Published April 03, 2013
CINCINNATI – Brandon Phillips hit a three-run homer in his new role as Cincinnati's cleanup hitter, and Joey Votto drove in the winning run with a ninth-inning single Wednesday night, rallying the Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
They've split the first two games of the first interleague series to open a season.
Votto's first hit of the season off left-hander Scott Downs (0-1) deflected off the glove of first baseman Albert Pujols and rolled into the outfield, allowing Shin-Soo Choo to score from second base. Choo reached when he was hit by a pitch and advanced on a sacrifice.
Votto had been 0 for 6 heading into the decisive at-bat.
Phillips moved into the cleanup spot because of Ryan Ludwick's injury and hit the Reds' first homer of the season. He connected for a three-run shot against C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning, when Cincinnati sent nine batters to the plate for four runs.
Left-hander Aroldis Chapman (1-0) walked one in the ninth, throwing a 99 mph pitch that hit the backstop screen.
Mat Latos, who took the loss in the deciding Game 5 of Cincinnati's playoff series against San Francisco last season, left with a 4-3 lead in the seventh. He gave up a solo homer by Howie Kendrick, and a two-run shot by Alberto Callaspo on his 100th and final pitch.
The Angels tied it with the help of third baseman Todd Frazier's error in the eighth, pulling even on Mark Trumbo's run-scoring groundout.
The Reds had to juggle their lineup for the second game of the season, and it's not going back anytime soon.
Ludwick had surgery on Wednesday to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder, injured on a slide on opening day. He's expected to miss at least three months.
Phillips moved from second in the batting order into Ludwick's cleanup spot, where he'll stay for the foreseeable future. Reserve outfielder Chris Heisey becomes the everyday left fielder while Ludwick recuperates.
The new lineup had one very good inning.
Heisey walked in the fourth inning, and so did Votto. Phillips, who flied out to the warning track in his first at-bat, then homered for a 3-0 lead. It was a breakthrough for the Reds, who managed only three hits and one run — on a wild pitch — during a 3-1, 13-inning loss on opening day.
Jay Bruce followed with a double and scored on Todd Frazier's single.
Latos was on his game at the outset Wednesday, fanning seven in the first five innings. Once again, the bottom of the Angels' order produced the most.
The Angels' power hitters have failed to connect. Pujols is 0 for 7 with two strikeouts. Josh Hamilton — signed for $125 million in the offseason — is 0 for 8 with three strikeouts.
The Angels have struck out 27 times in the first two games. They fanned 17 times in the opener.
NOTES: It was 49 degrees and breezy at the first pitch. ... The Angels are 5-3 all-time against Cincinnati, including interleague series in 2002 and 2007. ... The Reds called up 25-year-old OF Derrick Robinson to take Ludwick's roster spot. He'll make his major league debut. ... Bruce celebrated his 26th birthday. He went 1 for 4. ... Bronson Arroyo makes his seventh career start against the Angels in the series finale. He's 1-2 against them. L. A. starts Joe Blanton, who is 2-0 career against Cincinnati.