By HAL McCOY
A geography teacher was trying to teach her fifth grade students about the states and cities and she asked, “Does anybody know where Cincinnati is?”
From the back of the room came Bobby’s voice: “Sure. Last place.”
Give the kid an ‘A’ and move him to the head of he class.
AFTER A FAST START FOLLOWING the All-Star break, the Cincinnati Reds have regressed to their pre-All-Star demeanor — a lot of defeats due to bad pitching and poor hitting.
They lost to a last place team for the third straight time, falling Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 4-2. And they’ve lost seven of their last nine.
Their last three defeats were by 11-2 to last place Arizona (National League West) and by 9-2 and 4-2 to the last place Angels (American League West — six runs in 27 innings after they scored 13 in one game four games ago.
REDS STARTER TIM ADLEMAN didn’t pitch poorly but succumbed to two problems experienced all year by the pitchers: first-inning runs and home runs.
Adleman gave up two runs in the first inning and Reds pitchers have given up 100 first-inning runs, most in the majors. Adleman gave up two in the first Tuesday.
Adleman gave up two home runs, both by Angels first baseman C.J. Cron. Reds pitchers have given up 214 home runs and are on their way to breaking the major league record, 241 by the 1996 Detroit Tigers.
Adleman went six innings and gave up three runs and seven hits, while waling one and striking out four. He gave up a two-out, two-run home run to Cron in the first and a two-out solo home run to Cron in the third.
And that was it.
THE REDS HAD DIFFICULTY solving Angels starter Jered Weaver, whose fastball averaged 83 miles an hour. But he shut the Reds down for five innings on no runs and five hits.
They finally solved him and disposed of him in the sixth when Scott Schebler doubled and Eugenio Suarez clubbed his 20th home run into the left field bullpen, cutting the deficit to 3-2. When Jose Peraza singled, his third hit, Weaver was removed.
With four hits (Peraza doubled in the ninth) and a stolen base Peraza continues to display why he should be in the lineup every day. On this night he played shortstop while Zack Cozart was the designated hitter.
Amazingly, Peraza left Monday’s game after getting hit in the mouth at first base on a pickoff throw and spent Tuesday morning in a dentist’s chair getting a chipped tooth repaired. And there he was in the lineup Tuesday night.
THE REDS CONCOCTED a two-out mini-rally in the eighth, but couldn’t push across a run.
With one out, manager Mike Scioscia brought in left hander Jose Alvarez to face Joey Votto, who had two hits. Alvarez struck out Votto on three pitches.
Scioscia then brought in former Reds bullpenner J.C. Ramirez and the hard-throwing right hander quickly gave up back-to-back singles to right handers Adam Duvall and Brandon Phillips. But left hander Scott Schebler struck out on three pitches, the last a checked-swing appeal call.
The Angels scored a run in the eighth off Michael Lorenzen, who grew up 10 minutes from Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mike Trout doubled for his third hit, Albert Pujols singled and Andrelton Simmons singled for his third hit and a 4-2 lead.
EUGENIO SUAREZ OPENED the ninth with a gorgeous bunt, but Angels pitcher Fernando Salas barehanded it and ripped a bullet throw to get Suarez. Peralta then doubled for his fourth hit, Ramon Cabrera lined out to center for the second out.
Billy Hamilton, representing the tying run, fouled the ball twice just outside the left field foul line, fouled off two more, then walked. Zack Cozart popped to first to end it.