CINCINNATI (AP) — Brandon Phillips drove in a pair of runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning and the Cincinnati Reds ended their five-game losing streak by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 on Monday night.
Cincinnati’s five-game slide matched its longest slump from last season, when it won the NL Central.
The Reds still didn’t hit much, but left-hander Cliff Lee helped them by letting in a run on a wild pitch in the seventh. Todd Frazier followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
Bronson Arroyo (2-1) gave up pinch-hitter Chase Utley’s two-run homer in the eighth, but Cincinnati rallied against the Philadelphia bullpen. The Reds loaded the bases against Jeremy Horst (0-1), and Phillips singled off Mike Adams to break the tie.
Aroldis Chapman retired all three batters he faced in the ninth for his third save in three tries. He threw 100 mph fastballs to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard while fanning them to end it.
Neither team did much on offense in a matchup of strike-throwing starters until Lee briefly lost his touch. Joey Votto led off the seventh with a single and Phillips doubled on a two-strike pitch, giving the Reds their first runners in scoring position.
That has been their weakness. Cincinnati was 5 for 41 with runners in scoring position during the five-game slide.
This time, Lee helped them out. He bounced a 2-2 pitch to Jay Bruce, allowing Votto to score from third. Lee then walked Bruce on a full count, ending the left-hander’s streak of 169 consecutive batters without giving up a walk, according to STATS. Frazier followed with a sacrifice fly.
Utley’s fifth career pinch-hit homer off Arroyo tied it with two outs in the eighth. It was Philadelphia’s third pinch-hit homer this season. Arroyo gave up five hits and didn’t walk a batter in eight innings.
The late rally was a relief for the Reds, who placed 19-game winner Johnny Cueto on the 15-day disabled list before the game because of a strained muscle in his back, the third significant injury for Cincinnati in the season’s opening weeks. Setup man Sean Marshall and cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick also are sidelined by injuries.
Despite the loss, Lee extended his streak to 20 straight starts with at least six innings and no more than one walk, a modern major league record.
The left-hander got a lot of help from his center fielder. Ben Revere made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch of Frazier’s fly to the edge of the warning track in the second inning, then threw to the infield to double up Bruce at first base. Revere got an ovation from Reds fans for that one.
An inning later, Revere banged into the outfield wall to catch Ryan Hanigan’s fly, prompting Lee to smile and shake his head.
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