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Reds can't match Phils' bats, drop series finale

May 18, 2014


PHILADELPHIA -- Citizens Bank Park has rarely been a stadium where the Reds can make mirth and enjoy the results of their effort. That's because there have been no series wins for the Reds in nearly a decade.

An 8-3 Reds loss gave the Phillies two of three games in the series after Cincinnati took the opener on Friday. Since 2006, they have gone 0-7-1 in series at Philadelphia and are 8-21 in those games.

Back from the disabled list, Reds starter Tony Cingrani pitched six innings and gave up four runs and seven hits -- including three homers -- with three walks and seven strikeouts.

It was Cingrani's first start since April 30. He had been on the DL because of mild left shoulder tendinitis.

In the top of the first inning against Cliff Lee, the Reds took a 2-0 lead. Billy Hamilton led off with a bunt single to the right side and later scored from third base on a Brandon Phillips groundout. Hot-hitting Devin Mesoraco laced a two-out RBI double to left field that scored Chris Heisey for the first of his career-high four hits.

Lee clamped down after that, especially when there was trouble in the later innings. The Reds, who went 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position, put the leadoff man on base five times after the first inning and couldn't score again until the eighth. In the fourth, Mesoraco and Ryan Ludwick started it out with singles before the bottom of the lineup came up empty. Mesoraco hit a leadoff double in the sixth but the Reds couldn't advance him even 90 feet.

Cingrani's two-run lead did not last long. His first two batters -- Jimmy Rollins and Wil Nieves -- welcomed him with back-to-back homers to left field. It was the second time in eight days the Reds' staff allowed homers to the first two batters of the game. The Rockies did it to Alfredo Simon on May 10 at Great American Ball Park.

Philadelphia took the lead in the fifth inning after Lee hit a leadoff single to left field. Rollins hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Todd Frazier, who couldn't field it cleanly. Instead of going to first base, Frazier unsuccessfully tried to get Lee at second base in a fielder's choice. The runners advanced on a sacrifice, and with the infield playing back, Chase Utley's groundout to first base scored the go-ahead run.

Leading off the sixth, Cingrani's 0-1 pitch was hit to the opposite field by Marlon Byrd and cleared the right-field fence for the Phillies' third homer of the day.

In another tough day for the bullpen, the game got away during a four-run seventh. Manny Parra walked two batters -- including Ryan Howard with two outs. Byrd's RBI single followed, and Cody Asche deposited a 1-1 pitch into the right-field seats for a three-run homer.

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