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Reds-Phillies pitcher's duel suspended

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- The storm clouds rolled in early Tuesday evening and the sky opened up over Great American Ball Park, which after a lengthy rain delay failed to live up to its reputation as a hitter's park.

Starting pitchers Kyle Kendrick of the Phillies and Homer Bailey of the Reds allowed a combined four hits as the game remained scoreless into the ninth before ultimately being suspended by rain.

"It was a heck of a pitcher's duel," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

When heavy rain delayed the game for 44 minutes in the bottom of the ninth, the contest was suspended and set to resume at 5:30 p.m. EST Wednesday. The game will begin in the bottom of the ninth, with Zack Cozart leading off for Cincinnati and facing Phillippe Aumont, who was warming up Tuesday night when the rain hit.

Bailey retired the final 13 batters he faced and tied a career high with 10 strikeouts. He did not walk a batter. Chase Utley's single in the fourth was one of just two hits off Bailey. The other was an infield single by Michael Young.

"We can build off that," Baker said of Bailey's effort. "Homer saved our bullpen."

Baker wouldn't say who would pitch if Wednesday's resumed game goes into extra innings. "I hope to win before we get to that."

The ball wasn't carrying as well as it typically does along the banks of the Ohio River. The two hardest-hit balls off Bailey were long drives by Ryan Howard in the seventh and Domonic Brown in the eighth, both of which were caught on the warning track.

"We haven't hit on this road trip," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Right now, we're hanging on a zero. We'll see if we can beat it tomorrow."

Kendrick allowed only two hits in seven innings and struck out four. But with Kendrick's pitch count at 106, Manuel opted for Antonio Bastardo to begin the eighth. Bastardo retired the Reds in order. He has allowed just one hit with six strikeouts in six innings this season.

Aroldis Chapman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for Cincinnati with two strikeouts, before the rain came again. Chapman has yet to allow an earned run this season and has 13 strikeouts.

Cincinnati had the game's best scoring chance in the first inning when they had runners on first and second. But Kendrick struck out Jay Bruce to end the inning.

"In a 0-0 game you have to stay focused," Bailey said. "I felt good today. (Reds catcher Ryan) Hanigan and I were on the same page all night. Maybe the first batter tomorrow will hit a home run and we'll win."

After the one-hour, 20-minute rain delay, Bailey and Kendrick cruised through the early innings.

The Reds made a bid to take the lead in the third. But with Shin-Soo Choo on second with two outs, Laynce Nix made a diving catch of Joey Votto's line drive ending the inning.

Bailey had six strikeouts through five innings. A first-inning single by Cozart was the only hit allowed by Kendrick until the fifth.

"It is frustrating," Nix said of the Phillies' offensive woes on this road trip, in which they have scored three or fewer runs in four-plus games. "We've had chances and we have to come through. It's a long season, so there's going to be times when that happens."

NOTES: Baker entered Tuesday's game tied with Pat Moran for fifth place on the club's all-time managerial wins list with 425. .. Phillies catchers Humberto Quintero and Erik Kratz have a combined .486 OPS, which ranks 29th in baseball. Regular catcher Carlos Ruiz is expected to be reinstated from his 25-game drug suspension on April 28. ... Phillies 2B Chase Utley was back in the starting lineup Tuesday after getting a day off Monday, although he came off the bench and hit a two-run, pinch-hit home run in the eighth. ... Cincinnati used just six starting pitchers last season for only the fourth time since 1900. The Reds likely will use their sixth starter this week with Johnny Cueto on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right lat.
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