Votto home run delivers win; Finnegan retires 19 straight
Thursday, April 06, 2017 3:02 PM
CINCINNATI — Waiting for the rain left Brandon Finnegan feeling out of sorts. After one inning to work out his nerves, he was nearly untouchable.
Finnegan allowed only one single in seven innings and Joey Votto homered for his first hit of the season Wednesday night, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies .
The Reds evened a series that concludes this afternoon (TV: Live on Fs Ohio at 12:30 p.m.).
The start of the game was delayed 50 minutes because of storms, a wait that wore on Finnegan.
“I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I walked around and talked to guys. I got a little jittery. As soon as I heard we were playing, I ran to the bullpen.”
Finnegan (1-0) gave up a walk and Maikel Franco’s single to center in the first inning, but escaped the threat while throwing a lot of pitches. Nobody else reached base the rest of the way against him.
The left-hander retired the last 19 batters he faced, fanning nine, and threw 88 pitches overall.
“He had 25 pitches in the first inning and haphazard command,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He survived it and had (68) pitches the rest of the way. He was a completely different kid.”
The Phillies didn’t do much at all, hitting only four balls out of the infield all night. They got a pair of infield singles off Michael Lorenzen in the eighth. Raisel Iglesias gave up another infield single before completing the four-hitter for his first save.
Votto led off the seventh with a home run against Jerad Eickhoff (0-1), who allowed only two hits through the first six innings. Votto was 0 for 6 when he connected on a curve that forced him to adjust.
“He’s a big, strong guy,” Eickhoff said. “When I threw it, I almost fooled him. But he was able to keep his hands back. He double-clutched and got the barrel of the bat on it.”
Adam Duvall followed with a double and scored on Zack Cozart’s single for a 2-0 lead, ending Eickhoff’s outing.
Odubel Herrera had an infield single in the ninth and was initially called out as he tried to steal second base for what would have been the final out of the game. The call was overturned on review, but Tommy Joseph struck out to end it.
Votto’s 222nd career homer moved him into a tie with Jason Bay for fourth-most by a player born in Canada. Larry Walker leads with 383, followed by Matt Stairs (265) and Justin Morneau (247).
Eickhoff has allowed three runs or fewer in his last nine starts and 32 of his last 38. He walked one on Wednesday, his fifth straight start of walking one batter or none.
Phillies: Manager Pete Mackanin mixed up his lineup, though not because of injuries. He wants to keep players sharp. Aaron Altherr was in right field and had a single in three at-bats.
Reds: Cincinnati catcher Devin Mesoraco starts a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola on Thursday. He’s on the DL while rebuilding his strength after hip surgery last season. The Reds plan to activate him when he’s able to catch back-to-back games.
Cincinnati claimed utilityman Tyler Goeddel off waivers from the Phillies and optioned him to Triple-A Louisville. Goeddel batted .192 in 92 games for the Phillies last season with four homers and 16 RBIs. The Reds also transferred right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to the 60-day disabled list with a sprained pitching elbow.
Phillies: RHP Clay Buchholz makes his first career start against the Reds. The Phillies got him from the Red Sox in a trade for Josh Tobias last December.
Reds: RHP Rookie Davis makes his major league debut. Davis is one of two rookies in the rotation. Cincinnati got him from the Yankees as part of the trade for closer Aroldis Chapman after the 2015 season.
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