Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) – Ryan Howard and Michael Martinez homered to help the Phillies win another of Vance Worley’s starts, as Philadelphia completed a four-game sweep of the Reds with a 6-4 victory.
Philadelphia hadn’t swept a four-game series in Cincinnati since 1916, and completed the feat Thursday thanks to Worley (10-1), who limited the Reds to four runs in six-plus innings.
The Phillies have won his last 13 starts, the longest stretch for the team this season. The rookie right-hander hasn’t lost since May 29.
Worley allowed a three-run homer to Chris Heisey before being pulled, but by that point Philadelphia had built a 6-1 lead, thanks to the Howard and Martinez homers.
Reds starter Mike Leake (11-9) also gave up four runs in six innings, but took the loss because he gave up the first three runs in the game, and Cincinnati’s offense couldn’t erase the deficit.
“I wasn’t attacking them,” Leake said. “I needed to go after them and not worry about them nickel-and-diming or getting the big hit.”
The Phillies’ bottom half of the order was responsible for setting up a rally that led to a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Hunter Pence, batting fifth, hit a one-out double before Raul Ibanez worked a five-pitch walk.
Brian Schneider’s single to right brought in a run, and a Wilson Valdez base hit to short loaded the bases. Worley then slapped a ball back up the middle to make it 2-0, and though a strong throw from center fielder Drew Stubbs nailed Schneider at the plate, Shane Victorino followed with a single to bring a third run in.
Worley made the lead stand by shutting down the Reds for the first six innings. Only one runner reached third base during that span — Brandon Phillips, who led off the third with a double, moved up a base on a groundout, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Joey Votto.
But that was Cincinnati’s only run until the seventh inning.
“I got myself in trouble a couple times as usual,” Worley said. “I found a way to get out, and I think as the game went on, my stuff got better.”
The Phillies added some insurance runs before then. Howard crushed a pitch, which Leake left up, over the center field wall with one away in the sixth inning. The solo blast was his 30th homer of the year, and extended his streak of 30-homer seasons to six.
Martinez, who is less noted than Howard for his power, went deep in the seventh to push the Phillies’ lead to five. With Valdez on base and two away, Jared Burton threw a 3-2 pitch letter-high, and Martinez pulled it over the right field wall.
It was the infielder’s third of the season in 72 games.
Philadelphia needed the extra runs after the Reds rallied in the home half. Stubbs doubled and Ryan Hanigan singled to put runners in scoring position for pinch-hitter Heisey, who was reinstated from the disabled list Thursday.
Worley hung a slider on the outer half of the plate, and Heisey took it the opposite way and over the right field fence.
The shot brought Cincinnati within 6-4, but the Phillies’ bullpen held onto the lead. After Brad Lidge fanned Phillips and walked Edgar Renteria, Antonio Bastardo got Votto to ground into a double play.
Bastardo struck out the side in the eighth before Ryan Madson worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 26th save.
The Phillies outscored the Reds 21-6 during the series…Madson made his 461st relief appearance for Philadelphia, moving him past Tug McGraw (460) for most in team history…Heisey hit his 13th homer…The Phillies won the season series, 7-1.