Phillies' small ball trumps Reds' long ball, 5-3
Saturday, May 18, 2013 5:00 AM
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Phillies turned to small ball after the long ball hurt them.
Domonic Brown drove in the tiebreaking run on an infield grounder in the eighth and the Phillies snapped the Cincinnati Reds' six-game winning streak with a 5-3 victory on Friday night.
Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run homer and Cliff Lee threw seven sharp innings for the Phillies, who've won four of five.
"We're more fundamentally sound the last week or so," Lee said.
Joey Votto hit a tying solo homer off Antonio Bastardo in the eighth, and Jay Bruce connected for a two-run shot for Cincinnati.
Lee gave up two runs and six hits, striking out seven. Justin De Fratus (2-0) got two batters out in the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his eighth save in eight tries.
Reds rookie starter Tony Cingrani allowed three runs and five hits in five innings.
"I made a couple mistakes," Cingrani said. "I just didn't get inside enough."
After Cincinnati tied it in the eighth, the Phillies answered in the bottom half against Sean Marshall (0-1). Michael Young worked his third walk of the game with one out. Ryan Howard followed with a check-swing infield single. Jonathan Broxton came in and hit Delmon Young to load the bases.
Brown then hit a grounder up the middle that shortstop Zack Cozart fielded on the second base side. Second baseman Brandon Phillips tried to barehand Cozart's flip and dropped it for an error. Young crossed the plate with the go-ahead run as the Phillies took the lead without hitting a ball out of the infield.
"I know he throws 97, 98 mph," Brown said. "I was looking for a pitch I can drive."
His bouncer worked just as well.
Howard then scored on a headfirst dive on Carlos Ruiz's sacrifice fly for a 5-3 lead.
The Phillies slugged their way to five straight NL East titles from 2007-11 and won the World Series in 2008. As their core players get older, fans want to see the team manufacture more runs instead of relying on homers.
"When you talk about playing small ball, you have to have the talent," manager Charlie Manuel said, adding he's tired of hearing questions about it.
The Reds closed to 3-2 when Bruce connected in the sixth after Phillips led off with a double.
They tied it when Votto took Bastardo deep to right-center leading off the eighth. Bastardo, who normally works the seventh, was pitching in the setup role because Mike Adams is day to day with a mid-back strain.
Bastardo left after Bruce hit a one-out single. De Fratus came in and nearly gave up a go-ahead extra-base hit to Todd Frazier, but right fielder Delmon Young made a leaping catch at the warning track.
"I'm concerned about a lot of things," Manuel said, refusing to single out Bastardo. "I'd like to see us play good, solid baseball. We did some things sloppy that got overlooked tonight."
Rollins blasted a 3-1 pitch out to left to put the Phillies up 2-0 in the third inning. He is batting .375 (9 for 24) in his last six games.
Lee, a good-hitting pitcher, helped himself with a leadoff double in the bottom of the fifth. Lee knocks balls out of the park routinely in batting practice, and just missed his third career homer when his drive to right bounced high off the wall. He hustled into second after trotting down the first-base line, and appeared slightly annoyed the ball didn't go out.
Lee advanced to third on a sacrifice by Rollins and scored on Michael Young's two-out triple to deep left-center for a 3-0 lead.
"I thought it was gone," Lee said. "But I still scored."