MIAMI (AP) — Rookie Luis Castillo pitched like a seasoned veteran.
Castillo pitched a career-best eight innings and the Cincinnati Reds ended a six-game skid, beating the Miami Marlins 6-4 on Sunday.
“I can’t say enough good things about Luis. It was like playing a video game back there really,” said Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart, who drove in three runs. “I felt like I was making up stuff and he was throwing it like it was nothing, like he had been doing it like he had 10 years in the big leagues.”
Castillo (2-4) allowed one run on three hits, striking out six and walking one. He outpitched Dan Straily (7-7) in a matchup of right-handers who were traded for each last January as part of a four-player deal.
“It’s amazing. You face your ex-team, you face the pitcher they traded you for, and we even wear the same number on the back of the jersey,” Castillo said. “It was a good experience and thankfully everything worked out well for me.”
The Marlins, who got a three-run homer from Marcell Ozuna in the ninth off reliever Raisel Iglesias, had their four-game winning streak snapped. NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton was held out of Miami’s lineup for the first time since May 31.
“He’s fine,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He was on-deck. He would have hit.”
Castillo, the Marlins’ minor league pitcher of the year last season, primarily used his upper-90s fastball to keep the Marlins off-balance. He allowed one run and three hits while striking out six and walking one as 70 of his 106 pitches went for strikes.
“It was sensational, on the attack,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Certainly it could have been a lot more on his shoulders in simply trying to get us on the right track, especially pitching (against) his old organization against the pitcher he was traded for against a lot of old friends I’m sure, and he pitched a beautiful game.”
Castillo also went 1 for 3 with his first career RBI and laid down a sacrifice bunt.
“He pretty much showed the whole package today,” Mattingly said.
Iglesias relieved Castillo to start the ninth and allowed a three-run homer to Ozuna’s 24th homer to make it 6-4. Iglesias retired the next two batters to end the game with Stanton in the on-deck circle.
Straily, who went 14-8 in his only season with the Reds last year, allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.
“It was kind of fun. There’s a few times I’ve gotten to face some guys I’ve been traded for,” Straily said. “It’s just another one of those layers to baseball, another fun thing.”
Miami’s A.J. Ellis hit a double over the head of diving center fielder Billy Hamilton to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the sixth.
The Marlins had an opportunity to tie the game with Christian Yelich at bat, but Yelich tipped a ball just in front of home plate and was immediately tagged out by Barnhart, who threw down to third to get Ellis trying to advance to end the inning.
“Just an odd play,” Barnhart said. “When it hit, it hit in front of the plate and then kind of backed up and it was weird because it sat right on the plate. So I picked it up as quick as I could and got the tag and I saw Ellis in no man’s land.”
The Reds responded by breaking open the game with four runs in the seventh, pushing their lead to 6-1. Barnhart delivered a two-run single up the middle.
The Reds opened the scoring in the second with a pair of runs keyed by four consecutive singles, including run-scoring ones by Barnhart and Castillo.
OZUNA SETS JULY RBI RECORD
Ozuna set the Marlins’ club record with 27 RBIs in July, surpassing Kevin Millar (1999) and Logan Morrison (2011), who had 26.
It is the most RBIs by a Marlin in any month since Stanton had 29 in April 2014. Hanley Ramirez holds the club record with 33 in June 2009.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (right elbow) has not pitched in the majors this season, but made his second rehab start on Saturday with four scoreless innings for Single-A Dayton, allowing one hit and no walks.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (2-5, 8.37 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday’s game at Pittsburgh after a day off. Bailey is 8-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 19 career starts against the Pirates.
Marlins: RHP Jose Urena (9-4, 4.04) will take the mound on Monday to open a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, who will counter with LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-5, 2.81). Urena allowed five runs in five innings in his last start at Texas.