Reds’ pitchers get 6th shutout in 7-0 win over Marlins

Published 4:12 am Wednesday, May 6, 2009

MIAMI (AP) — Given the way the Cincinnati Reds are pitching, Brandon Phillips’ six RBIs were more than enough.

They only needed the first one.

Edinson Volquez allowed three hits in eight innings, and the Reds pitched their fourth shutout in the past six games Tuesday night to beat the Florida Marlins 7-0.

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Nick Masset threw a perfect ninth to complete the Reds’ sixth shutout this season, most in the majors.

‘‘I believe in our rotation,’’ Phillips said. ‘‘We have future All-Stars.’’

The Reds completed a 3-2 trip, during which their staff had an ERA of 1.68. They are 10-5 on the road this season.

Florida fell out of first place in the NL East for the first time since Opening Day. The Marlins are one-half game behind Philadelphia, which beat St. Louis 10-7.

Phillips had three hits, including a three-run homer, his fourth. His RBI total matched a career high, and he hiked his average from .205 to .226.

‘‘I’ve been hitting the ball real good; I’m just hitting the ball at people,’’ Phillips said. ‘‘Tonight was good night for me to hit the ball where they weren’t. It was a beautiful thing.’’

Shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. singled, doubled, walked, stole a base, scored three times and threw out a runner at the plate. He started for Alex Gonzalez, who left Monday’s game with a strained oblique.

Joey Votto reached base in all five plate appearances. He had two singles, walked three times, drove in a run and scored twice. His average over the past five games is .529.

‘‘I was thinking about giving Votto a day off Wednesday, but he’s too hot,’’ manager Dusty Baker said. ‘‘It was a full complement of guys having good nights.’’

Each of Phillips’ hits came after Votto walked.

‘‘It makes you think when they walk a guy in front of you,’’ Phillips said. ‘‘I would have done the same thing, but you have to realize I’m a good hitter also. I tried to go out there and show them, ’Don’t do that again, please.’’’

The Marlins extended a club record to 18 consecutive games without a win by a starting pitcher. During that span the starters are 0-7.

Florida’s Chris Volstad (2-1) gave up four runs in six innings. He was no match for Volquez, who struck out seven and walked four.

‘‘The story is the kid on the other side of the diamond — Volquez,’’ Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ‘‘That was about as dominating a performance I’ve seen against us all year.’’

By the top of the third, Gonzalez was so impressed with Volquez that he brought the infield in when the Reds had a runner at third with one out and a 1-0 lead.

Volquez (4-2) extended a personal streak of 16 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings. He looked uncomfortable only at the plate, where he spun and fell after laying down a sacrifice bunt on an inside pitch.

The right-hander pitched a career-high eight innings in his last start as well, when he allowed one hit to beat Houston on April 29. Over his past three starts, he has allowed five hits in 21 innings.

‘‘He’s not overthrowing as much,’’ Baker said. ‘‘His velocity is down a couple of miles an hour, but his location is better, and he still has good velocity. When you’re throwing strikes, you’re going to get some swings on some bad pitches, like he did on some changeups tonight.’’

Notes: Gonzalez received a cortisone shot in Cincinnati for the injury that forced him out of the lineup Monday. The team gave no timetable for his return. … Marlins 2B Dan Uggla’s fourth error of the season was especially sloppy: He misfired lobbing the ball to the pitcher after a flyout, allowing a runner to advance to second. … Reds manager Dusty Baker said he had no problem with Hanley Ramirez’s efforts to break up a double play in the 14th inning Monday, when Cincinnati shortstop Paul Janish made an errant relay throw that allowed Florida to score the winning run. ‘‘I don’t believe in dirty baseball, but I believe in hard baseball,’’ Baker said. … Fredi Gonzalez sat struggling rookie CF Cameron Maybin and started Alfredo Amezaga. ‘‘It’s a new league rule,’’ Gonzalez said. ‘‘On Cinco de Mayo, you’ve got to play the Mexican players you have on your team.’’