Cincinnati Reds fall to Phillies as game-tying run thrown out to end game

May 14, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) is tagged out by Philadelphia Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp (29) on a game ending collision in the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) is tagged out by Philadelphia Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp (29) on a game ending collision in the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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A miraculous defensive play ended the Cincinnati Reds’ comeback bid and ensured another series loss in Philly.

Ten years. That’s how long it’s been since the Reds have won a series against the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park. The streak was extended to that number on Saturday night, as the Phillies moved to 14-3 in one-run games this season when the Reds’ tying run was thrown out at home plate in the top of the ninth inning, ending the game.

Reliving the final inning

Entering the final frame facing a 4-2 deficit, the Reds got one run back before a batter had even been retired. Jay Bruce led things off with a walk against Phillies pitcher David Hernandez, and moved to third on a single by Eugenio Suarez. The throw back into the infield got away and Suarez could’ve made it to second, but had already put his head down and returned to first before it happened. This would come back to haunt the Reds.

Next batter Adam Duvall lined a double — his second of the game and 11th of the season — to score Bruce, but Suarez was held up at third. Tucker Barnhart then grounded out to first, but no one was able to advance. This brought pinch hitter Jordan Pacheco to the plate. He lofted a ball into left field, seemingly deep enough for the tying run to score, but Tyler Goeddel unleashed a perfect throw to home plate to nail Suarez for the final out.

Was the right call made?

The incredible final play wasn’t without controversy, as Suarez ran over catcher Cameron Rupp on his way to home plate. Given that Rupp was blocking the plate, it seemed the play would be overturned initially and the teams would play on with the game tied at four apiece. But after a few replays, it was clear the throw took Rupp into the baseline, which is perfectly within the rules. When it comes to tough luck losses, this was about as rough as it gets.

Efficient outing gets away from Adleman

Through three innings of his third career start, right-hander Tim Adleman made it look like he was going to go deep into the game. He was pounding the strike zone, having thrown just 25 pitches — with 21 of them for strikes. The second time through the order didn’t go as well, though, as he gave up a leadoff walk to Cesar Hernandez to start the fourth, followed by back-to-back doubles from Maikel Franco and Ryan Howard to tie the game at one. The Phillies would take the lead in the fifth, when Adleman gave up a single to Goeddel and a walk to pitcher Aaron Nola with nobody out. By the end of the inning, the Reds were looking at a 3-1 hole.

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Offense can’t capitalize early

As he has been the entire season, Nola was on his game on Saturday night and the Reds missed a golden opportunity to make a big dent against him to start the game. Back-to-back singles by Zack Cozart and Jose Peraza (who was making his Reds debut) and a walk by Joey Votto loaded the bases with no one out in the first inning. But the Reds could only score one run, when Cozart scored on a heads-up play after Brandon Phillips fouled out to first baseman Howard. With a chance to do more damage, the Reds couldn’t get it done, as Bruce struck out and Votto was caught stealing second base to end the inning. Nola would only give up three hits and one (unearned) run over the next six innings.

Notes:

  • After the loss, the Reds are now an abysmal 2-12 on the road this season.
  • With his two RBI doubles, Duvall’s hot streak continued. He’s now hitting .333/.381/.744 with four doubles, four homers and eight runs batted in during the month of May. Perhaps it’s time to move him up in the lineup?
  • Caleb Cotham and Layne Somsen — in his big-league debut — each tossed a scorless inning in relief. J.C. Ramirez wasn’t so lucky, giving up a home run to Odubel Herrera in the seventh inning that barely left the yard.