Phillies beat Reds 8-3 behind 4 home runs

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 18, 2014 at 5:33 pm •  Published: May 18, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jimmy Rollins, Wil Nieves and the Phillies picked up Sunday right where they left off the night before.

Rollins and Nieves opened the first inning with back-to-back homers and Philadelphia went deep four times in all to back Cliff Lee in an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Cody Asche and Marlon Byrd also homered for the Phillies, who broke out of their offensive doldrums with a 12-1 rout Saturday night.

Lee (4-4) pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first home victory of the season.

Devin Mesoraco had a career-high four hits for Cincinnati, including two doubles and an RBI. The Reds again played without slugger Joey Votto, who remained in Cincinnati during the three-game series with a left knee injury.

Philadelphia's offense busted loose for a second straight day. Despite playing in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies entered Sunday second-to-last in the NL in home runs with 27.

But they were riding the confidence of homering twice while scoring a dozen runs in Saturday's victory, which snapped streaks of four straight losses and 23 consecutive scoreless innings.

"Today's game was a momentum game and a build off (of Saturday)," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It was a carry-over game on the offensive side."

Cincinnati starter Tony Cingrani (2-3) returned from the disabled list and gave up three home runs in six innings.

After the Reds went up 2-0 in the first on Brandon Phillips' RBI groundout and Mesoraco's run-scoring double, Rollins hit his 46th career leadoff homer. Nieves followed with a shot to left that tied the game.

It was the fifth time the Phillies began a game with consecutive homers, the last coming on Sept. 9, 2004, at Atlanta when Rollins and Placido Polanco accomplished the feat.

Chase Utley's fifth-inning groundout scored Lee and put Philadelphia ahead for good. Byrd opened the sixth with a homer to right to push the lead to 4-2.

That was enough offense for Lee, who had received very little support at home this season. He entered 0-3 in four home starts despite a 1.55 ERA.

Lee gave up two runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings with three strikeouts and a walk. He was happy to get some runs for a change.

"It's definitely easier to pitch with a lead," Lee said. "It's easier to attack the strike zone, and you can use a little more of the plate and not worry so much if you give up a solo home run or whatever. It's not going to hurt you as bad. If it's a close game or a low-scoring game, every pitch is important. Not that it's not with a lead, but there's definitely more room for error and you can get away with more mistakes."

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