Rookie right-hander appreciates Price's confidence in him
By Robert Bondy
CINCINNATI -- Right-handed rookie Raisel Iglesias was able to do something he hadn't been able to accomplish since May 13 -- win a ballgame.
Iglesias put together 6 2/3 innings of solid production on the mound to help lead the Reds to a 4-3 victory over the Pirates on Saturday. He surrendered just two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five to earn his first win in his last eight appearances.
It was also the second consecutive start Iglesias was able to go at least six innings, something he had only achieved two other times this year.
"I'm very happy, I'm excited that I helped the team to win, especially that I went a little bit deeper in the game today," Iglesias said through translator and teammate Brayan Pena. "I'm very thankful to my teammates because they played a really good game for me, and I just went out there and did my job."
Iglesias rarely ran into trouble on Saturday, with his biggest blemish coming on a two-out solo homer by Jung Ho Kang in the fourth inning. However, Iglesias was able to bounce back from the homer to retire the next nine batters he faced.
Iglesias' streak of retired batters was eventually foiled by a single from Neil Walker, which started a rally with the Pirates eventually scoring a run on a single by pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa. Iglesias was pulled after the RBI single by Ishikawa, but Burke Badenhop was able to come in and strike out Francisco Cervelli to end the threat.
"I just thought when they pinch-hit with Ishikawa, the matchup was still a good one for Raisel. He didn't get the out, and that ended up leading us to Cervelli, and that was a big out by Badenhop," Reds manager Bryan Price said of deciding to leave Iglesias in to face Ishikawa. "It is an opportunity for these guys to learn what it means to be in the big leagues in this organization, because regardless of age and experience, we need to teach our young starters that's one of their big responsibilities: keeping themselves in the game."
Iglesias was happy his skipper showed confidence in him by letting him remain in the game in that pressure situation, even if it didn't pan out.
"It's huge for me because it shows that they trust me," Iglesias said. "It shows that little by little, I'm gaining their trust, and that's good. That's a great feeling because I got away with a victory, and that's what really matters."
Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.