BALTIMORE -- There was no need for a search party to find Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek. He was healthy and in the bullpen during the entire week he went unused.Ondrusek pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings with two hits allowed during Friday's 5-4 loss to the Orioles in 12 innings. Both of the hits were of the infield variety. It was his first game action since June 17 versus the Blue Jays. "I was a little rusty as far as spotting pitches," Ondrusek said. "I fell behind guys, but luckily I made pitches when I had to and I put the ball in play instead of walking people, which is the main thing." Some deep performances from Reds starting pitchers shortened the need for the bullpen before Friday, and other than warming up a few times, Ondrusek was idle. He was held back for a couple of games because of some soreness, but that is not the case lately. "There was nothing wrong with him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Sometimes it works out like that. You can go four days in a row and not pitch for a week." Ondrusek still ranks tied for 13th in the National League with 36 appearances, and he has a 1.69 ERA. Even before the week off, many of his more recent outings have been more spread out than they were earlier this season. "No matter how much you throw in the bullpen, it's not the same as when a hitter steps in," Ondrusek said. "There's more adrenaline and your stuff will move a little more. You never know what the umpire will give you. It was nice to get out there."
Chapman hurls perfect ninth in return from DL
BALTIMORE -- Whatever was broken with Aroldis Chapman's pitching, it seemed to be fixed on Saturday night.In his first game back since being activated from the disabled list, Chapman struck out the side in the ninth inning to close out a 10-5 Reds win over the Orioles. "Chapman appears to be back," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He was throwing high velocity and kept the ball down for strikes and elevated when necessary."
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
Baker was seeking a less-pressurized situation to use Chapman for the first time, and a five-run lead offered a perfect chance. Before going on the DL on May 16 with what was called left shoulder inflammation, Chapman was chronically wild for a long stretch. Until the very end of his 30-day rehab assignment at Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville, he wasn't any better with his command. But he had everything going the right way versus Baltimore.Chapman struck out Matt Wieters on three pitches to start the inning, with strike three coming on a 101 mph fastball. After striking out Mark Reynolds on a 97 mph fastball, Robert Andino also struck out swinging on a 101 mph fastball to end the game. Of the 12 pitches Chapman threw, nine were strikes.
Willis has been sharp on hill for Louisville
BALTIMORE -- Dontrelle Willis pitched eight innings and allowed four runs and eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts for a 5-4 win over Toledo at Triple-A Louisville on Friday.In 12 starts for Louisville, Willis is 5-2 with a 2.74 ERA, 19 walks and 61 strikeouts. "We've been watching him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "If he hadn't gotten hurt, he'd have been here. He was next in line a couple of times. He's doing what we asked him to do and what he's supposed to do until the next opportunity comes up."
The Reds entered Saturday in fourth place for the first time all season, trailing the Pirates by .001 percentage point. Reds starting pitchers came into Saturday with a 6.66 first-inning ERA, which was worst in the National League and 29th in the Majors -- ahead of the Royals (6.81).