Lorenzen confident in wake of subpar outing

Reds' rookie allows six runs (five earned) in loss

Lorenzen confident in wake of subpar outing

CHICAGO -- Reds rookie right-hander Michael Lorenzen didn't sound like a pitcher who had just gone through one of his toughest outings.

Lorenzen looked subdued at his locker after Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Cubs in which he allowed a career-high five earned runs (six total), but he didn't sound dejected. He didn't sound like a pitcher who had worked just 4 1/3 innings to experience his second loss of the season, rather he sounded confident and composed.

"It was a tough game, but I have to go through the good and the bad, and that's with my actions and the way I carried myself," said Lorenzen, who collected his first career triple and first two RBIs in the second inning. "I just understand I prepared myself as best as possible and did my best.

"One thing I was happy about was that I didn't step off the gas, I kept going," Lorenzen added. "I kept going out there and saying, 'This is what I have today and I'm going to keep coming at you with it.' I was happy that I didn't back down."

It was Lorenzen's fastball that ultimately doomed him Thursday night. The right-hander allowed two home runs and walked three batters, as the Cubs waited on offspeed pitches.

He fell behind early in the first inning, throwing two straight fastballs to Chicago catcher Miguel Montero before he was burned on a third one to center field. Montero's three-run shot didn't deter Lorenzen, who came right back to strike out the next batter.

"He's going to need to tighten up the command of the fastball more than anything, and really be able to work ahead more than he's been able to so far," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

His six strikeouts were a season high since he was called up April 29. Lorenzen has posted four quality starts in his seven starting opportunities, proving to be one of the team's better pitchers of late.

But it's his attitude that has Price optimistic for the 23-year old rookie, who was forced to fill in with injuries plaguing the Reds. Price said Lorenzen had a confidence from pitching at the Minor League level, when he was one of the Reds top prospects, and is now looking for that confidence to shine through at the highest stage.

"He's going to be fine, and be a very, very good Major League pitcher," Price said. "But this is the level where he has to settle in. And he will. I'm very confident he will."

Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.