Reporting Matt Loede
CINCINNATI (92.3 The Fan) - Think Brandon Phillips doesn’t like hitting against his former team? Think again.
The one-time Indians prospect continued his tear against the Tribe on Wednesday night, clubbing a two-run homer off Nick Hagadone, as the Reds beat the Indians for the second straight night, this time 5-3.
Phillips started the game with a RBI single that scored Wilson Valdez in the first. In the fourth he started the inning with a single and eventually scored, and after being hit by Tribe starter Derek Lowe in the 5th, he came on against Hagadone in the 7th.
With the Reds only up a run and Joey Votto on first after a leadoff single, Phillips slammed his 8th career HR off the Indians, a shot to left to make it a comfortable three-run Reds lead.
In 37 games lifetime agianst the Indians, Phillips is hitting .344 (50-for-145) with 8 HR’s and 26 RBI. He is slugging near .550 against his former team.
For the Indians, it was their third loss in four games, and now they will need a win in the finale on Thursday just to avoid an under .500 road trip that at one point looked very promising.
The trip now sees them at 4-4 with Josh Tomlin going in the road wrap up at 12:35pm Thursday afternoon at the Great American Ballpark.
Lowe took the loss for the Indians to drop his mark to 7-5 on the season. He gave the Indians a fighting chance, going six innings allowing three runs on five hits. He walked a season high six and struck out four.
Mat Latos started for the Reds, and held the Indians at bay most of the night. He allowed seven hits, but just two runs over seven innings, walking one and striking out seven. He improves to 5-2 on the year with the win.
The Indians drop to 32-29 on the season, while the Reds push their mark to 34-27, good for first at the moment in the NL Central.
Cincinnati scored a run in the first when Phillips got an RBI single with two outs to center. The Indians tied it off Latos in the fourth when they loaded the bases with no outs, and after Johnny Damon struck out, Casey Kotchman hit into a fielder’s choice to make it 1-1.
The Reds gained the lead right back in the 4th when Phillips singled, then came around to score after a walk and ground out when Ryan Ludwick hit a sac fly to make it 2-1.
Cincy pushed it to 3-1 when in the 5th Chris Heisey walked, went to third on a Joey Votto double, and then after Phillips was hit by a pitch, scored on a sac fly by Jay Bruce.
The Indians got a run back in the 6th when Carlos Santana doubled, and scored two batters later on a ground out by Damon to make it 3-2.
Phillips put the game away though in the 7th, when he smashed the homer to left center to push the Reds lead to 5-3.
Cincinnati went to their pen, and the Indians were able to get it to 5-3, as Jose Lopez caught up with a Aroldis Chapman 100 MPH fastball in the 9th for his 3rd homer of the year, but it wasn’t enough.
Chapman earned his 7th save allowing the run in the 9th.
Tomlin will go up against right-hander Mike Leake (2-5, 4.97) in the finale Thursday in an afternoon game.