- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

CINCINNATI (AP) - When left-hander John Lamb took a line drive off his pitching arm, the Reds wondered if they’d just lost yet another starter. As it turned out, he was all right.

And that’s the only thing that went right for the slumping Reds all day.

Franklin Gutierrez hit the longest homer of his career on Saturday - a three-run shot that landed high in the upper deck - and Felix Hernandez allowed only four singles in six innings, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 4-0 victory over Cincinnati.

The Mariners won on a day when the Reds honored the teams’ shared star. They gave away Ken Griffey Jr. bobbleheads depicting him in both uniforms, and they played a message from him on the videoboard. And then Gutierrez hit one Junior-like.

“It’s amazing,” Gutierrez said of his 473-foot homer. “You don’t feel anything in the bat. You just watch it.”

Junior became a star in Seattle and was later traded to his hometown team. The Reds had him in mind when they designed Great American Ball Park with a short distance in right field. Gutierrez sent his a long way the other way in the fourth inning off Lamb (0-2), who took Nelson Cruz’s liner off the top of his arm three batters earlier.

Cincinnati already has six starters on the disabled list. Lamb threw one practice pitch and stayed in the game.

“It stung a little bit,” Lamb said. “Now I know what it feels like to get hit by Aroldis Chapman or Nolan Ryan or one of those other old-timers.”

Leonys Martin also had a solo homer, running the Reds’ total to 75 homers allowed in 43 games - by far the most in the majors. After they matched their season high with their sixth straight loss, the Reds sent three relievers back to the minors in their latest bullpen shake-up.

The Reds have been outscored 55-19 during their slump. Cincinnati pitchers have retired the side in order only nine times in the 55 innings during the losing streak. On Saturday, the offense dried up, too.

“It didn’t work out today,” manager Bryan Price said. “We didn’t put too much pressure on them from an offensive standpoint.”

Hernandez (4-3) has handled the Reds in his two career starts against them, throwing a five-hitter for a complete game in 2010. He walked three, struck out five and twice retired Joey Votto with the bases loaded for the final out of an inning.

The Mariners have dominated Junior’s hometown team, winning 12 of 14 in their interleague series.

Seattle improved to 17-7 on the road, the AL’s best mark. The Mariners have won seven of their eight road series and split the other one.


Hernandez is 20-9 with a 2.75 ERA in 37 career interleague starts, including 10-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 14 interleague road starts. Since June 16, 2009, he’s 9-0 with a 1.30 ERA in 10 interleague road starts.


The Reds optioned relievers Jumbo Diaz and Keyvius Sampson to Triple-A Louisville and designated Steve Delabar for assignment after the game.


Mariners: SS Ketel Marte sprained his left thumb in the fifth, when he reached on an infield single and stole second and third. Shawn O’Malley replaced him in the field for the bottom of the inning. X-rays were negative.

Reds: RF Jay Bruce was a late scratch with a sore left knee. SS Zack Cozart got the day off. … Price said rehab plans have been mapped out for the Reds’ injured starters. If all goes well, Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen could be back sometime in June. Homer Bailey isn’t expected back until July at the earliest as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.


Mariners: LH Wade Miley (4-2) is 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA over his last five starts.

Reds: Alfredo Simon (1-4) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits in only 4 1/3 innings of a 13-1 loss in Cleveland on Tuesday.


Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjoekay

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