Reds 4, Brewers 3: Phillips homers, then gets defensive
Second baseman Brandon Phillips of the Reds looks to first base on a double play after forcing out the Brewers’ Jean Segura in the seventh inning.
CINCINNATI — Brandon Phillips grabbed the bouncing ball with his bare hand, tagged second base with his left knee as he fell and threw to first to complete a double play that immediately drew raves.
It might have saved the game, too. Phillips homered and made the spectacular play to protect the lead in the seventh inning last night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
He drove in two runs with a single and a homer, but it was the unusual play on Ryan Braun’s hard-to-handle grounder up the middle with two runners aboard in the seventh that had everyone talking — and the Brewers talking to themselves.
“I made a nice play, I don’t know how,” Phillips said. “I gambled on it. I took a chance on making it without my glove, and I made the play.
“I practice the short hops, but I’ve never had a bag to worry about. I’ve touched the bag with my knees plenty of times.”
The Reds won for the fifth time in seven games. Cincinnati is 14-6 at Great American Ball Park, the most home wins in the majors.
“That’s the best double play I’ve seen from a second baseman,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “ That was a game-saver, too. If he doesn’t turn it, we could be in trouble. They had some dangerous guys coming up.” Milwaukee got solo homers from Jean Segura and Braun, but lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Cincinnati’s Alfredo Simon (3-1) threw two innings in relief of rookie left-hander Tony Cingrani. Aroldis Chapman gave up a run on a wild pitch in the ninth while getting his eighth save in as many chances.
The Reds pulled ahead 2-0 in the third on Phillips’ two-out RBI single and Jay Bruce’s double off the glove of Norichika Aoki in right field.
Zack Cozart’s RBI single in the fourth put the Reds up 3-2. Yovani Gallardo (3-2) gave up five hits and five walks in his four innings.
Segura led off the fourth with a homer that barely eluded the top of Bruce’s glove in right field. Braun homered to right field on the next pitch, giving him eight overall and a season-high 11-game hitting streak.