The Cincinnati Reds weren’t enjoying their time in Philadelphia after losing by 21 in the series opener and falling behind again early Tuesday. Now, they’re hoping they’ve turned the four-game set around.
Cincinnati’s comeback victory ended the Phillies’ four-game winning streak, and the Reds will try to capitalize on that momentum when the clubs meet Wednesday night.
The Reds (41-41) lost 10-1 in the deciding game of their series against St. Louis on Sunday, but that paled in comparison to what happened Monday night. The Phillies scored 10 runs in the first inning and Cincinnati never recovered in a 22-1 romp.
Tuesday’s game followed a different script. Back-to-back home runs by Ryan Howard(notes) and Jayson Werth(notes) in the second inning put Cincinnati in another early hole at 3-0, but two Brandon Phillips(notes) homers tied the game and the Reds won 4-3 on Ramon Hernandez’s(notes) RBI single off Brad Lidge(notes) in the ninth.
“It really woke us up,” Phillips said of Cincinnati’s blowout loss Monday. “We came in, said we have to wake up, do the little things and we can’t let the same things happen.”
The Reds remained 3 1/2 games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central, while Philadelphia (43-38) still holds a slim edge over Florida atop the NL East.
The Phillies won four in a row to start their homestand, but they own a surprisingly poor 17-23 record at Citizens Bank Park. Their recent offensive problems seemed to vanish Monday, but resurfaced a day later as the team went 1 for 12 with men in scoring position and stranded 12 runners.
“The way we had guys standing on third base, if we knock them in, we could have five runs,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
Lidge suffered his fourth loss as his ERA rose to 7.12.
Wednesday’s game will feature two pitchers coming off surprisingly good starts.
Rodrigo Lopez(notes) (1-0, 2.84 ERA) hadn’t pitched in the majors in nearly two years before Friday, but he finally battled back from elbow surgery and beat the New York Mets 7-2 with 6 1-3 strong innings in his Phillies debut.
“I’m pretty happy, pretty excited,” Lopez said. “Being out for two years, it was a long way to go, a long battle. I didn’t know it would take this long.”
Manuel said Lopez was “the same guy I saw in the American League,” where he won 60 games in five seasons with Baltimore from 2002-06.
“He knows how to pitch,” Manuel said.
Bailey, however, tossed a career-high 7 1-3 innings against St. Louis on Friday, allowing two runs and three hits. The bullpen coughed up the lead in Cincinnati’s 7-4 defeat, but Bailey lowered his opponents’ batting average to .158 and walked two after issuing 13 walks over his first two starts of 2009.
Bailey struggled in both previous outings against the Phillies, losing twice at Citizens Bank Park with a 9.00 ERA.