Reds ride 4-run first to sweep of Phillies
CINCINNATI -- Ivan De Jesus Jr. hit a three-run homer and Brayan Pena had a 4-for-4 day at the plate on Wednesday to lead the Reds over the Phillies, 5-2, for a sweep the three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Four of the Reds' five runs came in the first inning on an RBI single by Pena and De Jesus' homer. Pena would add another RBI single in the seventh. With the win, the Reds matched their season-high four-game winning streak.
Reds rookie starter Jon Moscot picked up his first career win in his second start. Moscot gave up two earned runs off six hits and two walks over six innings. He also recorded his first career hit with a single in the sixth inning.
"I was able to just settle in early," Moscot said. "My sinker was effective, I was getting ground balls and [we] played some great defense, made some good plays. I'm just getting ahead of hitters and mixing it up."
Phillies starter Jerome Williams dropped to 3-6 with his third loss in his last five starts. Williams gave up four earned runs, nine hits, one walk and recorded three strikeouts in six innings on the mound.
"Obviously, the first inning was a rough one." Williams said. "Those last five were where I wanted to be. Hopefully, I can take that into my next start."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
De Jesus Jr. hits second homer of series: For a second straight game, the Reds scored four runs in the first inning, this time thanks to De Jesus Jr.'s three-run homer. With two outs, De Jesus Jr. knocked a 91-mph fastball from Williams into the left-field seats. It was De Jesus Jr.'s second career home run, with his first coming on Monday against the Phillies.
Pena adds insurance: After a long scoring drought following the first inning, Pena came through in the seventh with a two-out RBI single to score Todd Frazier from second. The single was Pena's fourth. The four-hit afternoon matched a career-high.
"One thing I will say about Brayan is he is completely, 100 percent invested in being excellent and upholding his responsibilities as now our, not everyday catcher, but our primary catcher," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "As well, now as a guy who isn't hitting seven or eight, but quite often in that five or six spot in the order."
Lefty vs. lefty: Chase Utley represented the go-ahead run when he came to the plate in the seventh inning with two on, two outs, and Cincinnati leading, 4-2. The Reds countered with lefty reliever Tony Cingrani, who retired Utley on a fly ball to left. Philadelphia's No. 3 hitter was 0-for-3 and is in an 0-for-21 skid that has dropped his batting average to .185.
"I feel fine," Utley said. "You just have to continue to battle and try to make improvements on a daily basis."
Rupp is RBI machine: Phillies backup catcher Cameron Rupp, batting in the No. 8 spot in the order, drove in both of Philadelphia's first two runs with two-out hits. His second-inning single to left followed a walk to Cesar Hernandez and scored Ryan Howard from second. Rupp's fourth-inning double to the left-field corner scored Hernandez, who singled with two outs and stole second.
"I liked the way he played today, and I like the way he's played the last few games," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Rupp. "He's swinging the bat and he's got a good arm. He works hard behind the plate."
"I want to stay here. I got to be honest with you guys, I really want to stay here, and it doesn't matter what my role is going to be. I'm willing to be anybody's backup, but I just want to stay here. I feel so good here, I'm so blessed to be here and just doing whatever it takes." -- Pena, on his motivation to perform well with his contract up at the end of the season
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Phillies are 7-23 away from home this season, their worst road record after 30 games since 1941 (6-24).
Sandberg challenged Brennan Boesch's two-out infield single in the fourth inning, claiming the throw from second baseman Utley to first baseman Howard had arrived before Boesch's left foot touched the bag, but the call stood after review.
The injury bug bit the Reds again on Wednesday when shortstop Zack Cozart experienced what appeared to be a right knee injury in the bottom of the first inning. Cozart was trying to beat out a throw to first when his foot slipped off the bag and he tumbled to the ground. Cozart was down on the ground for a few minutes before the medical training staff helped carry him off the field. The club was awaiting MRI results postgame. More >
Phillies: Philadelphia is off Thursday, then begins a three-game series in Pittsburgh at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday. Veteran right-hander Kevin Correia, who signed with the club Monday, will make his first start for the Phillies.
Reds: The Reds will continue their stretch of 29 games in 30 days with a four-game series opener against the Cubs on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field. Rookie right-hander Michael Lorenzen (1-1, 3.29) will start for the Reds.
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