Thursday, June 04, 2015

Phillies extend jinx over Reds with another comeback win

Philadelphia, PA -- The Phillies spoiled Mike Leake's gem and walked off with another dramatic win against the Reds.

Maikel Franco tied the game with a three-run homer in the ninth inning after ending Leake's no-hit bid in the seventh, and Philadelphia scored the winning run on an error in the 11th to somehow come away with a second straight 5-4 victory over Cincinnati.

Franco's blast off hard-throwing Reds closer Aroldis Chapman capped a four-run rally in the ninth, which started with the Reds holding a 4-0 lead and Leake looking like a sure thing to pick up his first career shutout.

In the 11th, Ryan Mattheus (0-1) gave up a one-out double to Cody Asche and then committed the error that allowed him to score. He raced to cover first base on Freddy Galvis' chopper in the hole but let the easy toss from Joey Votto hit off the top of his glove.

Franco also played a part in Tuesday's 5-4 win, tying the game with a two-run homer in the eighth inning before Darin Ruf won it with a walk-off hit in the ninth.

The latest heartbreaker for the Reds came as they eyed their first-ever win against Phillies ace Cole Hamels on their 14th try.

"We weren't able to get it done and it's beyond disappointing," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Leake became the second pitcher in five days to flirt with a no-hitter against the Phillies, but Franco ended the bid with two outs in the seventh when he punched Leake's 92nd pitch up the middle for a single.

It was Philadelphia's only hit in the game until Ben Revere and Jeff Francoeur started the ninth with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners with no outs and chasing Leake.

Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton made a diving catch on Chase Utley's fly ball off Chapman, but Revere trotted home for the first run. After a walk by Ryan Howard, Franco got all of Chapman's 98 mph fastball, driving it into the left-center field seats to tie the score at 4-4.

"When I know someone throws hard...I'm ready for one pitch," Franco said. "I just put on good
contact."

Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon stranded a runner at second base in the 10th and the Phillies left men at first and third in the bottom of the inning when Howard lined out to right against Manny Parra.

Luis Garcia (2-1) struck out Skip Schumaker with runners on second and third base in the top of the 11th to pick up the win.

Brandon Phillips drove in the only two runs scored in the first eight innings on a single off Hamels in the fourth. Joey Votto added a two-run homer off Jake Diekman in the ninth to give the Reds a 4-0 lead.

That appeared to be enough for Leake, who struck out nine, walked two and was close to snapping a three-start losing streak. He was charged with two runs on three hits.

Hamels retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced in seven strong innings -- no surprise given his history against the Reds.

The star left-hander is 10-0 in 14 career starts against Cincinnati, including one postseason game. The Phillies have won all 14 of the games he's pitched against the Reds.

Hamels, rumored to be on the trading block, was replaced by Ken Giles after taking warmup pitches before the start of the eighth, but Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg declared him to be "fine."

"We just wanted to give Giles more time to warm up," Sandberg said.

For the second straight start, Hamels got little help from the offense while he was in the game.
He had a four-start winning streak snapped on Friday when the Phillies were nearly no-hit by Colorado's Chad Bettis, who lost his bid with one out in the eighth inning.

Notes: The Phillies had lost seven in a row entering the three-game series ... The Reds have thrown 16 no-hitters, the last two by Homer Bailey in 2012 and 2013.
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