Reds Brush Past Phils

Brandon Phillips already had a pair of homers when he came to the plate with the go-ahead run on second in the ninth inning. The cleanup hitter had no problem sacrificing.

After losing the previous two games by a combined score of 32-2, Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds were willing to do whatever it takes to win.

Ramon Hernandez hit a tiebreaking RBI single off Brad Lidge in the ninth, lifting the Reds to a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

Phillips connected twice off J.A. Happ and drove in three runs to help the Reds rebound from the worst loss in franchise history.

"It really woke us up," Phillips said of Cincinnati's 22-1 loss Monday night. "We came in, said we have to wake up, do the little things and we can't let the same things happen."

Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit consecutive homers in the second for the NL East-leading Phillies, who had won four straight.

David Weathers tossed a scoreless eighth, pitching out of trouble. All-Star closer Francisco Cordero finished for his 21st save in 22 chances.

One night after their biggest offensive outburst in 24 years, the Phillies squandered several opportunities. They stranded 12 runners and went 0 for 5 with a runner on third and less than two outs.

"The way we had guys standing on third base, if we knock them in, we could have five runs," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Joey Votto doubled into the right-field corner leading off the ninth against Lidge (0-4). That brought up Phillips, who was 0 for 7 off Lidge.

"Before he went up, I said, 'Man, I know you hit two homers, but I need you to bunt him over,"' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He said, 'No problem."'

It was Phillips' second sacrifice of the season.

"You have to learn how to do the fundamentals," Phillips said. "Little kids out there don't think bunting is important. If I didn't get it down, we'd still be playing."

After Phillips sacrificed, pinch-hitter Laynce Nix was intentionally walked. Hernandez followed with a soft liner to center to drive in Votto.

In the bottom of the eighth, Votto saved a run with a nice play at first base. He fielded Jimmy Rollins' sharp grounder and made a strong throw to nail John Mayberry Jr. trying to score from third.

Phillips hit a two-run homer to right in the fourth and his solo shot to left with two outs in the sixth tied it at 3.

Happ allowed three runs and six hits, striking out a career-high seven in seven sharp innings. The rookie left-hander remained unbeaten in nine starts since replacing Chan Ho Park in the rotation.

Reds starter Aaron Harang gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings. He remained winless since May 25.

Howard snapped a homerless drought when he launched a drive off the brick batter's eye in straightaway center leading off Philadelphia's second. The All-Star first baseman hadn't gone deep in his last 49 at-bats.

Werth followed with an opposite-field shot to right-center to make it 2-0.

Rollins and Shane Victorino hit consecutive singles to start the Phillies' third. Chase Utley followed with an RBI double for a 3-0 lead. After Howard walked to load the bases, Harang struck out Werth, retired Greg Dobbs on an infield fly and Pedro Feliz grounded out.

"The biggest thing is I stayed relaxed and focused on executing the pitches," Harang said. "That was a big point in the game."

The Phillies missed another chance in the fourth. Carlos Ruiz led off with a triple to center, but Harang struck out Happ and got Rollins and Victorino on grounders.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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