Phillips, Maloney have good days
Manager Dusty Baker was well aware of what Brandon Phillips was hitting this spring — .000 because of a 0-for-14 start.
“He had been hitting the ball well. It’s not like he was topping balls and all that,” Baker said.
As the DH, Phillips was responsible for three of the Reds’ five runs during Sunday’s 5-5 tie vs. the White Sox. In a 2-for-3 day with a walk, he hit a RBI single in the first inning that scored Drew Stubbs. Phillips crushed a two-run home run to off of the batter’s eye in center field in the seventh.
It was a good bounce-back outing for Matt Maloney, who pitched three scoreless innings with three hits, two walks, two strikeouts and two successful pickoffs. The last time Maloney pitched, he was clobbered for four runs and four hits in two-third of an inning on March 9 vs. Arizona. This was his first start of spring and he knew the stakes were high if he wanted to stay in the race for the fifth spot.
“Definitely, especially coming out and starting,” Maloney said. “I wanted to get my innings in and that was the big thing last time. I couldn’t get through my inning. I was not doing my job, leaving the ball up and wasn’t pitching down in the zone. I really tried to focus on keeping the ball down in the zone and not overthrowing.”
“He threw the ball very well,” Baker said. “He kept them off balance. He’s been working on his moves, picked off a couple of guys.”
*Joey Votto got out of a 1-for-15 start by going 2-for-3 with a RBI single single in the fourth inning. That single came with a little luck. Earlier in the at-bat, Votto hit a foul pop to first base that was dropped for an error. Defensively, he also made a nice diving stop of an Omar Vizuqel grounder in the sixth inning.
*After he came 1-for-16 this spring, Drew Stubbs started the bottom of the first with a single to center field and scored. Stubbs was 1-for-4 in the game with a strikeout that brought his total to seven Ks in 20 at-bats.
*The Reds had a 5-1 lead heading into the ninth when reliever Jordan Smith gave up four runs and four hits with two outs. Both teams were out of pitchers after the ninth so the game was called and ended as a tie.
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