PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tommy Joseph hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and a game-ending RBI single in the ninth, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Cesar Hernandez and Michael Saunders also connected for the Phillies, who won for just the third time in the last 13 games.
Hector Neris (2-2) pitched a scoreless ninth inning, capping another impressive performance by Philadelphia’s bullpen. Edubray Ramos, Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit and Neris combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Jerad Eickhoff, stretching the bullpen’s scoreless streak to 19 2/3 innings.
Zack Cozart went 4 for 4 with a two-run homer for Cincinnati, which had won three of four.
“Cozart has impressed all of us,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “It was a real good game except for the outcome.”
Aaron Altherr led off the ninth with a single to center, snapping a string of 12 straight Phillies batters retired. Altherr went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Joseph’s 2-2 single up the middle off Michael Lorenzen (3-1).
After a slow start, Joseph has upped his average to .255 by hitting .329 in his last 21 games. Seven of his eight homers have come this month.
“Right now, he looks like the hitter I was hoping he would be,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “If he continues this, he’s going to have a heck of good year and help us win a lot of games.”
The win came on the heels of Mackanin’s team meeting following Friday night’s 5-2 setback against the Reds that made it 21 losses in 26 games for Philadelphia. The manager was looking for more intensity from his club and thought he got it.
Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was hurt by the long ball again. The 40-year-old right-hander surrendered three home runs, making it 12 in his last five starts. It also upped Arroyo’s league-leading total to 18 homers allowed.
Hernandez hit a leadoff drive in the first. Saunders’ upper-deck drive to right with one out in the second tied it at 2. Joseph’s eighth of the season made it 3-2.
Arroyo left after allowing five hits in five innings.
The Reds tied it in the sixth on Scooter Gennett’s double to right off Eickhoff. Mackanin lifted Eickhoff after the at-bat, guaranteeing the 26-year-old right-hander would remain winless. Eickhoff is 0-5 in 10 starts this season.
Reds: RHP Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.99 ERA) takes the mound on Sunday afternoon. He struck out a season-best nine in Monday’s 5-1 win over Cleveland.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (0-2, 5.36 ERA) makes his first-ever start against the Reds.