Change-up goes awry on Tigers' Kyle Ryan
Detroit – It couldn't have been a good feeling for Kyle Ryan, standing on the mound knowing the one pitch he really needed to have a chance at keeping Reds' thumper Todd Frazier off balance wasn't cooperating.
"The majority of my pitches were there," Ryan said, after the 5-2 loss. "My change-up wasn't. I needed something slow to move away from him and I didn't have it. He took advantage of it."
Frazier hit a four-seam fastball on the inner half onto the top of the bullpen in left-center field leading off the fifth. Jay Bruce, a left-handed batter, followed with a homer to right.
Leading off the seventh, Ryan threw Frazier a sinker that stayed up. Frazier hit that deep into the Reds bullpen in left-center — out where Miguel Cabrera usually hits them.
"I missed," Ryan said. "I missed twice."
And Frazier did not. It was his 19th and 20th homers of the year, and it was his 500th career hit.
And apparently, according to teammate and former Tiger Brayan Pena, he called the shot.
"I guess," Frazier said. "I was joking around, but yeah, I did say it. I just said that it was going to be in the bushes, basically, and it was almost there. It was close. Close, but we'll take it every time."
He was told that part of Comerica Park is usually Death Valley for fly balls.
"I know I can hit a ball out of any park; not to be cocky about it," he said. "I've got power and I've pretty much shown that. Whether it's a big park or not, I'm trying to hit the ball hard. Fortunately today I got underneath a couple."
Three bad pitches aside, Ryan pitched well. He allowed just one single through four innings.
"I thought he did great," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I was very impressed with him. He's got good, natural deception. He's got that fastball that runs and I thought he just did a really nice job attacking the zone.
"Yeah you're going to give up some home runs, this is the big leagues, but he didn't back down from anybody, challenged hitters, and had a good tempo."
Tigers catcher James McCann had a couple of defensive gems to add to his highlight reel.
In the fourth inning, Joey Votto hit a foul tip with two strikes. The ball caromed off McCann's glove and he was alert enough and agile enough to dive and catch it before it hit the ground.
A diving catch to secure a strikeout — something you don't see every day.
Then, in the seventh, he threw out ultra-speedy Billy Hamilton attempting to steal second. It was just the fifth time Hamilton was caught stealing in 36 attempts.
Manager Brad Ausmus was asked if he planned to give struggling third baseman Nick Castellanos some extra time off to try and get himself back on track.
"There are different approaches," he said. "Me and Wally (Joyner, hitting coach) talked about a particular approach during the game. So we will address that."
He would not specify what that approach was.
"He's searching a little bit," Ausmus said. "He's done a lot of tinkering, trying to figure out what's going on. It isn't for a lack of effort. It just hasn't clicked for him yet."
Castellanos had a double on Monday and he singled in the ninth on a 90 mph change-up from Aroldis Chapman.
Down on the farm
Victor Martinez, in his third rehab appearance with Toledo, went 1 for 4 with a double – all batting left-handed Tuesday night. It was his first extra base hit.
Right-hander Shane Greene, in his first start since being optioned to Toledo, threw 7.1 scoreless innings. He allowed four hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Chris McCosky on Twitter @cmccosky