Despite a good pitched game by J.A. Happ, the sixth straight quality start by a Phils’ starter, the Phils’ offense allowed too many opportunities to go by, allowing the Reds to get away with the win as they lose 4-3. They remain two games ahead of the Marlins as they lose again to the Giants.
The Phils took the lead in the second as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-first home run of the year, to make it 1-0 Phils. Jayson Werth quickly made it a 2-0 lead as he followed Howard with a solo home run of his own, his eighteenth home run of the season. The Phils would increase their lead to 3-0 as, with two men on base, and nobody out, Chase Utley hits an RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins who had earlier singled, then went to second on Shane Victorino’s single, while sending Victorino, who had just singled, over to third. Howard then loaded the bases as he worked a walk off of Reds’ starter Aaron Harang. But Harang then got himself out of the inning by first striking out Werth, swinging, then getting Greg Dobbs to pop up to the second baseman for the inning’s second out, and then getting Pedro Feliz to ground out, 1-3, leaving it a 3-0 Phils’ lead. The Reds would make it a closer game in the fourth as, with a man on, and one man out, Brandon Phillips hits a two-run home run, his twelfth home run of the year, scoring Jerry Hairston, who had earlier singled, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. The Phils tried to add another run in their half of the fourth as Carlos Ruiz started off the inning with a lead-off triple. But, he would then get stranded there as Harang struck out Phillies’ starter J.A. Happ, then got Rollins to ground out, 4-3, as Ruiz decided not to head for home on the ground out, and then got Victorino to ground out, 6-3 to end the inning, still 3-2 Phils. The Reds then tied it up at three-all in the sixth, as, with two men out, Philips hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the year and his second home run of the night. The Phils tried to retake the lead in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Charlie Manuel sent out Eric Bruntlett to pinch hit, intending for Dusty Baker to take out reliever Arthur Rhodes and replace him with another pitcher so that he could counter with Matt Stairs. Baker, instead, left Rhodes in the game, who would, in turn, proceeds to strike out Bruntlett to end the threat, with the game still tied at three-all. The Phils tried again in the eighth inning, with runners once again on the corners, and now with one man out, as Rollins hits a grounder to first, as John Mayberry, Jr., who was pinch running for Feliz, who had earlier reached second on a two-base throwing error by Reds’ shortstop Hairston, and had then gone to third on Ruiz’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4. Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto threw home, which beat Mayberry, who was tagged out (although the radio announcers commented that there’s a possibility that the Reds’ catcher did not tag him out before he had crossed the plate) by Ramon Hernandez for the second out on a fielder’s choice, 3-2, while Rollins was safe at first, as pinch hitter Stairs, who had earlier walked, would move up to second base. Victorino then hit into a 4-6 force out, as Rollins is wiped out at second, to end the inning. The Reds then took the lead in the ninth when, with two men on, and one out, Hernandez hits an RBI single, scoring Votto, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Philips’ sacrifice bunt, giving the Reds a 4-3 lead, while sending Laynce Nix, who had just pinch hit and had been intentionally walked, on to second base. That would be the final score as the Phils would be put down in their half of the ninth, as Francisco Cordero recorded his twenty-first save of the season.
J.A. Happ received a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up three runs on six hits, while he struck out seven. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two. Brad Lidge took the lost as he gave up a run on two hits and a walk. His record is now 0-4 with a 7.12 ERA. Aaron Harang also got a no-decision as he went six inning, pitching out of jams, as he gave up three runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out seven. Arthur Rhodes pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit and a walk. David Weathers got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Francisco Cordero recorded his twenty-first save of the seasn as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one walk.
The Phillies collected ten hits in the game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, as he raised his average to .310. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz had the other seven Phils’ hit, with Howard’s and Werth’s hits being a pair of solo home runs, Rollins’ a double and Ruiz’s a triple, while the team would be unable to get the key hit that would’ve opened up the flood gates as had happened on Monday night. Beside Howard and Werth, Utley knocked in the other Phillies’ run. The Phils’ offense will now go back out there and will try to win the series, hoping that this time they will get the key hit to win the next two games, starting tonight.
The Phillies (43-38, 1st National League East) will continue their four-games series with the Reds (41-41, 4th National League Central) with another night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and it will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 2.84) will start for the Phils, coming off of his spectacular return to the majors on July 3, as he pitched a six and one-thirds innings gem, giving up only two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 7-2 win over the Mets. He will be going for his second victory while proving that his return was not a fluke. The Reds will counter with Homer Bailey (1-0, 5.94), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals, as he pitched seven and a third strong innings, giving up just two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Reds’ 7-4 lost. He is also shooting for his second win, while hoping that the Phils’ bats won’t come back seeking revenge for last night’s inablity to score runs. The Phils will be trying to win their fifth game since coming home, putting some more distance between them and their Eastern Division rivals as they continue to lose.