CINCINNATI -- That's two late-inning comeback wins for the Reds in two games of 2016.Scott Scheblerdelivered a walk-off double with the bases loaded to give the Reds a 3-2 victory over the Phillies and the first two games of the season-opening series.Once again, the Phillies bullpen did not get the
CINCINNATI -- That's two late-inning comeback wins for the Reds in two games of 2016.
Scott Scheblerdelivered a walk-off double with the bases loaded to give the Reds a 3-2 victory over the Phillies and the first two games of the season-opening series.
Once again, the Phillies bullpen did not get the job done. As Cincinnati was trailing, 2-1, in the ninth against reliever Dalier Hinojosa, Eugenio Suarez hit a leadoff single and Devin Mesoraco squibbed a one-out infield hit between the mound and third base. Jay Bruce loaded the bases with an opposite-field single that rolled into left field.
Schebler, who was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts on the night entering his last plate appearance, drove Hinojosa's 2-2 fastball to the wall in left field, easily scoring Suarez and pinch-runner Tyler Holt with the go-ahead run.
"We really didn't get things going until the eighth inning in the opener and the ninth inning tonight," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But, I think the guys feel like we have that ability. It's not going to be like this all year. I think we have a really nice offensive ballclub, but in the games like this, I don't think anyone in our lineup feels that we're going to be behind, even with the tough setup guys coming in and closers, that we can't still beat them. It's a good sign. It's a great way to start the season."
Phillies starter Aaron Nola gave his team seven innings of one-run baseball with one earned run, four hits no walks and eight strikeouts. Brandon Finnegan also had a strong night with two earned runs on three hits. Finnegan walked one and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts.
Caleb Cotham worked two scoreless innings in relief for the Reds and Blake Wood's scoreless top of the ninth earned him the victory.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Nola deals: If the Phillies want to speed up their rebuild they will need pitchers like Nola to take another step forward this season. He opened his 2016 season the right way, pitching well against the Reds. He allowed four hits and one run and struck out a career-high eight in seven innings. More >
"I kept thinking he threw too many strikes, but he just pinpoints that fastball and it is tough to square up," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Be Like Maik: Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco had a fantastic spring, hitting a Major League-best nine home runs in Florida. He hit his first of the regular season in the first inning, when he ripped a two-run home run through the wind to right field to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
"Franco hit the crap out of that ball," Mackanin said. "[Finnegan] was throwing fastballs up in the zone to the previous hitters and it was like Franco was looking for a high fastball and he got it."
Suarez responds: After the Franco homer, Suarez lifted Nola's 1-0 pitch in the bottom of the first for a solo homer to left field -- his first of the young season. According to Statcast™, Suarez's drive had a 102-mph exit velocity from the bat and traveled 389 feet.
Fine Finnegan: In his first-ever home start for the Reds, Finnegan had a fine showing. The two other hits besides the Franco homer on a high first-pitch fastball were a two-out infield single by Jonathan Herrera in the first and a double off of Suarez's glove at third base in the third. After that, Finnegan retired 10 of his last 11. Over his first four innings, Finnegan threw first-pitch strikes to 11 of 15 batters. After relying on the fastball early, he showed more changeups in the second and third innings to keep Philadelphia off balance.
"I can't do anything about those hits," Finnegan said. "I wasn't too happy about it. Franco got a pitch out and up and he went with it. Luckily I came back and battled and kept the ball down in the zone. It kept us in the game."
"These things happen. We're going to have more opportunities to do the right things. We're just getting started here." -- Hinojosa, who blew the Phillies' one-run lead in the ninth.
"It's unfortunate that we let one get away again. Over the course of the season, it will even out. We definitely have the arms in the bullpen to get guys out. It's just early. We'll bounce back and be all right. If starting pitching keeps going like that, we'll be just fine." -- Phillies right-hander David Hernandez
Less than an hour before first pitch, the Reds scratched second baseman Brandon Phillips from the lineup, citing a stomach bug. Ivan De Jesus Jr. replaced Phillips in an adjusted lineup.
First hit for Finnegan
Finnegan notched his first big league hit in the fifth inning, but really had to earn it with a 10-pitch at-bat vs. Nola. After he fouled off five-straight 2-2 pitches, Finnegan rolled a seeing-eye single up the middle with two outs.
"I pictured a scorched line drive or maybe a home run but if I get hits like that all the time, I doesn't matter -- they're hits," Finnegan said. "As a pitcher, people kind of doubt you as a hitter for sure. I'm not going to always get hits. I'm not Jay Bruce. I'm not Joey Votto. I'm going to go up there and battle and do my best to run his pitch count and hopefully get on base."
Phillies: Right-hander Charlie Morton makes his Phillies debut in Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Reds. Morton is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA in nine career starts against the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Reds: It's viewed as likely a one-start turn in the rotation, but it will still be Robert Stephenson's Major League debut when he faces the Phillies at 12:35 p.m. ET. Stephenson, the Reds' No. 2 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, was inconsistent in Spring Training but the club believes he will be up for the challenge.
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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone and listen to his podcast.