The Phils starts the 2016 season with the bullpen blowing a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth, before losing the game to the Reds, 6-2.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils begin the 2016 campaign with their bullpen blowing their first late-inning lead as they give up five runs in the bottom of the eighth, as they lose to the Reds in Cincinnati, 6-2.

The Reds took an early lead in the bottom of the first as, with a man on second, via Zack Cozart’s lead-off double, and with nobody out, Eugenio Suarez hits a ground ball to shortstop Freddy Glavis, who then throws to first, as Cozart heads for third base. The throw eludes first baseman Ryan Howard for a missed catch error, allowing Cozart to score from third base on the error by Howard for the game’s first run, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead, while Suarez would be safe at first on the error. The Phils took the lead in the top of the second as, with one man on, and with two men out, Galvis would hit a two-run home run, his first home run of the season, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had started the inning off with a single, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. It would stay that way as the Phils’ opening day pitcher, Jeremy Hellickson, would pitch six strong innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits, followed by Jeanmar Gomez, who would pitch a scoreless inning. But then the wheel came off in the bottom of the eighth as the Reds loaded up the bases via a lead-off walk by Adam Duvall, a double by Scott Schebler, sending Duvall on to third base, and a walk by Billy Hamilton, and with nobody out, Cozart would hit a sacrifice fly to right for the inning’s first out, scoring Duvall from third base, tying the game up at two-all, while sending Schebler up to third base and Hamilton on to second base, thanks to how deep the ball went. Two batters later, after Suarez is walked to reload the bases, Joey Votto would hit an RBI single, knocking in both Schebler and Hamilton, giving the Reds a 4-2 lead, while moving Suarez up to second base. The Reds then made it a 6-2 lead two batters later, after they had reloaded the bases as Brandon Phillips is hit by the pitch, moving both runners up a base, and with still one man out, as Jay Bruce hits a two-run single, knocking in Suarez and Votto, while Philips would go on to third base, before attempting to score on center fielder Odubel Herrera’s fielding error, but is thrown out at the plate by a throw from Galvis, with catcher Ruiz putting on the tag, for the inning’s second out. That would end up being the final score as J.J. Hoover would come in to pitch the top of the ninth, throwing a 1-2-3 inning, getting Peter Bourjos to ground out for the game’s final out.

Jeremy Hellickson received a no-decision in spite of pitching six strong innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits, while striking out six. Jeanmar Gomez received his first hold of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. David Hernandez (0-1, *.**) took the lost as he pitched to just third batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up three runs on a hit and two walks. James Russell committed his first blown save of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Hector Neris pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while also hitting a batter. Raisel Iglesias also received a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out seven. Jumbo Diaz pitched one and a third scoreless innings, striking out a batter. Tony Cingrani pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Ross Ohlendorf (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he also pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter he’d faced. J.J. Hoover pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phils had six hits in the game, with Cesar Hernandez leading the ballclub with two hits, a single and a double. Maikel Franco followed with a single, Carlos Ruiz with a single, Freddy Galvis with a home run (two RBIs) and the Phils’ starter Jeremy Hellickson with a single. The Phils also had a walk in the game (Odubel Herrera). The defense would perform one double play while committing two errors, a missed catch error by Ryan Howard and a fielding error by Herrera.

After taking yesterday off, the Phils and the Reds will continue their three-game series in Cincinnati with a night game tonight at Great American Ball Park. The game is to begin at 7:30 pm EST. The Phils will send to the mound Aaron Nola (0-0, -.–) who will be starting his first game of 2016, having ended 2015 with a record of 6-2 and an ERA of 3.59, in 13 starts. He will be trying to give the Phils their first victory of 2016, as well as gain his first win of the season. The Reds will counter with Brandon Finnegan (0-0, -.–) who had a record of 5-2 last season, pitching for both the Royals and the Reds, with an ERA of 3.56, in 20 games, four of which were starts. He will also be going for his first win of 2016, as well as trying to give the Reds the series win. The Phils will be trying for their first victory of the young season, as they hope the bullpen won’t blow another late lead.

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