'Disco' adds dominant start to breakout season

Unassuming Reds righty improves to 5-0 with eight-inning outing

'Disco' adds dominant start to breakout season

CINCINNATI -- Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani's nickname of "Disco" would imply he has a personality that's loud, like the music era's fashion and dramatic on the mound. That would be a wrong assumption.

DeSclafani is even-keeled in the clubhouse and generally steady on the mound, which was once again welcomed by the club during Wednesday's 6-3 victory over the Braves at Great American Ball Park. The right-hander tossed eight innings for the second time this season to improve to 5-0 with a 2.50 ERA in eight starts since he returned from the left oblique strain he sustained in Spring Training.

"He's 5-0, which is great. But it's also the quality of the starts," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's not white-knuckle baseball for a guy who is coming off the significant oblique injury. Sometimes it's not that easy to fall back into a Major League rotation and pitch so competitively right off the bat. He's done that."

In his sixth straight quality start, DeSclafani allowed two earned runs and eight hits, with no walks and three strikeouts. He has a 21-inning streak without walking a batter.

"I didn't really feel that great," DeSclafani said. "[I was] just trying to attack the zone and they put a lot of balls in play, and our defense played great D. I didn't really have a strikeout pitch to put guys away. I just tried filling it up [in the strike zone] and things kind of went my way."

Barnhart's catch by the screen

The Braves' Freddie Freeman hit a two-out solo homer in the first inning, followed by Nick Markakis' double. But DeSclafani was rarely hurt from there, as five of the other six hits he allowed were singles. Erick Aybar hit a leadoff double in the fifth and scored on Chase d'Arnaud's single to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead.

If not for Tucker Barnhart's two-run homer in the sixth that gave DeSclafani a lead before his turn in the lineup, the undefeated righty would have been lifted for a pinch-hitter.

Barnhart's two-run smash

"That would've been -- not a disservice -- but an unfortunate break for a kid throwing so well," Price said.

Other than his previous game vs. the Braves, when he lasted 2 2/3 innings on June 15 in his second game back from the disabled list, every DeSclafani start has been at least six innings.

"It wasn't fun being on the shelf, and I just wanted to come back and try to provide a spark for the club, eat as many innings as I could and really [try] to help keep the bullpen out of it for as long as possible," DeSclafani said.

It's been comforting for Price to have another go-to arm every fifth day.

"He does nothing to bring attention to himself other than always being in an environment of giving his team a chance to win," Price said. "When he's leaving these games, they're close games and most of the time, we have the lead. That's a sign of a guy who is maturing into one of the better pitchers on our staff and hopefully growing to be one of the better pitchers in the division and the league."

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