Bruce hits 3-run HR, Reds beat fading Diamondbacks 6-1

Bruce hits 3-run HR, Reds beat fading Diamondbacks 6-1
Posted at 10:24 PM, Jul 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-23 22:24:03-04

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer and barely missed another during one of Cincinnati's final home games before the non-waiver trade deadline, and the Reds beat the fading Arizona Diamondbacks 6-1 on Saturday night for a modest breakthrough.

The last-place Reds have won three consecutive series for the first time, finding success against other struggling teams. The Diamondbacks have lost 17 of 21, falling from third place into the basement of the NL West.

Bruce's 20th homer off Robbie Ray (5-9) gave him the team lead with 69 RBIs. He also doubled off the top of the wall in left field and thought he might have gotten another homer, but the call of a double was upheld after a video review.

The Reds tried to trade Bruce in the offseason, but the deal fell through. He's Cincinnati's most attractive player for a deal before the Aug. 1 deadline. Cincinnati hits the road after concluding the series on Sunday.

Michael Lorenzen (1-0) took over in the fourth inning for Keyvius Sampson, who made his first start of the season after seven relief appearances. A starter last year, Sampson hadn't gone more than four innings this season. He gave up four hits in 4 1/3 innings, throwing 88 pitches.

Arizona's Chris Owings was activated off the disabled list and singled home a run in the first inning. Owings had been sidelined by plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

The Reds got three unearned runs in the first, two of them on third baseman Jake Lamb's throwing error. Brandon Phillips doubled home a run to complete the inning, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Phillips has twice blocked the Reds' attempts to trade him.

The Diamondbacks were still fuming over leadoff hitter Jean Segura getting hit in the lower back by Dan Straily on Friday night. The plunking came on the first pitch of his next at-bat after a solo homer. Manager Chip Hale thought Straily hit him on purpose, and warned that "there's going to be some retribution at some point."

There were no issues on Saturday. Ray's first pitch to Joey Votto in the first inning was an 82 mph breaking ball that sailed over his head for a wild pitch. Nobody from either team got hit.


The first inning lasted 38 minutes and featured 61 combined pitches.


LHP Brandon Finnegan (5-7) got the win by going five innings in an 8-2 win over Atlanta on Monday. He hasn't gone more than five innings in any of his last three starts.