PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joey Votto hit a three-run homer and Tyler Mahle tossed seven shutout innings to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Nick Castellanos added a solo homer and Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run shot for the Reds (63-54), who trail Milwaukee by 7 1/2 games in the NL Central, even though they have a better record than the Phillies. The Phillies (60-56) started the night in first place in the NL East.READ MORE: Pennsylvania High Court OKs 'Comfort Dogs' For Witnesses
Mahle (10-3) allowed three hits and walked none in his second straight win. Michael Lorenzen worked the eighth and Heath Hembree gave up a run in the ninth.
With the Phillies chasing their first postseason appearance since 2011, Zack Wheeler (10-7) stumbled on a steamy night. The ace right-hander threw a two-hit shutout in his last start against New York.
Tyler Naquin led off the fourth with a single and Wheeler plunked Castellanos. Votto’s second-half revival continued when his 26th homer of the season landed in the bullpen for a 3-0 lead. Votto moved into second in the NL in home runs and became just the third player 37 years old or older to have at least one 22-game span with 15-plus home runs.
Votto has 1,998 hits and trails only four players on the Reds’ career hits list. He is three homers shy of matching Frank Robinson for second on the team’s career list with 324. Votto’s 2,000th career hit will make him only the second player (Billy Williams, Cubs, 1971) to reach that milestone the same season he also recorded his 300th home run and 1,000th RBI.
Castellanos hit his 20th homer of the season in the sixth. Suarez’s 23rd homer of the year was a two-run shot to left in the ninth.
Wheeler struck out six and gave up four hits in six innings.READ MORE: Woman Killed After Shooting Inside Kensington Home, Police Say
The Phillies won eight straight games before they dropped two of three at home against the Dodgers. The Mets entered a half-game back in the NL East but were set Friday night to open a 13-game stretch against San Francisco and Los Angeles. Mets ace Jacob deGrom is out with an elbow injury, and the Atlanta Braves are in contention, making the next two weeks a pivotal stretch for the Phillies in the NL East race.
Reds: LF Jesse Winker was a late scratch with low back tightness. … RHP R.J. Alaniz (left calf strain) started a rehab assignment in Triple-A Louisville.
Phillies: 1B Rhys Hoskins, who leads the Phillies with 24 home runs and 68 RBIs this season, is expected to return from a groin injury on Tuesday.
Phillies RF Bryce Harper was ejected in the ninth inning.
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The Phillies send LHP Matt Moore (1-3, 6.79 ERA) to the mound against Cincinnati RHP Luis Castillo (6-11, 4.53 ERA) on Saturday.