The Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a 4-3 victory in 12 innings Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
With the win, the Phils wrapped a 5-1 homestand to improve to 6-5 on the young season.
The Phillies won the game on a sacrifice fly by Scott Kingery in the bottom of the 12th. Earlier in the game, Kingery made a terrific defensive play in left field to save a run.
Hector Neris blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings. Neris had previously saved 21 in a row dating to last June.
Centerfielder Odubel Herrera made a tremendous defensive play in the top of the 10th inning to rob what would have been a two-run homer by Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett.
ODUBEL HERRERA WITH THE GAME-SAVING CATCH! pic.twitter.com/WTTMAGrwpT— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 12, 2018
Gennett, Cincinnati’s second baseman, made a costly error in the 12th to set up the Phillies’ winning run.
The Phillies got strong starting pitching from Nick Pivetta and home runs from J.P. Crawford and Cesar Hernandez.
Pivetta delivered seven innings of two-run ball and did not walk a batter. He struck out seven. It was his second strong start of the homestand. He beat Miami with 5 2/3 scoreless innings earlier in the homestand. He struck out nine in that game and did not walk a batter.
Pivetta survived an early test when he pitched over a two-base error by Herrera to start the game.
On Tuesday night, the Phillies beat the Reds, 6-1. The Phils scored all of their runs in that game on two-out hits.
It was more of the same in Wednesday night’s win as Crawford and Hernandez accounted for the Phillies’ first three runs with a pair of two-out home runs. Crawford’s was a two-run shot on an 0-2 pitch against Reds starter Luis Castillo in the second inning. Hernandez added a solo blow in the fifth to break a 2-2 tie. Both home runs reached the second deck in right field. Crawford’s was the first of his big-league career. He had been 1 for 25 on the season before stroking a tie-breaking single in the seventh inning Tuesday night.
Rhys Hoskins did not start for the first time this season (see story). He entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and struck out.
One night after belting his second big-league homer, a grand slam, the rookie Kingery started in left field in place of Hoskins. It was the fourth different position that Kingery has started so far this season and he provided a defensive gem when he gunned down Jose Peraza at the plate in the sixth inning to preserve what at the time was a one-run Phillies’ lead.
Eventually, that lead disappeared and the game went to extra innings. But Kingery won it in the 12th when he lofted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Pedro Florimon. Florimon reached second on a two-base error and moved up on a nice bunt by Crawford.