By HAL McCOY
The Cincinnati Reds reached their annual 90 losses pit Saturday night in Marlins Park. And they earned it, just as they earned most of the other 89 losses.
At least they didn’t get shut out. Barely.
After getting shut out four times in seven games, they were working on five in eight games and hadn’t scored a run in 18 innings when the eighth inning began.
Rookie Gabby Guerrero saved them. He drove an opposite field home run, his first major league homer. It was the only run the Reds scored in a 5-1 loss to the miserable Miami Marlins.
And during this dearth of offense, things are slipping away from Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett, and they probably are gone for Suarez.
For most of the season Suarez led the National League in RBI, and still led when he reached 100. That was September 3. Since then he has driven in one run in his last 18 games. He has fallen behind Javier Baez, Jesus Aguilar and Nolan Arenado.
Gennett led the National League in batting average for most of the season, but has fallen behind the scorching bat of Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich. Gennett was 1 for 4 Saturday and is hitting .316. Yelich is hitting .319.
And there are others waving feeble wood these days. Tucker Barnhart had an infield hit Saturday, but is 2 for 24 and is hitting .243. Joey Votto had a hit Saturday, ending a 0 for 12 slide and is hitting .284.
Pitcher Anthony DeSclafani was in strikeout mode Saturday, striking out five of the first six Marlins he faced. And he struck out 10 on the night.
But those 10 came in only 5 2/3 innings and he was his biggest detractor.
It was 0-0 after three and he struck out the first batting in the fourth. Then J.T. Realmuto hit a high chopper right to DeSclafani. But he booted it for an error, one of two errors he made that inning.
He struck out the next hitter, the second out. But he issued his first walk and Lewis Brinson singled for a run. Rookie Austin Dean lobbed a single to right field and it was 2-0.
He gave up a leadoff double in the sixth to Realmuto a single to left field off diving shortstop Jose Peraza’s glove to score Realmuto. With two outs he gave up a two-run homer to Dean, the 23rd home run he has given up this year, for a 5-0 Marlins lead.
The Reds had one hit through five innings against Miami starter Jose Urena. And he retired the first two in the sixth. But he pulled something in his leg and tried to stay in.
Peraza and Votto promptly singles and manager Don Mattingly pulled Urena. Jalin Garcia came in and retired Eugenio Suarez on one pitch, a weak pop-up.
It was the Reds last legitimate chance, although they put two on with two out in the ninth before pinch-hitter Curt Casali grounded out to end it.
They’ve lost 90 or more four straight years and with six games left can surpass the 94 losses attained last year and the year before. However, they can’t lose 98, the number they lost four seasons ago.