A huge fourth inning helped the Cincinnati Reds top the Philadelphia Phillies. The 9-4 victory helped the Reds bounce back from a three-game losing streak, while also salvaging one of the games against the Phillies. The Reds went to the power game to snap the modest slide.
Eugenio Suarez rocked a three-run homer to power the Reds' big inning. Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce had three hits apiece, helping the Reds win their third road game of the year. Duvall's double Tucker Barnhart's RBI single gave Cincinnati a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Good hitting and Philadelphia errors paved the way for the Reds in the fourth.
Phillies starter Adam Morgan was still on the mound when the Reds loaded the bases in the fourth. Morgan proceeded to walk pitcher Dan Straily to force home a run. Tyler Holt followed and hit a perfect double-play ball to first baseman Ryan Howard. Howard had trouble fielding the ball and was late with his force-out throw to second.
Straily gave the Redlegs a decent outing, but there were moments when he seemed to lose command of his pitches. His fastball dipped in speed and didn't have good placement. Although he struggled, he was able to rebound and get the job done for five scoreless innings. Straily gave up six hits and three walks and struck out six, lowering his ERA to 3.05 for the season.
"I think today was bend but don't break," Straily said. "I was fighting myself. I had developed a nice little blister on my middle finger and was fighting that. I just kind of made pitches when I absolutely had to. I try to do that every time but bases loaded and guys on third base in what seemed like every inning, I was able to find a way to get out of it."
Entering the game, Suarez was mired in a 2-for-22 slump. That slide included a 0-for-15 mark. Hopefully, his team-leading seventh home run will help him regain the swing that had made him so dangerous.
"Today I found my right spot. I feel great at the plate," Suarez said. "I saw the ball really good, breaking ball, changeup whatever. I tried to work on my leg kick. Right now, it's not too high. That's why I feel like I'm staying more with the ball and seeing the ball good. I tried to hit middle-opposite field. That's why I had a big day. I put in the practice."Duvall has been on a recent power surge. Over the past 11 games, he's batting.405 (15-for-37) with an impressive four homers and five doubles.
"I normally hit a lot of home runs and doubles," Duvall calmly explained, via Cincinnati Reds. "It's nothing that's changed as of late."
The Reds' five-run fourth was the deciding factor in the game. The bullpen almost gave away another game. The Phillies chipped away at the lead, but Zack Cozart's pinch hit in the ninth provided needed insurance runs.
The road trip continues as the Reds make their way into Cleveland. The Battle of Ohio will be a two-game series. John Lamb will be the starter for Cincinnati despite missing his previous start with a sprained thumb. The Indians will have Cody Anderson toeing the rubber. Monday's game will be the first of two home-and-home matchups between the rivals.
[Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]