Brandon Phillips clubbed a three-run homer and added a two-run double, helping the Cincinnati Reds close a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 7-6 comeback win Thursday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.
Todd Frazier capped a four-run seventh inning with a go-ahead RBI single for the Reds, who were down 6-0 entering the bottom of the sixth. The rally helped Cincinnati salvage a split and grab a half-game lead over idle Pittsburgh for first place in the NL Central.
Cincinnati didn't record a hit off Arizona starter Joe Saunders until there were two outs in the fifth. The Arizona left-hander gave up three straight to open the sixth, as Drew Stubbs and Wilson Valdez both singled before Phillips trimmed the deficit in half by homering to left field.
The Reds completed the comeback and wound up moving ahead in the next frame against the Arizona bullpen. After the first batter was retired quickly, Bryan Shaw (1-4) issued back-to-back four-pitch walks to pinch-hitter Xavier Paul and Stubbs. Valdez then hit a ball past first baseman Paul Goldschmidt that plated Paul. Goldschmidt was charged with an error on the play.
Phillips tied the game with a double to left-center, and Frazier gave Cincinnati the lead with his two-out base hit off Brad Ziegler.
Sean Marshall allowed a pair of two-out hits in the eighth, but preserved the Reds' lead by getting Willie Bloomquist on a ground ball to first.
Aroldis Chapman earned his 15th save of the season with a flawless ninth that featured a pair of strikeouts.
"The way we won, it was something that we didn't expect," Phillips said. "[Saunders] did a good job keeping the ball down and keeping us off balance. The longer we played, the more we realized what he was really doing."
Cincinnati starter Mike Leake was tagged for six runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Alfredo Simon (2-1) was credited with the win after giving up one hit over 1 2/3 innings.
Arizona scored a run in the first and third innings and each time Bloomquist was the catalyst. The shortstop singled to begin the game and stole second before scoring on a two-out base hit by Goldschmidt.
Bloomquist led off the third with a double and Aaron Hill followed with a run- scoring ground ball. Hill extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth when he launched his 13th home run, a two-out blast to left field.
The Diamondbacks doubled their advantage with a three-run sixth. Chris Young doubled home Justin Upton and scored on Henry Blanco's first home run of the year.
Saunders struck out five and walked three...The start of the game was delayed 46 minutes because of rain...Arizona outhit the Reds, 14-6.