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Cincinnati at Philadelphia

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Cincinnati «0402000039131
Philadelphia2300000117100

Thanks to journeyman, Reds have bullpen edge over Phils

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- For one night, the long bus rides and the years spent toiling in the minor leagues were worth it for Chris Michalak.

Edwin Encarnacion hit a go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning against All-Star closer Tom Gordon, and Michalak pitched 6 2/3 solid innings in relief to lead the Cincinnati Reds over the Philadelphia Phillies 9-7 Saturday night.

Ryan Freel drove in three runs and Cincinnati's struggling bullpen held on this time, helping Michalak earn his first win in the major leagues since 2001.

"It was awesome to be in a playoff atmosphere," said Michalak, who learned at midnight Friday that he was coming up from Triple-A Louisville. "It makes all the years in the minors and all the hard work worthwhile."

Ryan Howard's NL-leading 40th homer tied it at 6 in the eighth inning, but the Reds went ahead against Gordon, who blew his fourth save in 31 chances in the ninth inning Friday night.

Michalak (1-0) gave up one run and three hits in his first outing in the big leagues since 2002 with Texas. Eddie Guardado allowed Jimmy Rollins' second homer of the game in the ninth, but held on for his eighth save in nine chances after blowing a lead in the ninth a night earlier.

Rollins' solo shot with two outs off Guardado cut it to 9-7. Pinch-hitter Mike Lieberthal singled and Chase Utley was hit by a pitch before Guardado struck out Howard to end it.

"We're very resilient. There's a lot of heart and character here," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.

The NL wild card-leading Reds came in a half-game ahead of Arizona and San Diego. The Phillies fell three games behind Cincinnati.

Freel walked to start the ninth against Gordon (3-4). He stole second and went to third on Scott Hatteberg's single up the middle. Ken Griffey Jr. then hit a hard one-hopper to drawn-in second baseman Utley, who only got Griffey at first base after making the play.

Encarnacion followed with a single to left field to put the Reds ahead 7-6. With two outs, Javier Valentin had an RBI single and Brandon Phillips had a run-scoring double to make it 9-6.

"I just didn't have the feel that I'd like to have," Gordon said.

Rollins also hit a three-run homer and David Dellucci had a two-run shot for Philadelphia, which failed to get within a game of .500 for the first time since June 20.

Michalak, called up earlier in the day after Kent Mercker went on the disabled list, gave the Reds bullpen a much-needed lift a night after Narron used all his relievers -- except Rheal Cormier -- and two starters.

Elizardo Ramirez, who got the loss Friday, lasted just 1 1/3 innings. He allowed five runs and five hits, before giving way to Michalak.

The 35-year-old left-hander allowed just two infield singles before Howard led off the bottom of the eighth with a drive off a huge billboard in front of the second deck in right field.

"He changed speeds tremendously, gave them a lot of different angles," Narron said. "He's definitely a crafty left-hander."

Phillips had three hits, including a homer against Phillies starter Scott Mathieson. Phillips snapped a 1-for-22 slump with a solo shot leading off the fourth that tied it at 5. Royce Clayton followed with a double and scored on Freel's one-out double that gave the Reds a 6-5 lead.

After the Reds scored four runs with two outs in the second inning to take a 4-2 lead, the Phillies went ahead 5-4 on Rollins' three-run shot in the bottom half.

Ramirez ignited Cincinnati's four-run rally in the second by beating out a grounder to third base with the bases loaded. Freel followed with a two-run single to left and Hatteberg singled in another run.

"Chris did an unbelievable job," Freel said. "He kept them off balance and we got some timely hits."

Dellucci's two-run homer to straightaway center field gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Griffey climbed the wall and reached over to make the grab, but the ball was just out of his reach.

Mathieson allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. The rookie right-hander hasn't made it past the fourth inning in three of his six starts.

