By HAL McCOY
The Cincinnati Reds doubled their displeasure Saturday afternoon. They lost two games in different venues, both with some inefficient pitching.
They split the squad and sent one to Scottsdale to play a split-squad San Francisco Giants team. And lost, 9-7.
They sent the other half to Peoria to play the Seattle Mariners and lost, 7-6.
Both starters were uninspiring.
SCOTT FELDMAN, WHO HAD one foot firmly planted in the starting rotation when he arrived as a free agent, started against the Giants.
Feldman pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up four runs and six hits. Three of the hits were home runs, two by Michael Morse.
Brandon Finnegan started against Seattle and pitched only 2 1/3 innings and gave up three runs, six hits and a pair of walks, pushing his spring earned run average to 8.59 in three appearances.
THE REDS OWNED A 6-2 lead over the Giants in the fourth inning, but the bullpen couldn’t hang on. The Reds owned a 3-1 lead over Seattle and were tied 6-6 after seven but the bullpen couldn’t hang on to this one, either.
The team in Scottsdale scored a run in the first inning off former teammate Johnny Cueto, making his first spring appearance. And they scored five runs on six hits against Matt Cain in two innings to take that 6-2 lead.
The Reds still led, 6-5, after six, but Tyler Mahle gave up two runs in the seventh on a two-run home run to Conor Gillaspie in the seventh.
Austin Brice pitched the eighth and it was plug ugly. It went like this: single, walk, wild pitch, stolen base, another wild pitch for a run, another walk and a run-scoring single by Austin Slater.
In all, Reds pitchers gave up 14 hits, walked five, threw two wild pitches and hit a batter.
OFFENSIVELY THE REDS had 10 hits, two by Tony Renda to lift his spring average to .440 in his bid for a spot on the 25-man roster, and two by Scott Schebler, pushing his average to .182 as he tries to win the starting right field spot.
Left fielder Adam Duvall also had two hits, including a home run and three RBI.
IN PEORIA, THE REDS climbed from a 6-3 hole with two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie it, 6-6.
Desmond Jennings popped a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth and Brandon Dixon led the seventh with a game-tying home run.
The Mariners scored the run they needed in the eighth against Michael Lorenzen on a one-out walk to Boog Powell, a single by Joe DeCarlo and a line drive run-scoring single by pinch-hitter Rayder Ascanio.
The Reds lineup against Seattle was heavily laden with regulars — Jose Peraza, Zack Cozart, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez, but that foursome went 2 for 11 and Cozart had both hits.
So the losing streak, winning streak, losing streak modus operandi continues. The Reds began the spring exhibition season with six straight losses, won five straight and now have lost five straight.