Reds end skid with 4-2 win
CINCINNATI (AP) — Brandon Phillips’ bases-loaded single ended a five-game losing streak and gave the Cincinnati Reds a fitting finish on Jackie Robinson Day.
Phillips’ hit snapped an eighth-inning tie and rallied the Reds to a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that left players with more than just the score in mind.
Reds rookie Derrick Robinson started the winning rally with an infield single off Jeremy Horst (0-1). He scored the first of the two runs on Phillips’ hit, a player named Robinson crossing home plate wearing No. 42.
Major leaguers wore Robinson’s number on Monday as part of the annual commemoration of the Hall of Famer breaking the sport’s color barrier in 1947.
“I told him, ‘That’s Jackie Robinson stuff. It’s apropos that you won it with your legs,”’ Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said.
The game began with remembrances of those killed or wounded by the bombings in Boston near the finish line of the marathon course. A moment of silence was held before the national anthem.
Phillies center fielder Ben Revere decided to stick a strip of white athletic tape to the back of the web on his glove. He wrote in black marker: “PRAY for Boston.” Revere made a sensational diving catch at the edge of the warning track in the second inning, then ran into the wall for another grab in the third.
“I think everyone was thinking about it,” Revere said of Boston. “It hurts to see something like that happen.”
It turned into an old-fashioned pitching matchup — left-hander Cliff Lee and right-hander Bronson Arroyo throwing a lot of strikes and giving few scoring chances until the late innings.
Cincinnati’s five-game slide matched its longest slump from last season, when it won the NL Central. The Reds haven’t been hitting much — still didn’t against Lee, who helped them by letting in a run on a wild pitch in the seventh. Todd Frazier followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
Arroyo (2-1) gave up pinch-hitter Chase Utley’s two-run homer in the eighth, but Cincinnati rallied against the Philadelphia bullpen. The Reds loaded the bases against Horst on Robinson’s infield single, Zack Cozart’s double and an intentional walk to Joey Votto. Phillips singled off Mike Adams to break the tie and the losing streak.
“I was tired of losing,” Phillips said. “We’re still hungry. You want to go out and stay hungry. If we go out and get the job done and play small ball like we did tonight, we’ll be OK.”
Aroldis Chapman retired all three batters he faced in the ninth for his third save in three tries. He threw 100 mph fastballs to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard while fanning them to end it.
Neither team did much until Lee briefly lost his touch. Votto led off the seventh with a single and Phillips doubled on a two-strike pitch, giving the Reds their first runners in scoring position.
That has been their weakness. Cincinnati was 5 for 41 with runners in scoring position during the five-game slide.
This time, Lee helped them out. He bounced a 2-2 pitch to Jay Bruce, allowing Votto to score from third. Lee then walked Bruce on a full count, ending the left-hander’s streak of 169 consecutive batters without giving up a walk, according to STATS. Frazier followed with a sacrifice fly.
Utley’s fifth career pinch-hit homer off Arroyo tied it with two outs in the eighth. It was Philadelphia’s third pinch-hit homer this season. Arroyo gave up five hits and didn’t walk a batter in eight innings.
“That was a super fun game,” Arroyo said. “The older you get, the more you appreciate competing. I was putting zeros on the board. He was putting zeros on the board. It was a cool night. That was a great game.”
The late rally was a relief for the Reds, who placed 19-game winner Johnny Cueto on the 15-day disabled list before the game because of a strained muscle in his back, the third significant injury for Cincinnati in the season’s opening weeks. Setup man Sean Marshall and cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick also are sidelined by injuries.
Despite the loss, Lee extended his streak to 20 straight starts with at least six innings and no more than one walk, a modern major league record.
NOTES: President Barack Obama’s comments about the bombings in Boston were shown on the video board while the Phillies took batting practice. … Lee hadn’t walked a batter since last Sept. 17, a span of 44 2-3 innings. … Michael Young extended his hitting streak to six games. … The Reds called up right-handed reliever Justin Freeman temporarily. They expect to bring up LHP Tony Cingrano from Triple-A to start in Cueto’s place Thursday against Miami. He would be the first left-hander to start for the Reds since Dontrelle Willis on Sept. 29, 2011.
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