“The last two nights have been really good. Outstanding,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “It puts us in a good frame of mind.”
The Reds continue to struggle at Philadelphia, dropping four straight and 10 of 13.
“That was hard to take,” manager Dusty Baker said. “No lead is safe in this park.”
Howard’s homer capped his first three-hit game since June 16 and ended a wild night.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Howard said.
While facing Halladay (10-7, 2.33 ERA) probably won’t be easy, one of the NL-leading 27 comeback wins the Reds have enjoyed during this resurgent season came against him in a 4-3 victory June 30.
“When you win a game like this, it’s a surprise but not a shock anymore because we’ve been doing it from day one,” Bruce said after the game. “I think this is one of our best wins.”
Halladay went the distance and allowed a career-high 13 hits, falling to 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA in three career outings versus the Reds. He claimed only homers by Bruce and Joey Votto(notes) were hit well.
“I really didn’t feel like balls were getting hit hard everywhere,” Halladay told the Phillies’ official website. “It was the two that cost me.”
Halladay bounced back with his major league-leading seventh complete game - a five-hitter Monday in a 3-1 win over Atlanta.
The Reds will counter with rookie Travis Wood(notes) (0-0, 3.86) making his third career start. Wood allowed two runs over seven innings in his major league debut in a 3-2, 10-inning win over the Chicago Cubs on July 1. He pitched on three days’ rest Monday when Aaron Harang(notes) was scratched and allowed five runs over 4 2-3 innings in an 8-6 victory over the New York Mets.
The left-hander was the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year in 2009. He went 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA with Triple-A Louisville, posting a 0.63 ERA in his last four starts.