PHOENIX – Before the Cincinnati Reds put the finishing touches on a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks at Chase Field, new manager A.J. Hinch had a fireside-like chat with reporters in the Arizona dugout.
He said things such as his team needs to “get back to the simpler things” and “rekindle a sense of spirit” and finally, remember to “take a deep breath” and “have some fun.”
Winning, not words, is the only thing that can save the spiraling Diamondbacks, who got clobbered 10-3 Wednesday night in front of 20,443 fans.
Arizona has lost three in a row, fallen to 1-5 under Hinch and dropped 10 of its first 12 series to open the season.
It’s not getting better. It’s getting worse.
Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto improved to 4-1 by limiting the Diamondbacks to three runs on four hits in seven innings, as Cincinnati outscored Arizona 26-9 in the series.
“It’s hard,” Hinch said. “They outhit us, ran the bases better and played better defense. They just stuck it to us.
“But there’s no magic potion here. I think we’ve got to find a way to have a little more fun and get that boyish spirit back. . . . (Without it) it can create a negative momentum if you’re not careful.”
The Diamondbacks brought up two prospects from Double-A Mobile to make their major-league debuts.
Pitcher Bryan Augenstein, who was 5-0 with a 0.78 ERA for the BayBears, had an electric start by easily retiring the first three hitters he faced. But after the first time through the order, the Reds settled in against him and the right-hander left after 6 1/3 innings, having allowed five earned runs and eight hits.
“This was an amazing feeling and a great opportunity for me,” said Augenstein, who will remain in the rotation indefinitely.
Gerardo Parra, who was hitting .361 for Mobile, started in center field for the slumping Chris Young and smacked a home run in his first at-bat, hitting in the No. 2 spot.
Parra became the 100th player in major-league history to homer in his first career at-bat. He is the second player to do so this season – the other was Atlanta’s Jordan Schafer on April 5 against Philadelphia. And he’s the second Diamondbacks player to do it – the other being Alex Cabrera on June 26, 2000, against Houston.
Parra didn’t get another hit the rest of the night, however, and the 1-0 lead he gave his teammates didn’t last long.
The Reds scored three times in the third inning, getting a two-run double to right by second baseman Brandon Phillips and an RBI single to right by first baseman Ramon Hernandez.