Straily grinds out six quality innings vs. Mariners

Right-hander has allowed one run in last 11 innings

Straily grinds out six quality innings vs. Mariners

CINCINNATI -- Grind-it-out performances have become commonplace for Dan Straily. In his last start against the Phillies, the right-hander worked through trouble in five scoreless innings, throwing 109 pitches.

In Friday's 8-3 loss to the Mariners, after starting at 49 pitches through his first two innings, Straily had to grind it out again, and he did just that, completing six innings on 109 pitches and allowing just one run.

But for Straily, that's still not good enough.

"I have to find a way to get as deep into the game as possible," Straily said. "Six? I always want more. I have to find a way to get my pitch count down earlier in games and find that rhythm earlier to take us deeper into the ball game. Six is better than five, but it's still not seven."

Much of the disappointment stems from the beaten-up bullpen that has thrown 12 innings in its last two games. An early exit would've meant another long night from a bullpen that is desperate for a break.

"I knew the pitch count was climbing and was just trying to do my best to execute pitches and roll the lineup over again," Straily said. "You try to create early contact, but it takes good pitches and not well-hit balls."

Straily credits some of his performance to luck, as well. For example, after allowing a leadoff single to Kyle Seager in the fourth, he was able to get a line drive right at shortstop Zack Cozart, which caught Seager just far enough off the base to turn a double play and save some pitches.

"Tonight, I was able to get away with some bad execution and some good luck," Straily said. "It's examples of that, guys are working hard to get better, and it's just a matter of time before everything starts clicking."

Although Straily may not be happy with his performance, his manager Bryan Price had nothing but good things to say. Given his 2.45 ERA over his last five starts, that's no surprise.

"He was wonderful," Price said. "He did a really nice job. He was really good and battled through that sixth inning. I felt he was just maybe starting to lose it. He had to get [Chris] Ianetta out, and he made the good pitches to finish the inning and give us the chance to take that 3-1 lead."

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