Iglesias continues hot August with 10-K game

Rookie right-hander happy with stellar month in Reds' rotation

Iglesias continues hot August with 10-K game

MILWAUKEE -- When Raisel Iglesias was a freshly-minted free agent from Cuba last year, almost all of his suitors projected him as a reliever. But not the Reds, a team that liked him as a starting pitcher. Iglesias chose Cincinnati and has showed signs that he could become a dynamic member of the rotation.

Amid a 5-0 Reds loss to the Brewers on Friday at Miller Park, Iglesias still put on a nice show. In his sixth-straight quality start, he allowed three earned runs and four hits over seven innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

"It falls on deaf ears when you're losing, these little highlights amongst the losses. But he pitched his heart out," said Reds manager Bryan Price following his team's 13th loss in the last 14 games.

Iglesias, who struck out 13 in his previous start vs. Arizona, is only the third Reds rookie pitcher since 1900 to have consecutive 10-strikeout games according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The others were Bruce Berenyi in 1981 and Gary Nolan in 1967.

Before he got on a roll, Iglesias struggled to get through a 26-pitch first inning and allowed two runs, two hits and two walks. Following Khris Davis' RBI single with one out, Iglesias struck out Domingo Santana -- the first of 16 in a row he retired.

"The first inning, I think I was rushing too much," Iglesias said through interpreter Tomas Vera. "I was going through the motions too fast. My pitches were not going the way I was expecting. They took advantage of that and they were really aggressive."

Once Iglesias changed speeds and arm angles more effectively, Milwaukee didn't get another hit until Adam Lind's two-out single in the sixth. The Brewers' next run came on Santana's leadoff homer in the seventh.

"That guy is disgusting," Brewers starter Taylor Jungmann said. "I did not want another at-bat against him, man. He's got some good stuff, and I think we were fortunate to get some runs early when he was struggling a little bit. Really good pitchers, you have to get on them early. Once they settle in like he did, he's hard to hit."

In six August starts, Iglesias has a 2.33 ERA with 10 walks and 45 strikeouts over 38 1/3 innings. With the Reds in a freefall, his efforts might be harder to notice since he is 2-3 for the month. Of course, his offensively-challenged team was handed shutouts in all three losses, and scored one run over 13 innings in the no-decision.

"He's a stud," Price said. "These games are very personal to him as they are to all of us. I think he wants to be that guy that goes out there and wins a ballgame for us. I think he showed again great emotional durability because he had a rough first inning and he bounced back and gave us some really good baseball -- six innings of one-run ball. That's how you do it. He's taking advantage of these opportunities. He's learning. He's getting better. He's growing up. That part has been great to watch."

In 15 games, including 13 starts, Iglesias is 3-6 with 3.92 ERA.

"I feel really happy with the way my season is going," Iglesias said. "Since Spring Training, I had a plan to attack. It was working until mid-season. After that, I made some adjustments and have been making more adjustments into the game. Everything is coming the way I want."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.