Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Jayson Werth scored the go-ahead run on an error-filled play in the seventh inning, as the Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of numerous Cincinnati miscues to beat the Reds, 7-4, in Game 2 of their NLDS matchup.
The Reds committed four errors to match a Division Series record and Cincinnati pitchers hit three batters, allowing the Phillies to erase an early 4-0 deficit.
The teams combined for a Division Series-record six errors, as Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley committed two in the second inning. But he finished 2-for-4 with two runs batted in at the plate to help the Phillies take the comeback victory, which gives them a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. A potentially decisive Game 3 is set for Sunday in Cincinnati.
The NL East champions won the series opener on Wednesday thanks to a no-hitter thrown by Roy Halladay. Friday’s game was considerably less tidy for Phillies starter Roy Oswalt, who gave up a leadoff home run to Brandon Phillips and had control problems in the early innings. He lasted five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk.
But the Phillies bullpen threw four one-hit innings, capped off by a scoreless ninth from Brad Lidge.
The NL Central-champion Reds looked to be in position to even the series, as Phillips went 3-for-4 to pace the offense and starter Bronson Arroyo avoided trouble through the first four innings.
But the tide started to shift in the bottom of the fifth inning, when pinch- hitter Domonic Brown stood on first with two outs after grounding into a fielder’s choice.
Shane Victorino then reached base when he grounded a ball to second and Phillips didn’t field it cleanly. Placido Polanco, back in the Phillies’ lineup after missing Game 1 with back soreness, then smacked a grounder to third. The ball crawled up and over Scott Rolen’s glove, leaving the bases loaded with two away.
Utley followed by lining a two-run single to right to get the Phillies within 4-2. However, Arroyo fanned Ryan Howard on an up-and-in pitch to end the inning.
J.C. Romero got the first two outs in the top of the sixth, while Chad Durbin got a pickoff of Drew Stubbs to send the inning to the bottom half.
Werth worked a leadoff walk before Arroyo induced a pop out from Jimmy Rollins, the last batter he faced. Arroyo gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Arthur Rhodes came in and, with two outs, hit Carlos Ruiz on the left kneecap with a fastball. Logan Ondrusek then entered and hit pinch-hitter Ben Francisco in the helmet before walking Victorino to force in a run.
Jose Contreras (1-0) threw a 1-2-3 seventh for the Phillies, while fellow Cuban Aroldis Chapman (0-1) took the mound for the Reds in the bottom half.
The hard-throwing rookie left-hander began the inning with a 100 m.p.h. fastball to Utley, then ran his third pitch high and tight. It appeared to hit Utley in the wrist, and he was awarded first base as a result.
After Howard fanned on three straight fastballs, Werth managed to get his bat on a pitch and send it to third. Rolen threw to second to try to get the lead runner, but Utley was called safe — like the hit-by-pitch, television replays were inconclusive, and the Reds argued he was out.
That left two runners on with one down for Rollins, who flared a ball to right field. Jay Bruce tracked it but missed the underhand catch.
Utley hurriedly reversed course and scored, despite appearing to miss third base — though the Reds did not appeal. Werth also crossed the plate on the play after Phillips lost the ball trying to make a relay throw.
That gave the Phillies a 5-4 edge, and after Raul Ibanez singled, Ruiz plated Rollins with a grounder to short. Nick Masset eventually came in and got the inning’s final out.
Ryan Madson worked around a one-out single by Joey Votto to throw a scoreless eighth, and the Phillies tacked on an RBI single by Werth in the bottom half. Lidge walked Bruce to begin the ninth, but retired the following three hitters to secure the wild win.
Cincinnati controlled the game early, taking advantage of Oswalt’s shaky control of his breaking pitches. Phillips began the game by jumping on a 2-1 slider in the middle of the plate and sending it over the left field wall.
Then in the second, Utley ranged to his left to field a grounder hit by Laynce Nix. But his throw pulled Howard off the bag, and Nix advanced on a wild pitch. After Stubbs walked, Ryan Hanigan hit a grounder to short. Rollins flipped to Utley for the first out, but Utley slinged a throw to first that skipped past Howard’s glove, allowing Nix to score for a 2-0 Reds lead.
Bruce opened the fourth by hammering a low-and-in slider deep over the right field fence, and Phillips got the Reds started in the fifth with a double. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Votto’s sacrifice fly to the wall in left, putting Cincinnati up 4-0.
Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera left the game in the fifth inning after apparently re-aggravating the left oblique injury that kept him out for almost all of August. He was replaced by Paul Janish…The previous record for most combined errors in a Division Series game was five. Houston and Los Angeles set that record on October 11, 1981, while Colorado and Atlanta matched it on October 3, 1995…A single team has committed four errors in a Division Series game five times. Prior to the Reds, the Cubs were the most recent team to do so, on October 2, 2008…Arroyo and Oswalt were both making their first postseason appearances since 2005. Arroyo was with the Red Sox then, while Oswalt was pitching for the Astros…All of Chapman’s three runs allowed were unearned…Lidge has converted 11 consecutive postseason save chances.