Schneider’s walk-off HR lifts Phillies over Reds, 4-3

Published 2:58 am Friday, July 9, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — Unhappy with a defensive gaffe, Brian Schneider made up for it at the plate.

Schneider hit a game-ending homer in the 12th inning, giving the Philadelphia Phillies a 4-3 victory over the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.

“I’m glad to help,” said Schneider, who blamed himself for allowing a wild pitch to tie the game in the eighth. “I let the ball get by me. No excuse for it.”

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Shane Victorino had a solo homer for the struggling Phillies, who had lost seven of 10. They overcame another blown save by Brad Lidge to win this one.

Joey Votto hit his league-leading 22nd homer hours after the Reds first baseman was named to the All-Star team.

The Reds had won a franchise-best nine straight extra-inning road games dating to June 2009.

“That was one of the weirdest games I’ve seen in a long time,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Schneider connected off Jordan Smith (2-2) with one out, hitting a drive to right. He circled the bases without much enthusiasm and was greeted at the plate by a small mob of teammates. Victorino tossed a shaving cream pie in his face during an on-field interview afterward.

“I’ll take those any day of the week,” Schneider said.

Nelson Figueroa (2-1) pitched two perfect innings to earn the win.

There were two outs in the ninth when the Reds tied it at 3 on pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo’s RBI double off Lidge. Votto singled to start the inning and Scott Rolen walked. After Jay Bruce grounded into a double play, Cairo hit a liner to left-center.

A sellout crowd frustrated with the Phillies’ recent struggles booed loudly while Lidge punched his glove. Lidge has three blown saves in his last five appearances.

“That’s what we hired him for,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He’s got to get right.”

The Phillies went ahead 3-2 in the eighth on Jimmy Rollins’ sacrifice fly. Wilson Valdez hit a triple to start the inning against Nick Masset and scored on Rollins liner to left.

Both starters pitched well. Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto gave up two runs — one earned — and four hits in seven innings.

Kyle Kendrick allowed one run and three hits, striking out four in 6 2-3 innings for the Phillies.

The Reds scored on an odd play to tie it at 2. With runners at first and second and two outs, Ryan Madson struck out Brandon Phillips swinging on a pitch that bounced. The ball got away from catcher Schneider and Drew Stubbs scored all the way from second on the wild pitch.

A strange play helped the Phillies take a 2-1 lead in the third. Rollins walked with two outs. Victorino then hit a sharp grounder that bounced off Votto’s glove and rolled away. Victorino beat Votto’s throw to Cueto covering the bag. Cueto’s glove and ball flew off when his arm collided with Victorino, who rounded the bag.

Votto then grabbed the ball and threw to a gloveless Cueto, who dropped it for an error. Rollins came all the way around from first and scored with a headfirst dive. Cueto was slightly shaken up on the play, but stayed in.

“I’ve never seen that play before,” Baker said.

Votto gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the first when he crushed one deep into the right-center field seats.

Snubbed by Manuel for the All-Star team, Votto was named to the squad earlier in the day after winning a four-day Internet vote.

Manuel, the NL manager, picked Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard over Votto and made no secret why. “He’s my guy,” Manuel said. Manuel had a friendly conversation with Votto near the batting cage before the game.

Victorino went deep in the bottom of the first, tying his career with 14 homers. He also hit 14 homers in 2008.

NOTES: A crowd of 45,086 was the 81st straight sellout on fireworks night at Citizens Bank Park. … Kendrick didn’t walk a batter for the second time in three starts — both against the Reds. … Votto is hitting .396 (17 for 43) with seven homers and 12 RBIs in the last 12 games. … Madson gave up a run in one inning in his first outing since breaking his toe kicking a chair on April 28. … Smith hit a drive to right in his first career at-bat in the 11th, but Jayson Werth made a leaping catch at the fence.