Much needed win
This was one game the Reds had to have, under no uncertain terms.
After a 22-1 loss, anything that can replace that awful taste is a good thing. The Reds did that with a 4-3 win where they also came close to being blown out for the third time in a row.
“There’s not much to say other than we needed that game badly,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I guess when you really need something and want it, you can get it.”
Aaron Harang survived giving up back-to-back homers to Howard and
Utley Werth to start the second inning. In the third after he gave up a run, he escaped a bases loaded, no outs jam. There was the leadoff triple by Ruiz in the fourth that went by the boards. Holding the Phillies from piling on enabled the Reds to come back.
The winless streak for Harang is up to eight starts since May 25. Five of the starts were quality outings (at least six innings and three earned runs or less).
The big play of the night came in the ninth. With Joey Votto on second with a leadoff double, Brandon Phillips dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt to first base. It helped set up the winning hit, a single by Ramon Hernandez.
Baker asked Phillips to bunt because he was 0-for-7 lifetime vs. Lidge.
“We’re trying to win games,” Baker said. “I talked it over with Brandon before he went up there. He said ‘no problem.’”
“You have to learn how to do the fundamental things,” Phillips said. “You have to learn how to bunt. All the little kids out there think bunting is not important. But in situations like that, bunting does come through. If I hadn’t got him over, we might still be playing right now.”
The Reds are back at .500 at 41-41. The Cardinals beat the Brewers and the Cubs and Astros loss. Cincinnati is 3 1/2 games behind first-place St. Louis.
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