Joey Votto was feeling it against former teammate Aaron Harang as were the rest of the Cincinnati Reds as they collected five homers and scored 11 runs in an 11-2 victory over the Phillies Tuesday at Great American Ballpark.
Votto tied Johnny Bench for the most three-run homer games (3) by a Cincinnati player. Votto did so with two against Harang (4-7) and then one more against off Dustin McGowan. The 11 runs were plenty for Anthony DeSclafani (5-4) who allowed two runs in 6.1 innings with seven strikeouts, but did allow ten hits.
Cincinnati (26-31) got things started right away when Brandon Phillips and Votto walked to begin the first. Two batters later Jay Bruce doubled home Phillips and then Zack Cozart brought everyone home with a three-run round tripper to give the Reds a quick 4-0 lead. Philadelphia (22-38) got one of those runs back in the second when Maikel Franco doubled and then scored on a single by Carlos Ruiz with two outs in the inning. Harang tried to help his cause by singling to keep the threat alive, but Ben Revere grounded out to DeSclafani to end the inning.
The Reds defense looked a little different in the third inning as Phillips left with a groin injury and is not expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. Ivan De Jesus Jr. moved from left to second and Skip Schumaker entered the game to play left. De Jesus didn’t miss a beat as he and Cozart turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
More change came in the bottom of the inning after Votto and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back homers as Bruce was ejected by home plate umpire Adam Hamari for arguing balls and strikes. Brennan Boesch moved from center to right and then Kristopher Negron came on to play center to quickly shorten the Reds bench.
They wouldn’t have to worry about that coming back to haunt them as Votto hit the second of his three in the fifth to spot Cincinnati a 7-1 advantage. Philadelphia did have a chance to bring the game much closer in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out to chase DeSclafani. Manny Parra came on and allowed one of the runs to score on a sac fly, but then retired Chase Utley to keep the Reds easily ahead 7-2.
McGowan came on in relief of Harang in the seventh and gave up the final homer of the day to Votto, this one a two-run blast that scored Schumaker. Frazier and Brayan Pena singled to put another runner in scoring position with two outs and the Phillies gave Cincinnati a gift run as De Jesus was able to reach on an error by the center fielder, which also allowed Frazier to score.
Ryan Mattheus pitched a scoreless eighth, but Jeanmar Gomez was not as fortunate in the bottom of the frame. Michael Lorenzen came off the bench to pinch hit and reached on an error. That came back to haunt Philadelphia as Votto hit a ground ball for what should have been the final out, but was only the second. Frazier followed with an infield single and then Negron singled home Schumaker for the final run of the game.
Nate Adcock, who came up from Louisville after Jumbo Diaz was optioned on Sunday, made his Reds debut and worked a scoreless ninth to hand Cincinnati its third straight victory.
The Reds go for four straight and a sweep of the Phillies on Wednesday when Jon Moscot (0-1, 7.20 ERA) makes his second career start. He’ll be opposed by Jerome Williams (3-5, 5.68 ERA) who will try and right the Phillies ship as they are just 1-5 in their last six games. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m.
After the game Cincinnati will hit the road for six games, starting Thursday in Chicago and ending Tuesday in Detroit. The Tigers and Reds will then head to Cincinnati that Wednesday to finish the four game series.