CINCINNATI — The 12th time was a charm.

The Phillies won their third game in a row in a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

The win improved the Phillies to 72-65 on the season. They are seven games over .500 for the first time since June 16. The Phils had previously had 11 chances to go seven games over .500 but lost every one of those games.

The Phils entered the game 2½ back in the NL wild-card race. They will enter Wednesday no worse than that with 25 games to play.

Bravo, bullpen

The Phillies have beaten the Reds in the first two games of this four-game series. The Phils’ bullpen has picked up 9 2/3 innings and allowed just one run. The Phils used six relievers in this game. The first four did not allow a hit or a run.

Quick hook

With a deep bench and a deep bullpen thanks to September additions, manager Gabe Kapler can be aggressive with moves early in game. He pinch-hit for starter Vince Velasquez with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth inning. Logan Morrison ended up grounding into a double play.

Velasquez did not have good control in three innings of work. He gave up four hits and walked two, but held the Reds to just a run. Three of Velasquez’s five strikeouts came with a runner in scoring position.

Good timing

The Phillies have caught the Reds at a good time as their third baseman, Eugenio Suarez, has missed both games in the series after taking a pitch off the hand. Suarez leads the Reds with 40 homers and 87 RBIs.


Harper's 100

The Phillies rallied for two runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Bryce Harper drove in one of the runs with a single. It was his 28th RBI in the last 25 games and 100th of the season. He has now reached 100 RBIs twice in his career. He did it for the first time last season with Washington.

Harper is the first Phillie since Ryan Howard in 2011 to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs. He is the first Phillies outfielder to do it since Pat Burrell in 2005. That’s a long time between drinks (see story).

Manufacturing plant

The Phillies used a sacrifice bunt and two sacrifice flies to score two of their runs. J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins had the sacrifice flies.

Hoskins has six RBIs in the last six games, coinciding with his return to the cleanup spot.

Cesar Hernandez drove in a run after a Jean Segura double in the fourth. Segura had missed the previous two games after the death of his grandmother in the Dominican Republic. He traveled back from his home country Tuesday afternoon and did not arrive at the ballpark until shortly before the first pitch.

Power boss

Scott Kingery homered to the opposite field for the second game in a row. He has 51 extra-base hits and is up to 17 homers. His home run in this game gave the Phils a three-run lead in the top of the ninth. That extra run late in the game can be a huge calmer of nerves for a bullpen. The Phils tacked on another run in the ninth on consecutive doubles by Adam Haseley and Corey Dickerson.

Kingery has had important extra-base hits the last three games, all wins. He is swinging the bat with confidence that jumps out at you.


Pitcher Nick Pivetta and infielder Jose Pirela were added from Triple A. The Phils have a nine-man bench and an 11-man bullpen. Maikel Franco will come up on Thursday.

Up next

Good pitching matchup Wednesday night as Aaron Nola (12-4, 3.45) faces Trevor Bauer (10-12, 4.53).

The Phils have wasted good starts from Nola and suffered losses his last two times out.

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