PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jake Fraley hit a bases-clearing double in the ninth inning to lift the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-4 comeback win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
Jason Vosler doubled and drove in two runs for the Reds, who avoided a three-game sweep.
“This was a huge win for us,” Fraley said. “It shows we can stick around with the best of them.”
Alec Bohm hit a two-run homer for the Phillies.
It looked like the defending National League champion Phillies were on their way to a sweep and re-capturing the good vibes of last season’s postseason run in Philadelphia. They started the season losing five of six on the road before appearing to be headed to within a game of .500.
But Seranthony Domínguez (0-1) loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on a pair of walks and TJ Friedl’s infield single. He had Fraley in a 1-2 hole before the Reds’ designated hitter golfed a double to short right to put Cincinnati ahead 6-4.
“I wasn’t really thinking of anything except making sure I start my swing on time because he has a very good fastball,” Fraley said.
Dominguez said it was a good pitch, though he would’ve liked it a bit more elevated.
“I feel so bad right now,” he said. “I’m supposed to help the team win.”
Ian Gibaut closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two, for his first save.
“It’s why you keep playing the game,” Reds manager David Bell said. “You have to keep playing, you have to keep going, you have to keep competing.”
Kevin Herget (1-0) tossed two innings of scoreless relief for his first major-league victory in his fourth career appearance and first of 2023.
“The goal is to put up zeroes and keep the score where it’s at,” he said.
Citizens Bank Park reached a fever pitch last October when Bryce Harper homered in Game 5 of the NLCS against the San Diego Padres to send Philadelphia to the World Series. The moment was described as Bedlam at the Bank by radio announcer Scott Franzke. The club trademarked the phrase and used it as the title for the postseason highlight video.
If this weekend wasn’t bedlam, it wasn’t far from it. At least until the deflating ending on Sunday. Another packed house was on hand for Sunday’s contest — and for the pregame NL championship ring ceremony.
After Harper and Rhys Hoskins raised the NL pennant flag prior to Friday’s series-opening win, the duo were the last two players introduced for Sunday’s ring ceremony. Both received a raucous ovation from the 39,129 in attendance.
The good vibes continued for most of the game.
Kyle Schwarber ran through third-base coach Dusty Wathan’s stop sign to score on Nick Castellanos’ double in the first, and Bryson Stott reached on Edmundo Sosa’s second-inning single. After the Reds tied it in the fourth, Bohm laced a two-run shot off Connor Overton to left in the bottom of the frame.
The Reds cut the lead to 4-3 on Jason Vosler’s two-out RBI double off Craig Kimbrel in the eighth before finishing off the comeback against Dominguez to send stunned fans quietly exiting the park in a scene so unfamiliar to last postseason.
Castellanos tried to follow Schwarber home in the first but was thrown out.
In the fourth, Brandon Marsh hit a liner to left field that got past diving left fielder Will Benson and went to the wall. Marsh accelerated toward third base when Wathan swung his arm to go, but the coach then raised both arms for him to stop. By then, Marsh had already rounded third and was caught in a rundown.
Schwarber got out in a rundown between first and second in the eighth. He singled to left, made a wide turn around first but lost his footing trying to scamper back.
BOHM TO FIRST
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said before the game that Bohm would move from third base to first base against right-handed pitchers. Sosa is going to start at third in those situations. Darick Hall was slated to replace Hoskins at first, but Hall is out for a few months following thumb surgery. The Phillies recalled Kody Clemens to play first as well, and he started the first game of the series there.
BENNETT TO BREWERS
The Reds traded left-hander Bennett Sousa to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday for cash considerations and international cap space. Sousa was 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA in eight relief appearances in Spring Training for the Reds.
Phillies left-hander Jose Alvarado extended his regular-season scoreless streak to 17 ⅔ innings after striking all three batters he faced in the seventh. He has fanned 34 of 59 batters during the streak.
Reds: RHP Lucas Sims (back) and RHP Luke Weaver (right elbow) were scheduled to pitch in rehab assignments at Triple-A Louisville on Sunday.
Phillies: Hoskins is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during spring training. Harper is rehabilitating after offseason right elbow surgery and could return to the lineup as early as next month. … Left-hander Ranger Suárez will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. The Phillies’ No. 3 starter hasn’t pitched yet this season due to right forearm tightness.
Reds: RHP Graham Ashcraft (1-0, 1.29) starts on Monday night to open a three-game series at Atlanta. The Braves haven’t announced their starter.
Phillies: Open three-game homestand versus Miami. Marlins RHP Sandy Alcántara (1-0, 1.84) faces LHP Matt Strahm (0-0, 0.00).
By Aaron Bracy