The Phillies finally snapped their season high seven-game losing streak with an emphatic 5-4 win against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.
It was a nailbiting finish under the guise of rain as Rookie Maikel Franco tied the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth with just one out remaining. The Phils then went on to win it on a pinch single from Darin Ruf an inning later.
The win, despite breaking the streak was just the Phillies’ second of the season when they’re behind after seven innings. That record now stands at 2-30.
Sean O’Sullivan was at the mound for the Phils and allowed nine hits scoring four runs over 5 2/3 innings. A slight improvement over his prior form, he now has a 5.03 ERA in seven appearances.
Cincinnati returnee Johnny Cueto faired well, holding the Phillies to two runs, over six innings. Cueto striked out four players and walked none.
The Phillies’ bullpen has really struggled with inherited runners this season, having entered the night allowing 50% to score..but tonight, something different happened. It looked like a completely different team! Justin De Fratus exploded to strand two runners in the sixth, with an until now struggling Jake Diekman pitching a scoreless seventh inning. If that wasn’t satisfying enough, Luis Garcia did the same in the eighth. SOMEONE MAKE SOME MEDALS OR SOMETHING. To add the icing on the pitching cake, Jonathan Papelbon pitched scoreless ball in the top of the ninth to earn the win.
Elsewhere on the field, Chase Utley had THREE..yes three hits to raise his batting average above .200 for the first time this year. He ended the night at .207..on the 8th of may he was at 0.99.
One of Utley’s hits resulted in his fourth homer of the season and his first in over a month. Arriving in the sixth, it cut the lead back to 4-2.
Cody Asche, who’s now been moved into the leftfielder position, made a great catch at the wall to end the top of the sixth.
So the real question is now, can the Phils keep this form going when the series continues Wednesday night? Cole Hamels goes head to head(5-4, 2.91) with Reds right-hander Mike Leake (2-4, 4.66) in a game that should provide no shortage of hits.