- Associated Press - Sunday, May 22, 2016

CINCINNATI (AP) - For the second straight game, the much-criticized Cincinnati Reds bullpen didn’t give up a run.

Too late. The Seattle Mariners already had done all the damage they needed against starter Alfredo Simon.

Leonys Martin got four hits, Robinson Cano drove in two runs and Seattle swept Cincinnati 5-4 Sunday, sending the Reds to their seventh straight loss.

Steve Clevenger hit a tiebreaking single during a three-run fifth inning. The Mariners won all three games at Great American Ball Park and posted their fourth win in a row.

The Reds went 0-5 on their homestand. Brandon Phillips drove in two runs with a double during a three-run first inning and Adam Duvall later hit his eighth homer.

Wade Miley (5-2) shook off that rocky first inning to last six innings, giving up eight hits and four runs with six strikeouts and a walk. He improved to 5-0 over his last six starts, all Seattle victories.

Steve Cishek pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save.

Simon (1-5), who allowed a career-high 10 runs while not getting through the fifth inning of his previous start, gave up nine hits and five runs in five innings in this one.

“I’m not doing anything different,” Simon said. “I have to focus and keep my head up.”

Manager Bryan Price is desperate to get Simon back on the track that produced 24 wins from 2012 through 2014 with Cincinnati.

“We’d like to see him pitch better,” Price said. “We need the innings out of Simon as a veteran pitcher, and that will happen when he keeps his pitches down. In the same respect at some point in time, I have to see him improve and give us those types of innings. He’s going to have to get better. As you saw yesterday (with a flurry of roster moves), we’re not going to sit on our hands all summer and get beat up. As a veteran, it’s his job to take that three-run lead and run with it.”

The Mariners have won eight of their last nine one-run decisions after starting the season 1-5. They are 13-2 against the Reds in interleague play. Cincinnati sent three relievers back to the minors in its latest bullpen shake-up after its 4-0 loss Saturday.

Martin, who has batted higher than seventh just once this season, excelled in the leadoff spot filling in for the injured Ketel Marte. He scored the first run on Cano’s sacrifice fly.

Jay Bruce capped Cincinnati’s first-inning burst with a sacrifice fly. Duvall led off the fourth with a 457-foot drive deep into the left-center field seats.

Miley led off the third with a single in his first plate appearance of the season, his first hit since he was in the National League with Arizona in 2014. He scored on Cano’s single and Nelson Cruz followed with an RBI groundout.


Mariners: SS Marte was put on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb, a day after being injured. INF Chris Taylor was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.

Reds: Bruce returned to the starting lineup after sitting out a day with a sore left knee. He got hurt banging into the outfield wall on Friday.


Shawn O’Malley’s start at shortstop in place of Marte was his first at that position and just the second appearance at that spot in his major league career. He played two innings at shortstop earlier this season.


The Reds added RHPs Dayan Diaz, A.J Morris and Josh Smith to their bullpen from Triple-A Louisville, filling the slots left open on Saturday when Jumbo Diaz and Keyvius Sampson were optioned and Steve Delabar was designated for assignment. Dayan Diaz made his major league debut, pitching the sixth.


Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez struck out four times, finishing the series with 10 strikeouts. Suarez was 0 for 11 with a walk in the three-game series.


Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (2-3) is scheduled to start against Oakland in the first game of an eight-game homestand for Seattle. Walker allowed four runs on five hits in five innings of a 5-2 loss at Baltimore on Wednesday.

Reds: They open an 11-day, 10-game road trip at Dodger Stadium. LHP Brandon Finnegan (1-2) is scheduled to start after giving up a career-high eight hits in 5 2/3 innings last Wednesday against Cleveland. Clayton Kershaw (6-1) is set to pitch for Los Angeles.

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