McCoy: Greene strong again, but Reds fall to Blue Jays

Another heart-palpitating pitching symphony involving Hunter Greene unfurled Saturday afternoon in Rogers Centre.

Unfortunately for the Reds, Greene had to play second violin to Toronto Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah.

Greene held the Blue Jays to one run and four hits over six innings, but all he got for his Herculean effort was to see his record drop to 1-7.

Manoah, a 6-foot-6, 285-pounder who looks more like a tight end for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, pitched painted a Rembrandt.

He muzzled and muffled the Reds on one run and seven hits over eight innings, then turned the ninth over to closer Jordan Romano, Toronto born and bred.

Manoah is 5-1 with a 1.62 earned run average and has not given up more than two earned runs in any of his seven starts this season.

Romano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth Friday night to preserve Toronto’s 2-1 victory. On Saturday he was even more untouchable. He struck out Tommy Pham, struck out Joey Votto and struck out Tyler Stephenson for his 14th save, most in the American League.

All three Toronto runs were produced by Bo Bichette, a solo home run off Greene and a two-run homer off relief pitcher Luis Cessa.

Bichette is a son to Dante Bichette, who spent most of his career with the Colorado Rockies and played briefly for the Reds in the twilight of his career.

The Reds scored first against Manoah, a run in the fourth. But with a smidge of good fortune, it could have been more.

T.J. Friedl opened the inning with a single and took third on Tyler Naquin’s hustle double to right.

That put runners at second and third with no outs. Tommy Pham lined one to the mound and Manoah speared it and threw to third to double off Friedl.

Votto had one extra base hit before going on the injured list. But he doubled in his first game back during the Reds’ 2-1 loss Friday night.

Votto doubled again Saturday, scoring Naquin to give the Reds a 1-0 lead.

After pitching 7 1/3 hitless innings in his previous start, Greene extended the hitless streak to 10 1/3 innings.

But after the Reds scored a run in the top of the fourth, it took the Blue Jays one pitch to end the hitless streak and to tie the game.

Bichette turned on the first pitch, a low slider, and golfed it into the left field seats to make it 1-1.

And it stayed that way until the seventh, when manager David Bell lifted Greene after 84 pitches, mostly because he threw 118 pitches in Pittsburgh.

Cessa replaced Greene to start the seventh and Bichette struck again, a dagger thrust to the Reds.

Cessa gave up a pair of singles and George Springer was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double.

So there were two outs and a runner on third. One again Bichette picked on the first pitch and ripped a two-run home run deep into the left-field seats.

Interleague games are not fun for the Reds. Since 1997, they are 178-243 in interleague games, the worst record of all 30 major league teams.

Even worse, since they posted a winning interleague record in 2013 (11-9), the Reds are 63-103.

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