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  • 10 Aug

    Joey Votto hit a grand slam and celebrated with a
    flap Jaylon
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    , honoring the bird that prolonged his at-bat.

    Votto ended a long homer drought with his third career grand slam Tuesday
    night, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-5 victory that ended the Detroit
    Tigers‘ longest winning streak in two years.

    Votto came to bat with the bases loaded in the third inning of a scoreless
    game. A black bird wandered between the plate and the pitcher’s mound, prompting
    Votto to call time so he could try to shoo it away. The bird stayed in the
    middle of the infield.

    ”He was in the line of vision and I was going to try to swat it away,” Votto
    said. ”I was thinking, `Make sure to hit the ball in the air’ and `Don’t hit it
    on the ground up the middle.’ I was taking care of the bird.”

    Votto’s high fly ball to right field off Matthew Boyd (4-5) had just enough
    to avoid the outstretched glove of Nicholas Castellanos, who reached over the
    wall and barely missed it. Votto flapped his arms in tribute to the bird when he
    crossed the plate on his first homer since May 13, ending a 30-game drought.

    Votto’s last homer at Great American Ball Park was May 6. He has seven homers
    after hitting 36 last season, one shy of his career high.

    ”I would like to think it’s all part of the
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    ,” Votto said. ”I felt good. I have felt good. I’ve been
    swinging the bat well.”

    Sal Romano (4-7) had a second straight solid outing, limiting the Tigers to
    four singles over seven shutout innings. Billy Hamilton also homered as the Reds
    pulled away to a 9-0 lead.

    The Tigers had won five straight and moved within a game of .500. They
    haven’t been to the break-even mark since they were a season-best 4-4 on April
    8. They’ve wasted five chances to get back.

    Romano was coming off perhaps his best performance in the majors. He went a
    career-high eight innings and gave up one run during a 5-1 win at Kansas City on

    Trailing 9-0, Detroit finally broke through in the ninth when Wandy Peralta
    walked home a run and Leonys Martin followed with a double.

    Boyd walked three batters in four innings – all of them scored – and gave up
    a season-high five runs. He was most upset with the two walks that set up the
    first grand slam he’s allowed in his career.

    ”Walks will kill you,” Boyd said. ”Things like that (grand slam) are going to
    happen in this ballpark, especially when the wind is blowing out.”


    The Reds are 12-11 against the Tigers all-time. This season, the Tigers are
    1-6 in interleague play. The Reds are 5-1.


    The bird that wandered onto the field during Votto’s at-bat didn’t go away.
    It made a mound visit and later explored other parts of the field. Fans cheered
    when it was shown on the video board.


    The outfield grass showed the effects of a concert at Great American Ball
    Park on Saturday, when high heat and the field covering left yellow patterns in
    the stressed grass.


    Martin reached in all five plate appearances, going 3 for 3 with two walks. …
    Cincinnati’s Tucker Barnhart also reached in all five plate
    appearances ,
    going 3 for 3 with a walk. He also was hit by a pitch. … Eugenio Suarez singled
    to extend his hitting streak to nine games, the longest active streak on the
    Reds and one shy of his career high.


    The Reds called up RH reliever Jackson Stephens and optioned RH reliever
    Austin Brice to Triple-A Louisville. Stephens was 0-0 with a 4.20 ERA in nine
    appearances for the Reds earlier this season.


    Tigers: Reliever Drew VerHagen left the game in the seventh after getting hit
    in the face with a throw while covering first base. He broke his nose and had it
    reset. Manager Ron Gardenhire said the Tigers were working on bringing up
    another reliever.

    Reds: RH Homer Bailey will be re-examined on Tuesday. He’s been sidelined
    since June 2 with a sore right knee.


    Tigers: Michael Fulmer (2-5) has gone seven innings and allowed one run in
    each of his last two starts. He’s never faced the Reds.

    Reds: Tyler Mahle (5-6) is 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA in three starts in June,
    allowing two runs in 16 1/3 innings. He’s never faced the Tigers.

    Nobody likes seeing a player get cut, but money talks. With teams only having
    a certain amount of money that they can spend each season, sometimes they have
    difficult decisions that they have to make in order to sign more talent or to be
    able to maintain what they have. Some of those cuts are easy, while some can be
    very difficult. It wasn't until the 2017 offseason, where we really saw some
    big-time players get cut.Just on the Dallas Cowboys alone, Dez Bryant and Dan
    Bailey were both cut. Bryant was the No. 1 receiver in Dallas for the past eight
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    , and Bailey is the second most accurate kicker in NFL
    history. It really proves that no player is safe. Former Cowboys and Titans
    running back, DeMarco Murray, was cut from the Titans as they decided to move
    forward with Derrick Henry, as well as sign Dion Lewis. Another one of the
    biggest players cut this offseason, was Jordy Nelson. Nelson was arguably Aaron
    Rodgers' favorite target but was let go due to age and a drop in performance.
    When the Packers were said to be interested in Bryant, Rodgers had some strong
    words about spending money on another receiver, after moving on from his top
    target.The point is, no player is safe. Teams do what they can to create cap
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    , to allow them to spend in the offseason. Sometimes it's
    done to make room for another player. Other times, it's because of that player's
    production. We saw it done last year, and we will see more players get cut this