A bizarre ending to another bad night


The Philadelphia Phillies continued displaying their methods Friday night on how to win baseball games and the Cincinnati Reds continued their methods of how to lose them.

The Phillies execute with fundamentally sound baseball and the Reds execute themselves.

The game ended on a perfectly executed play by the Phillies to preserve a 4-3 victory and they are now 14-and-3 in one-run games.

THE REDS HAD the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second with one out in the ninth inning.

Reds pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco lofted a medium-depth fly bsll to left field and Eugenio Suarez tagged up and fled for home.

Left fielder Tyler Goeddel unleashed a perfect peg on the fly to catcher Cameron Rupp. Rupp dove in front of the plate and Suarez tried to run him over and dislodge the ball, but Rupp held on, a game-ending double play.

The umpires checked New York for a video replay to see if Rupp illegally blocked home plate but it was quickly ruled he didn’t.

To his credit, Reds manager Bryan Price said the umpires and the reviewers called the play correctly.

THE END WAS TYPICAL for the Reds. They trailed by two runs entering the ninth against David Hernandez, against whom they had scored three runs to win a game in Cincinnati during the first week of the season.

Hernandez, though, had made seven straight scoreless appearances over 10 innings entering the game.

But he walked Jay Bruce to open the ninth and Eugenio Suarez singled to right. Adam Duvall doubled to left to score Bruce and make it 4-3.

So the Reds had runners on second and third with no outs. But Tucker Barnhart grounded to first and then came the game-ending play.

It was that way all night.

THE REDS FILLED the bases with no outs in the first inning against Phillies starter Aaron Nola, a curveball artist.

The Reds scored one run and that was when Zack Cozart alertly tagged up at third and scored on a 100-foot pop foul to first baseman Ryan Howard. Then Bruce struck out and Joey Votto was caught trying to steal second base.

The first two Reds reached base in the seventh and Adam Duvall plate one with a double. Then with runners on second and third with one out Tucker Barnhart struck out and pinch-hitter Ramon Cabrera struck out.

REDS STARTER TIM Adleman was in trouble most of the way but held the Phillies to three runs and eight hits over five innings, aided by double plays the first two innings.

With a 1-0 lead he gave up the tying run in the fourth when he walked the first batter and gave up back-to-back doubles to Maikel Franco and Ryan Howard.

The Phillies took a 3-1 lead in the fifth when Adleman gave up aa single to Goeddel, walked pitcher Nola after he had him 0-and-2 and gave up back-to-back run-scoring singles to Odubel Herrera and Cesar Fernandez.

Reds relief pitcher J.C. Ramirez gave up a disputed home run to Herrera in the seventh. It appeared a fan leaned over the railing and touched the ball. The Reds challenged it. And lost. Home run.

THE REDS HAD only five hits entering the ninth against Hernandez and it is not surprising because several players who were hot early in the season have cooled off.

Eugenio Suarez is 3 for 23 with eight strikeouts. Jay Bruce is 8 for 39 with 15 strikeouts in May. Zack Cozart is 8 for 36 in May. And Joey Votto, who hasn’t been hot at any point this season, is 7 for 39 with 13 strikeouts in May.

The Reds continued to be The Big Pothole Machine, where they are 2-and-12 on the road.

TWO REDS MADE their debuts Saturday. Jose Peraza played center field and singled during his first at-bat in the first inning. Pitcher Layne Somsen made his debut in the eighth and retired the first two Phillies on one pitch each, gave up a single, then retired the final batter the Phillies would send to the plate.



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