McCoy: DeSclafani bidding to make Reds’ ‘nasty’ rotation The Big Four

Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani pitches against the Brewers on Thursday, June 28, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

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Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani pitches against the Brewers on Thursday, June 28, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Right-hander has yet to allow a run in two starts this season

When discussion centers on the Cincinnati Reds rotation, it’s all about The Big Three — Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo.

Change that to The Big Four and pencil in the name of Anthony DeSclafani, The Silent Assassin.

After his performance Saturday night against the Milwaukee Brewers, DeSclafani has yet to give up a run in two starts.

DeSclafani was as dominant as Gray or Bauer in hand-feeding the Brewers nothing — no runs and two hits over six innings, leading the Reds to a 4-1 victory in Miller Park.

In his two starts over 11 innings, DeSclafani has given up no runs, five hits, walked one and struck out eight.

So does DeSclafani feel as if he is in competition with the other starters, forcing him to step it up?

“It’s fun to go out and try to compete with the other starters,” he said. “At the end of the day, it is about winning that game. We are all competitive enough that we just want to dominate.

“But, yes, the whole staff is nasty and you want to be part of that,” he said. “That’s how we all feel. We just all want to go out and be nasty.”

Reds manager David Bell realizes how fortunate he is to have four shutdown starters.

“Yeah, that’s pretty good,” Bell said with a laugh when told DeSclafani is unscored upon in two starts. “It’s amazing to have a group of starters that consistently gives us a chance to win every game, even more than that.

“To have a chance to win each and every game based on what your starters do is something any team dreams about,” he added. “This sets the team up for a lot of success.”

The Reds gave DeSclafani three runs in the first inning, with the Brewers helping immensely with defensive lapses.

Phillip Ervin led off the game with a slow-roller up the line that third baseman Brock Holt could not manipulate and Ervin was credited with an infield hit,.

With one out Joey Votto hit a double-play ground ball toward second baseman Keston Hiura. But he booted it for an error.

Instead of the inning ending, Eugenio Suarez, carrying the heavy luggage of a 5-for-47 start to the season, made Hiura hang his head when Suarez crushed his second home run of the season, this one against left hander Brett Anderson. And the Reds led, 3-0.

Suarez hit a bushel full of first-inning home runs last season en route to 49 home runs.

“This one had the feel of a lot of our games last year when Geno would get us on the board in the first inning,” said Bell. “That’s always nice, especially with the starting pitching we have.”

The Reds added a fourth run in the seventh against relief pitcher Corbin Burnes on a leadoff walk to Kyle Farmer on a 3-and-2 count and a triple into the right fielder corner by Shogo Akiyama.

Amir Garrett replaced DeSclafani for the seventh and he pitched a 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strikeouts.

The Brewers finally put a run on the board in the eighth against Michael Lorenzen with two straight singles and a sacrifice fly by Brock Holt. Lorenzen, though, put a tourniquet on the would by retiring the next two to leave it at 4-1.

That left it up to closer Raisel Iglesias to face the most dangerous portion of the Brewers batting order – two, three, four.

He made quick work of it. He struck out Hiura on three pitches, retired Christian Yelich on a ho-hum grounder and ended it by blowing strike three past Logan Morrison for his second save.

Milwaukee’s highly paid Yelich did not reach base, ending a streak of 23 straight games of getting on base against the Reds.

After the three gift runs in the first, the Reds had only four hits the rest of the way and stranded eight, but DeSclafani made it work.

It was Cincinnati’s second straight win in Miller Park after losing three straight in Cleveland, pushing them back to within one win of .500 at 7-and-8.

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