After being plagued by a lack of timely hitting during a five-game losing streak, the Cincinnati Reds used some clutch offense in their series opener with the Philadelphia Phillies to end their slide.
Cincinnati will look for its order to continue to produce Tuesday night against the Phillies at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds (6-7) didn't even make it halfway through April before matching last season's longest skid, which ended with Monday's 4-2 victory over the Phillies (6-7). Cincinnati had been 36 for 162 (.222) at the plate during the skid, including 5 for 41 (.122) with runners in scoring position.
But led by Brandon Phillips ' go-ahead two-run single in the bottom of the eighth, the club was 3 for 6 in such situations Monday. It was the second time Cincinnati won this season without homering.
"I was tired of losing," Phillips said. "We're still hungry. You want to go out and stay hungry. If we go out and get the job done and play small ball like we did, we'll be OK."
Philadelphia has received excellent performances from the rotation over its last four games, with starters combining for 27 innings while allowing five runs and 16 hits - but the team split those contests.
The bullpen cracked Monday to waste Cliff Lee 's showing, as he allowed two runs over seven innings. Reliever Jeremy Horst recorded just one out in the eighth and loaded the bases with an intentional walk of Joey Votto , setting the stage for Phillips.
"A swinging bat is a dangerous bat," Horst, who gave up a bunt single and a bloop double, told the team's official website. "It was tough."
The Phillies' offense has also been stagnant, totaling eight runs over the last four games. Monday's only runs came from Chase Utley 's fifth career pinch-hit homer, tying the game at 2 in the top of the eighth.
Utley, hitting .292 with three homers and 12 RBIs, received a routine day off from the lineup as Freddy Galvis instead started for the third straight game. Galvis filled in for Michael Young and Jimmy Rollins over the previous two contests and is 4 for 10 in those three starts.
They'll try to provide more support behind starter Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.40 ERA), who has given up three runs over 12 2-3 innings in his last two starts against the Reds. He had struggled in his first four outings versus Cincinnati, posting a 6.75 ERA.
Kendrick limited the Mets to two runs and eight hits in six strong innings in a 7-3 victory Wednesday.
"I wanted to pitch as deep as I can, battle and make pitches," he said. "I felt like as the game went on, I got more comfortable."
Kendrick will be opposed by Homer Bailey (1-1, 5.73), whose two starts have been a mixed bag. Bailey was shelled for seven runs and nine hits - including three homers - in a 10-0 loss at St. Louis Wednesday. He had thrown six shutout innings against Washington in his season debut.
Bailey hasn't fared well in six starts against Philadelphia, going 0-3 with a 5.29 ERA.
Jay Bruce is 5 for 11 with two home runs and a double against Kendrick while Votto is 4 for 10 with a homer and a double.
Young has hit safely in six straight games, going 9 for 20 (.450) with four RBIs.
|March 22, 2013||Delmon Young||15-Day DL||Recovery from right ankle surgery|
|April 14, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|April 13, 2013||Johnny Cueto||Day-to-Day||Right triceps injury|
|April 08, 2013||Sean Marshall||15-Day DL||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|April 02, 2013||Ryan Ludwick||Day-to-Day||Torn cartilage in right shoulder|
|April 02, 2013||Ryan Ludwick||60-Day DL||Torn cartilage in right shoulder|
|March 22, 2013||Nick Masset||15-Day DL||Recovery from right shoulder surgery|
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Well, that was quick.
After waiting all night to finish off the game, the Cincinnati Reds needed only four batters to get it done. Jay Bruce singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of ninth inning for a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.
The game was suspended when heavy rain came on Tuesday night. Several hundred fans were in the stands to watch it resume and end only 9 minutes later, giving the teams plenty of time to get ready for their regularly scheduled game.
"I wished it was quicker," Bruce said. "It was good to get that out of the way and set the tone for the second game."
Phillippe Aumont (1-2) had been warming up to face Zack Cozart when the rain came on Tuesday night. Eighteen hours later, Cozart finally got his chance and singled.
Joey Votto followed with a walk from Aumont. Center Fielder Ben Revere made a long run before dropping Brandon Phillips ' fly ball for an error that loaded the bases with none out. Up came Bruce, who lined the first pitch to right field to drive in the only run needed - an unearned run at that.
Then, it was on to the next game.
"It's frustrating to go out there and the game's over," Aumont said. "Now I have nine innings to think about what I've done wrong."
Very, very weird all around.
"You try to treat it as normally as possible, but the reality is it's the ninth inning and it's 5:30 p.m.," Bruce said. "You try to use it like batting practice."
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman (2-0) pitched the top of the ninth, fanning two of the three batters he faced to keep it scoreless. Sam LeCure was warming up in the Reds bullpen when the game resumed.
Manager Dusty Baker was glad he didn't have to use him.
"This was the first time I've ever done that," Baker said of the resumed game. "Our guys came out ready. We wanted to win right away and not get any deeper into our bullpen."
The Phillies didn't even get a chance to take a swing after the game resumed. They didn't do much of anything before the rain on Tuesday night, managing only two runners - on a pair of singles. Philadelphia finished with as many hits as the game had national anthem performances - two each.
The Phillies managed only those two singles off starter Homer Bailey , who matched his career high with 10 strikeouts in eight innings. Cincinnati had only two singles off Kyle Kendrick , who went seven innings.
The Phillies had 18 hours to think about their latest failings on offense. Philadelphia has scored three or fewer runs in each of its five games on a trip so far, wasting a lot of good pitching. Phillies starters have thrown at least six innings while allowing two earned runs or less in each of the last seven games.
The Reds allowed fans who had tickets to Tuesday night's suspended game to come back for the unusual finish.
There were several hundred fans in the stands when clubhouse assistant Josh Stewart sang the national anthem - the second one of the game. The public address announcer went over the lineups - again. Umpire Wally Bell was back behind the plate when the game resumed with Aumont throwing a fastball that Cozart fouled back.
It was the Phillies' first suspended game since Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, when rain halted their matchup against Tampa Bay in the sixth inning. The only suspended game in World Series history wasn't resumed for two days. Pedro Feliz 's single set up a 4-3 win that clinched the Phillies' first World Series title in 28 years.
The Reds' last suspended game was in 2004 against Houston, a game that was halted in the top of the 11th inning by rain. Cincinnati won it in 13 innings on Jason LaRue 's double.
NOTES: Phillies LH John Lannan was set to start the regularly scheduled game later Wednesday against RH Mike Leake . Both pitchers were trying for their first win. ... Michael Young extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... The Reds made it official that LH Tony Cingrani will be called up from Triple-A Louisville and make his debut on Thursday against Miami, starting in place of the injured Johnny Cueto . Cingrani will be the first left-hander to start for the Reds since Dontrelle Willis did on Sept. 29, 2011. ... The Reds have already had two extra-inning games and a suspended game at Great American Ball Park this season.
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