a chance,” Haren said.
There’s speculation both Cueto and Haren will be on the market as the trade deadline approaches.
“I am still wearing my Cincinnati uniform,” Cueto said, “and that’s all I’m thinking about.”
Marlins: INF Martin Prado (shoulder) will return to Single-A Jupiter on a rehab assignment and is expected to be activated for the Marlins’ next game Friday at Philadelphia. He may fill in at 2B for All-Star Dee Gordon, who is expected to be sidelined at least a week with a dislocated left thumb, president of baseball operations Michael Hill said.
Marlins: Ace Jose Fernandez (2-0, 2.08) is scheduled to make his third start since returning from Tommy John at Philadelphia on Friday
Reds: Mike Leake (6-5, 4.08) is scheduled to start at home Friday against Cleveland. He’ll be followed by Anthony DeSclafani and Cueto.
A hot ticket
CINCINNATI (AP) — There’s a hot market for tickets to baseball’s mid-summer All-Star Game in Cincinnati.
With the game sold out for weeks and the host city within a six-hour drive for fans in a half-dozen other MLB cities, online sites and ticket brokers are seeing prices jumping above typical levels for the annual game. Even standing-room only tickets are commanding hundreds of dollars, with premium seats behind home plate being offered online for nearly $7,000 each. The sold-out Home Run Derby on Monday night is also getting listings for hundreds of dollars per ticket.
Austin, Texas-based TicketCity says median ticket sale prices have been 30 percent higher than last year’s game in Minnesota, and nearly $100 higher than the 2013 median price of $449 the service saw for the All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York. Spokeswoman Ashley Kubiszyn credits Cincinnati’s central location and attractive riverside Great American Ball Park, which is hosting the game for the first time.
Tickets were being offered Friday on the online marketplace StubHub starting at over $300 for standing room tickets, with premium Diamond Seats from $6,000 to $7,000 each. Those behind-home tickets start at $255 each for most weekday regular season Reds games.
Major League Baseball expects some 43,000 fans for the game. An MLB official earlier this week warned fans to be alert for counterfeit tickets, and to buy only from sources they know.
A veteran ticket broker said demand should remain high, because Cincinnati is within easy driving distance for millions of people who could still decide to come on late impulse.
“Demand started strong and it’s staying strong,” said Jeff McDonald of Cincinnati-based Riverfront Choice Tickets, which also goes by 333seat.com. He called it comparable to a Super Bowl or World Series.
“Internet action has been insane, the phones have been crazy, the number of walk-ins just keeps building,” McDonald said. “This is what we dream of.”
MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins lost All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon to a dislocated left thumb Saturday, and took out their aggravation on the Cincinnati Reds with a franchise-record offensive outburst.
Gordon was hurt leading off the seventh inning when he slid headfirst into first base for an infield single, the first of a record nine consecutive hits as Miami won 14-3.
Gordon will miss the All-Star Game but might be sidelined only a week or two. X-rays were negative, and there was no apparent ligament damage, the Marlins said.
After Gordon left the game, Miami scored eight runs in the seventh. J.T. Realmuto hit a three-run homer, Christian Yelich had a double and a single, and reliever Mike Dunn singled for his first hit in seven seasons.
“I looked up after I got the X-ray and saw Dunn’s hit,” Gordon said. “I said, ‘Dunn?!’ It was cool. We needed that, man.”
Gordon, who leads the majors with 122 hits, was chosen to start in the All-Star Game for the first time. With right fielder Giancarlo Stanton already sidelined because of a broken left hand, Gordon’s injury means the Marlins will have no players at the All-Star Game.
“It kind of puts a damper a big day for us,” manager Dan Jennings said.
The Marlins had a season-high 21 hits, including three infield singles by Gordon. Their run total was a season high after they had scored just 12 runs in the past seven games.
Miami’s 10 hits in the seventh tied the team record for an inning. It was the most in an inning allowed by Cincinnati since 1961.
“That was some damage,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen nine consecutive hits before.”
Yelich, Realmuto and Cole Gillespie finished with three hits each. Gillespie hit his first home run of the year and made a running over-the-shoulder basket catch with his back to the plate in center field to rob Marlon Byrd.
Casey McGehee, making his first start after signing Friday for a second stint with Miami, had two hits and drove in two runs.
Rookie Adam Conley (1-0) went five innings to earn his first major league victory in his first start. Following the spot start, he was optioned back to Triple-A New Orleans.
Raisel Iglesias (1-2) allowed five runs in 4 1-3 innings. He had been sidelined with a strained left oblique and was activated before the game from the disabled list.
Manny Parra gave up five runs in the seventh without retiring a batter. His ERA rose from 1.65 to 4.41.
“Manny threw the ball over the plate for the most part,” Price said, “but the quality of his strikes wasn’t what we’ve been used to seeing.”
The Marlins finished 11 for 19 with runners in scoring position.
“Their pitchers were getting base hits — that’s how confident they were by the time the smoke cleared,” Price said.
Eugenio Suarez hit his fourth home run for the Reds.
U.S. 10, World 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — A homer in Cleveland. A triple in Cincinnati. From top-to-bottom in his home state, Kyle Schwarber is demonstrating he can pretty much hit anything.
Schwarber hit a two-run triple on Sunday that got the U.S. team rolling toward a 10-1 victory in the All-Star Futures Game, managed by two stars on Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine. The Cubs catcher appreciated the significance — the Reds were his favorite team growing up in nearby Middletown, Ohio.
He had dreamed of one day stepping on the field at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park and seeing what he could do. He got the chance on Sunday.
“It was awesome going up those steps and stepping on that field where I grew up watching the Reds,” Schwarber said. “My eyes lit up! But when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”
The 22-year-old Cubs catcher estimated that he had more than 100 relatives and friends scattered around the stands. Many of them were in Cleveland last month for yet another big moment.
The Cubs called up their 2014 top pick for a one-week stint as a designated hitter during interleague play in June. He went 8 for 22 overall and homered in Cleveland. Then he was sent back to the minors, making him available to play in the Futures Game.
“I wasn’t disappointed at all to go back down,” he said. “One of the benefits is being able to play in this game. This is awesome.”
The U.S. team — managed by former Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Sr. — piled up 13 hits, including a two-run homer by the Pirates’ Josh Bell. The game’s only homer was another unexpected moment for the first baseman, who figured to be fresh out of college right about now.
Bell showed power as a switch hitter in high school. Both of his parents were college professors, and he intended to go to Texas. He was so determined to finish his education that his family sent a letter to all 30 teams telling them not to bother drafting him. The Pirates took him in the second round and offered him a $5 million deal that changed his mind.
Next step: making the majors.
“It’s getting closer and closer with every game that you play,” Bell said. “You try to get a little bit better so you get a little closer to the big leagues.”
There weren’t many good moments for the World team managed by Hall of Famer Tony Perez, who was the first baseman on the Big Red Machine. Leadoff hitter Ketel Marte from the Mariners had a pair of singles and drove in a run. The 21-year-old Marte is batting .343 at Triple-A Tacoma this year.