PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Hellickson struck out more batters than he has in nearly three years and drove in the decisive run with a squeeze bunt in the Phillies' 3-2 win over the Reds on Friday night.Hellickson struck out nine -- his most since July 5, 2013 -- and allowed only
PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Hellickson struck out more batters than he has in nearly three years and drove in the decisive run with a squeeze bunt in the Phillies' 3-2 win over the Reds on Friday night.
Hellickson struck out nine -- his most since July 5, 2013 -- and allowed only three Reds to reach base after the second inning, in which two came around to score on a sure third out that Tyler Goeddel dropped in the left-field corner. Jeanmar Gomez pitched a scoreless ninth for his Major League-leading 14th save.
"My fastball command was a lot better than it's been," Hellickson said. "That was probably the best changeup I've had this year, too."
The Reds went hitless following Adam Duvall's second hit -- a two-out single -- in the top of the fourth inning.
"I think Hellickson really did a good job," Reds acting manager Jim Riggleman said. "As the game went on, he got his changeup really working. We were swinging at it out of the zone. That's the way the pitch is supposed to work. He really got sharp and he just held us down."
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Brandon Finnegan walked five over four innings, allowing three runs on four hits -- the last of which was a Goeddel two-run triple that erased the deficit caused by his earlier error. The next batter, Hellickson, laid down a perfect safety squeeze to plate Goeddel to give the Phillies the lead for good.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Reds benefit from error: Before Goeddel boosted his club in the fourth, the Reds capitalized on his poor fielding in the second inning. Following a two-out double by Duvall and an infield hit by Tyler Holt, Tucker Barnhart skied a fly near the left field line at the warning track. Goeddel first took a strange route to the ball and then after catching up, dropped it for a two-run error and 2-0 lead.
"I was running toward the wall at first and then I looked up and it was more toward the line than I thought," Goeddel said. "I changed direction a little bit, kind of took my eye off the ball when I reached for it, I guess and it hit off my glove."
Walk my socks off: The Phillies finally capitalized on the erratic Finnegan in the fourth. Finnegan threw one combined strike to Carlos Ruiz and Tommy Joseph -- both of whom struck out two innings prior -- to put runners on first and second for Goeddel, who sliced a 1-1 pitch just fair down the right-field line for his first Major League triple, scoring Ruiz and Joseph to tie the game at two. More >
Walks hurt Finnegan: The five walks from Finnegan equaled his career high and moved him into a tie for the National League lead with 28 over his eight starts. Against Philadelphia, he escaped jams over the first three innings and until Goeddel's line drive touched the right-field line, he felt close to dodging danger a fourth time.
"Oh, definitely. I ran through the lineup," Finnegan said. "Even with the walks, I was getting outs. He just threw the bat at it. It was the first time he put anything in play. Oh well. I have to get ready for the next start." More >
Joseph debuts: The long-awaited debut of Joseph, the Phillies' promising first-base prospect, came Friday. The 24-year-old got the call and was in the lineup, hitting sixth. Although he struck out twice and was replaced defensively in the eighth by Andres Blanco, he put together Major League at-bats. Between his two strikeouts was a walk and a run scored on Goeddel's triple. Joseph saw 14 pitches on three trips to the plate.
"I think he's going to be fine," Mackanin said. "He just had a couple pitches to hit that he swung through and missed but I like his approach." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Reds saw their seven-game winning streak vs. the Phillies end. Their previous loss against them was June 3, 2015.
RIGGLEMAN MANAGES AGAIN
With Reds manager Bryan Price serving a one-game suspension, Riggleman served as the acting skipper in his place on Friday. For Riggleman, Cincinnati's bench coach, it was his first time managing in the Major Leagues since June 23, 2011, when he resigned from the Nationals.
"You're kind of managing every night when you're watching the games as a bench coach, trying to manage along with Bryan," Riggleman said. "It didn't really have too much of a different feel to it, to tell you the truth. It was fairly routine. The players decide who wins the ballgame. We gave a great effort but Hellickson was really sharp tonight. They got the right hit at the right time. As far as me managing the game, it was an honor to do it. But it's not the circumstances you want to be doing it in."
Reds: When the series continues at 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Tim Adleman will make his third big league start for Cincinnati. Adleman is coming off his first big league win against the Brewers, but will be working on seven days of rest.
Phillies:Aaron Nola takes the ball for the Phillies in the middle game of the three-game set. He'll look to repeat his results, but change the outcome from the first time he faced the Reds this season. In the second game of 2016, Nola fired seven innings, allowing one run, but Philadelphia lost 3-2.
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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.