Price maintains confidence in Reed after loss

Left-handed rookie allows five runs over five innings, striking out six Padres

Price maintains confidence in Reed after loss

CINCINNATI -- Since he was acquired by the Reds last summer from the Royals in the trade for Johnny Cueto, left-hander Cody Reed's arrival to the big leagues has been eagerly anticipated. His strong performance during his first big league Spring Training and a nice start to this season with Triple-A Louisville only heightened expectations.

But as Reed demonstrated Friday vs. the Padres during the Reds' 13-4 loss, even if elite prospects are ready for the big leagues, they're rarely finished products. He may have struck out nine Astros in his seven-inning big league debut last weekend, but his five innings vs. the Padres were uneven.

"I'm not worried about him. I just know there's better command and better stuff than we saw today," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Everyone would like to have a Johnny Cueto-like debut, but even though Johnny pitched so great in that first game in 2008 and ended up with an ERA [of 4.81] for the season. Everyone wants to get off to a great start, but in the end, it's how they improve over the course of the season that's really the most important thing.

"I'm a believer in this guy, and he's a battler, and I think he's going to be fine. We just need to get him to settle in."

Reed, 23, allowed five earned runs, nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts while throwing 104 pitches for a no-decision after leaving a 4-4 game. He was at 76 pitches through three innings, as he fell into a lot of hitters' counts. The Padres scored one run in each of his five innings and eight of the nine for the game.

Like his debut, Reed gave up a homer two batters into the game. This time, it was Wil Myers who hit a 94-mph 2-1 fastball to center field for a solo homer.

Even Reed's strikeout of Alexei Ramirez to end the third required a 13-pitch duel. In the fourth inning, he issued a leadoff walk to Adam Rosales and paid for it when Myers hit a two-out RBI single. In the fifth, another two-out hit -- by Ramirez -- drove in the go-ahead run.

"I just threw a lot of pitches and wasn't real efficient," Reed said. "Obviously that hurts not getting ahead in counts. You have to throw fastballs in most of those counts, and they don't miss those. They capitalized on my mistakes. That's what they did every inning."

In the second inning with Rosales batting with runners on the corners, Reed made a mental error and was called for a balk that forced home a run.

"I had one last time, too," Reed said. "My nerves got to me a little bit. I went in the windup and there's a guy on first base. I'm not even thinking up there sometimes. I have to be better the next time out there."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.