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Cozart helps power Reds to rout of Phillies

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Reds' shortstop Zack Cozart went 3-for-5 with a single, double and a two-run home run, helping complete a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with an 11-2 victory at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday.

Cozart nearly had a home run in his first at-bat. But after reviewing the video, the umpires confirmed it was a double. His next time up, Cozart left no doubt with a 422-foot shot to left. As he rounded third, Cozart said to third base umpire Wally Bell, "I made it a little easier on you this time."

Todd Frazier hit his fourth home run for the Reds, who swept the Phillies in a three-game series in Cincinnati for the first time since 1995.

The lone offensive highlight for Philadelphia was shortstop Freddy Galvis' two-run home run off the right-field foul pole in the eighth off Justin Freeman, who was making his major-league debut. Galvis entered the game in the sixth inning.

Philadelphia scored seven runs in the past five games and finished 2-4 on the road trip. Reds' starters pitched 23 innings in the past three games, allowing just two earned runs on 10 hits with 20 strikeouts.

"Sometimes you go through periods where you don't hit," Phillies' manager Charlie Manuel said. "We didn't hit too much on this trip. If we don't get base runners on we can't score. We need to add some walks in there. We've been out of whack all season."

Cincinnati's 15-hit barrage came on the heels of Tuesday's suspended game in which the Reds managed just two hits through eight innings. When the game was resumed Wednesday, the Reds scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to win it 1-0. Then they kept on scoring.

Reds' starting pitcher Mike Leake (1-2) allowed just three hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

"He really shut us down," said Manuel.

Leake also shined at the plate Wednesday, tying a career high with three hits, including his first career triple, and scoring three runs, the most for a Reds pitcher since 1988.

"I definitely needed the good performance on the mound more than the hits," said Leake. "But it helped. It was nice to come out and finish an outing."

Phillies' starter John Lannan (0-1) didn't pitch past the second inning, giving up six earned runs and eight hits. He felt discomfort in his left knee during Wednesday's outing and will be evaluated further on Thursday.

Jay Bruce's two-run, bases-loaded single highlighted Cincinnati's five-run second inning.

Phillies left-hander Raul Valdes allowed six hits and five earned runs, two coming on Cozart's two-run homer, in 3 1/3 innings.

Cincinnati's first run came in the first inning, when Cozart doubled off the left-field wall, narrowly missing a home run, and scored on Brandon Phillips' single.

An inning later, Frazier homered to right on a 1-1 pitch from Lannan to make the score 2-0. It was the first homer allowed by Lannan in 75 1/3 innings, the longest streak among all major-league starters.

Leake, who leads all major-league pitchers in hits the past four seasons, drove home Devin Mesoraco with a triple off the wall in center which eluded a leaping Ben Revere.

Then the floodgates opened for Cincinnati, which scored five runs in the second inning -- two on Bruce's bases-loaded single. The Reds sent 10 batters to the plate in the second, ending Lannan's outing after just 1 2/3 innings.

Cozart's two-run homer in the fifth made the score 11-0.

"Anytime you're hitting behind (Joey) Votto you're going to get better pitches," Cozart said. "I'm comfortable hitting second. Hopefully we can keep it going. Good game tonight."

NOTES: Phillies' catcher Carlos Ruiz caught seven innings Tuesday and in five at-bats hit a two-run home run and doubled in an extended spring training game. Ruiz, who's suspended for the first 25 games this season after testing positive for a banned substance, is eligible to return April 28 when the Phillies play the Mets at Citi Field. ... Reds' CF Shin-Soo Choo did not start Wednesday for the first time this season. It was a day of rest for Choo, who has reached base in all 14 games. Reds' rookie OF Derrick Robinson made his second career start in center field and batted leadoff in Choo's place.

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