The Cincinnati Reds continue to occupy last place in the National League Central Division despite the performance of Luis Castillo, who will make his eighth start of the season at 4:10 p.m. Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.
“He has the talent,” Reds manger David Bell said. “He has the makeup. He has the presence and demeanor. He has a lot going for him.”
Castillo (3-1, 1.45 ERA) leads the National League in ERA and ranks second in strikeouts (50) and did something Thursday that no Reds pitcher had done in 20 years. He won the National League Pitcher of the Month Award. Denny Neagle was the last Red to win that award in September 1999.
» SENZEL DEBUTS: Emotional night for rookie
“It feels like an honor to achieve this, but this is for my team,” said Castillo on Friday through translator Julio Morrillo.
Castillo has allowed seven earned runs in 43 1/3 innings. Dating back to Sept. 1 of last season, he is 6-2 with a baseball-best 1.30 ERA in 12 appearances.
“Before the season started, I set a lot of goals,” Castillo said, “and I think I’ve been achieving those goals step by step. Hopefully, it continues for the rest of the year.”
New look: The Reds debuted the first of 15 throwback uniforms of their season-long 150th anniversary celebration Saturday for the second game of the series against the Giants. The white uniforms from 1902 featured a red belt and red socks. On Sunday, the Reds will wear 1911 blue uniforms with red trim.
More power: The Reds blew an 8-0 lead Friday and lost 12-11 to the Giants in 11 innings, spoiling a big day for Derek Dietrich, who hit a three-run home run in the first inning and another three-run home run in the third inning.
» PHOTOS: Dietrich hits two three-run home runs
“I was definitely hoping for a different outcome,” Dietrich said. “It kind of goes to show you you can never give up. That’s the message for us. We’ve said that. I’ve said that. In our ballpark, you can put runs on the board quickly. It’s a lesson we’ll continue to learn and it’s something to think about. You’ve got to give credit to the guys on that side. They could have easily put their heads down and crawled to the finish line, but they gave a good effort.”
Dietrich took over the team lead with 20 RBIs despite having only 64 at-bats. Eugenio Suarez, who ranks second on the team with 16 RBIs, has 109 at-bats. Dietrich and Suarez share the team lead with seven home runs.
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