CINCINNATI — The Phillies rode good pitching and four home runs to a 7-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday afternoon.
Drew Smyly and three relievers got the job done on the mound and Scott Kingery, Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper all connected for two-run home runs.
Hoskins also had a solo shot.
The win was the Phillies’ second in 19 hours and it kept them 2 1/2 games back in the NL wild-card race.
The Phils are 71-65. They have 26 games remaining.
Long ball lift
The Phillies have not shown the power they were expected to this season. They entered the day with 170 homers, which ranked 23rd in the majors. Minnesota led the majors with 268.
But the power went on in this one for the Phillies. All seven of their runs came via the long ball.
Harper’s homer in the eight was his 30th. He has 99 RBIs.
The Phillies have not had a 30-homer, 100-RBI guy since Ryan Howard in 2011. They have not had a 30-homer, 100-RBI outfielder since Pat Burrell in 2005.
Smyly had struggled badly in the month of August. He pitched to a 7.20 ERA in five starts and his place in the rotation was probably on thin ice — though the Phillies don’t have many options to replace him. For now, the club plans to have prospect Spencer Howard pitch for Reading in the Eastern League playoffs this week, and it’s not known if he will come up after that.
Smyly pitched into the sixth inning and held the Reds to just a run. That was a long homer by Aristides Aquino in the second inning. Smyly struck out eight and survived three walks.
Smyly held the Nick Senzel and Joe Votto, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in the Reds lineup, to a single and a walk in six plate appearances. That was significant because opposing teams’ first and second hitters came into the game batting .402 (35 for 87) against Smyly this season. That was the highest mark in the majors.
You’ll take it
Phillies starting pitching has allowed just two runs in 12 1/3 innings the last two games.
A sweet return
Reliever Jared Hughes, waived by the Reds in mid-July, got five big outs in a three-run game for the Phillies.
The Phillies bullpen pitched 3 2/3 scoreless frames.
Hoskins continued to show signs of breaking out of a hellacious second-half slump. He gave the Philllies a 4-1 lead with a two-run homer to dead center with two outs in the top of the third inning. Hoskins hit a full-count, 95-mph fastball from Anthony DeSclafani. He added a solo shot in the eighth.
Hoskins has eight hits, including two doubles, a triple and two homers in his last five games. His swing seems less rushed and he’s using the middle of the field more, which is a good sign.
Kingery, whose three-run double helped the Phillies beat the Mets on Sunday night, got another big hit in this one when he followed a walk to Cesar Hernandez with a two-run homer to right-center in the top of the second inning.
The homer was Kingery’s 50th extra-base hit of the season in just his 409th plate appearance. He is the only player in baseball with more than 45 extra-base hits in less than 410 plate appearances.
Aquino, Cincinnati’s slugging rookie right fielder, belted his 15th homer, all since coming up on August 1. No player has reached 15 homers faster to start a big-league career. Aquino did it in his 122nd plate appearance. The previous record holder was Hoskins, who reached 15 big-league homers in 135 plate appearances.
Vince Velasquez (6-7, 4.86) faces lefty Alex Wood (1-3, 5.80) on Tuesday night.
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