LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brandon Phillips gets as much of a charge out of making a defensive gem to save a run as he does hitting a home run. Wednesday night, he was able to do both in the same inning to help the Cincinnati Reds pin a frustrating loss on two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw.
Phillips and Homer Bailey's seven effective innings led the Reds to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
"Regardless of who was pitching, it feels good just to come through for the team and do something positive to get us going in the right direction," Phillips said. "We haven't been really scoring that many runs and haven't been getting many clutch hits. Kershaw's one of the best pitchers in the game, but tonight we just hit some mistakes."
Phillips, a four-time Gold Glove second baseman, robbed Andre Ethier of an RBI single when he made a diving stop of his grounder in the hole and threw him out after a leadoff double by Dee Gordon. Bailey escaped the inning unscathed by striking out Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez.
"I feel like defense wins championships and offense sells tickets," Phillips said. "That defensive play I made really saved the game. I'm surprised I got to that ball. I didn't really see it come off the bat really good."
Bailey (5-3) allowed two runs and five hits while striking out six. The right-hander has won consecutive starts for the first time this season following his 5-3 victory over St. Louis last Friday.
"It was good for me, especially with the April I had," Bailey said. "Obviously it's not how I wanted to start the season. It took a little while to get my legs underneath me. I would have liked to put up a few more zeros, but doing it against Clayton — and the fact that we scored three runs — you just make sure you lock them down. It was a really big win. We needed that one. You don't ever want to get swept. I don't care where you're at or who you're playing."
Ethier, who drove in a season-high four runs Tuesday night, was 0 for 3 against Bailey and is hitless in 21 career at-bats against him with seven strikeouts.
"He was just moving the ball so well," Ethier said. "He's one of those guys who can be wildly effective at times, and other times he can spot up a pitch and throw something in there at 93-94 — then reach back for 96-97 — and it's moving all over the place. He can throw his other pitches for strikes, too, so it's a tough combination. In the past, I've seen a lot of cutters from him, and tonight I didn't see one. It was all two-seam fastballs and one breaking ball."
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