Phillips, Bruce homer as Reds tame Giants in NLDS Game 1
San Francisco, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Brandon Phillips homered and drove in three runs as the Cincinnati Reds survived the early exit of starter Johnny Cueto to beat the San Francisco Giants, 5-2, and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five NL Division Series Saturday at AT&T Park.
Phillips had three hits in five at-bats while Jay Bruce contributed a solo shot to help the Reds snap a seven-game postseason losing streak.
“This guy is unbelievable,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Phillips. “I’ve never had a player that can hit all over the lineup like him. That was a big, big lift to give us a home run right there.”
“Honestly, I was just trying to make things happen for the team,” Phillips said. “Matt (Cain) left a hanging curveball up there, and I just took advantage of it. He’s a great pitcher, he just left some balls up, and we just had a good day at the plate.”
Sam LeCure (1-0) and Game 3 probable starter Mat Latos combined for 5 2/3 innings of relief when 19-game winner Cueto suffered a back injury after throwing a 0-1 changeup to Marco Scutaro in only his eighth pitch of the game.
“It’s sad just to see him go down like that. He had a great year. And all you’re able to do is go out there and have fun and get as many wins as possible,” Phillips said.
LeCure pitched 1 2/3 innings before Latos had his first career relief appearance after 105 big-league starts in the third frame, surrendering four hits and gave up an earned run when Buster Posey led off the sixth with a solo shot
Phillips gave the Reds a much-needed offensive boost in the third when he slugged Giants ace Matt Cain’s 1-2 pitch for a two-run shot and a 2-0 lead. The homer ended Cain’s 23 2/3 scoreless-innings streak in the postseason dating back to 2010 when the Giants won the World Series.
In the fourth, Bruce hammered Cain’s 1-0 pitch to right center for a three-run lead. Cain (0-1) had allowed two homers in a game at San Francisco only once in the regular season, and it came against the Reds on June 29.
Sean Marshall relieved Latos in the seventh and Jonathan Broxton worked a scoreless eighth, but not before giving up a one-out single and a two-out walk.
Phillips added an RBI single in the eighth while Xavier Paul scored a run on a passed ball by Posey to make it 5-1.
Aroldis Chapman loaded the bases in the ninth and allowed a run but he fanned Posey for the game’s final out.
The Reds eye a 2-0 lead when they put Bronson Arroyo on the mound against Madison Bumgarner Sunday.