Notes

  • Howard became the sixth player in team history to reach 40 homers in a season.
  • Rollins joined Steve Jeltz and Tomas Perez as the only players in franchise history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game. Rollins has 17 homers. His previous high was 14 in 2001 and 2004.
  • Dellucci has 10 homers in 173 at-bats. Bobby Abreu had eight homers in 339 at-bats before he was traded to the Yankees, giving Dellucci an opportunity for more playing time.
  • Michalak was 9-5 with a 2.99 ERA at Louisville.
  • Griffey was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and left five runners in scoring position.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Chris Michalak goes 6 2/3 innings in relief and earns the victory in his first major league game since 2002.  (AP)
Chris Michalak goes 6 2/3 innings in relief and earns the victory in his first major league game since 2002. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

J. Rollins
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
Cincinnati

B. Phillips
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, RF4123111
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4121101
Ken Griffey Jr., CF5000036
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4111110
Adam Dunn, LF4100115
Javier Valentin, C5121010
Brandon Phillips, 2B4232100
Royce Clayton, SS5110025
Elizardo Ramirez, P1111000
    Chris Michalak, P2010010
    Eddie Guardado, P0000000
Totals38913951018 
Batting
2B - Ryan Freel (, Mathieson), Brandon Phillips (, Madson), Royce Clayton (, Mathieson), Chris Michalak (, Geary)
HR - Brandon Phillips (, Mathieson)
SH - Chris Michalak ()
RBI - Ryan Freel 3 (), Scott Hatteberg (), Edwin Encarnacion (), Javier Valentin (), Brandon Phillips 2 (), Elizardo Ramirez ()
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Freel 2 (), Scott Hatteberg (), Javier Valentin (), Brandon Phillips (), Elizardo Ramirez ()
SB - Ryan Freel 2 (, 3rd base off Fultz/Coste, 2nd base off Gordon/Coste), Scott Hatteberg (, 2nd base off Fultz/Coste), Edwin Encarnacion (, 3rd base off Gordon/Coste)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Encarnacion-B. Phillips-Hatteberg
E - Chris Michalak (, )
Cincinnati Reds
Elizardo Ramirez 1.1555102
Chris Michalak (W,-) 6.2311201
Eddie Guardado (S,) 1211021
HBP - Utley (by Eddie Guardado)
Pitches-Strikes - Elizardo Ramirez 38-26, Chris Michalak 79-47, Eddie Guardado 29-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Elizardo Ramirez 4-0, Chris Michalak 11-8
Batters Faced - Elizardo Ramirez 10, Chris Michalak 24, Eddie Guardado 6
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4324100
David Dellucci, RF3112100
    Ryan Madson, P0000000
    Tom Gordon, P0000000
    Rick White, P0000000
   a- Mike Lieberthal, PH1010000
Chase Utley, 2B4000001
Ryan Howard, 1B5121012
Pat Burrell, LF3010101
Aaron Rowand, CF4010002
Chris Coste, C4110000
Abraham Nunez, 3B4110012
Scott Mathieson, P0000000
    Aaron Fultz, P0000000
   b- Danny Sandoval, PH1000000
    Geoff Geary, P0000000
   c- Shane Victorino, PH-RF2000000
Totals357107328 
a-singled for White in the 9th
b-flied out for Fultz in the 4th
c-popped out for Geary in the 7th
Batting
2B - Pat Burrell (, Ramirez)
HR - Jimmy Rollins 2 (, Ramirez, Guardado), David Dellucci (, Ramirez), Ryan Howard (, Michalak)
SH - Scott Mathieson ()
RBI - Jimmy Rollins 4 (), David Dellucci 2 (), Ryan Howard ()
2-OUT RBI - Jimmy Rollins ()
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Rollins-Utley
Philadelphia Phillies
Scott Mathieson 3.1766261
Aaron Fultz 0.2000210
Geoff Geary 3100020
Ryan Madson 1100010
Tom Gordon (L,-) 0.2433100
Rick White 0.1000000
IBB - Encarnacion by Aaron Fultz
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Mathieson 70-44, Aaron Fultz 18-6, Geoff Geary 32-22, Ryan Madson 10-8, Tom Gordon 31-16, Rick White 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Mathieson 4-0, Geoff Geary 4-3, Tom Gordon 1-1, Rick White 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Mathieson 19, Aaron Fultz 4, Geoff Geary 10, Ryan Madson 3, Tom Gordon 7, Rick White 1
Game Information
Attendance - 39553
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Tim Welke