PHILADELPHIA (AP) First homer. First grand slam. First walk-off. Scott Kingery had quite a series.
Kingery hit a game-ending sacrifice fly in the 12th, two innings after Odubel Herrera robbed the Reds of a home run, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Cincinnati 4-3 on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Pedro Florimon reached second against Austin Brice (0-1) to start the bottom of the 12th on second baseman Scooter Gennett’s throwing error. Florimon advanced to third on Crawford’s sacrifice, and Hernandez was intentionally walked. With a five-man infield, Kingery hit a fly ball to right-center that scored Florimon.
”It’s been crazy,” Kingery said. ”That’s the only way to put it.”
Kingery hit a solo homer in a 6-5 win Monday and a slam in a 6-1 victory Tuesday. The rookie started at three different positions.
”I think it’s great, it’s challenging, it’s giving me a chance to learn new things,” he said. ”I’m learning on the go.”
Herrera took away a two-run shot from Gennett in the 10th with a leaping catch in front of the center field fence. J.P. Crawford hit his first career homer, and Cesar Hernandez also connected for the Phillies.
Yacksel Rios (1-0) retired the only batter he faced to earn the win.
Phillies closer Hector Neris blew a one-run lead in the ninth, ending a string of 21 saves in a row. Gennett led off the ninth with a double that just missed going out. Devin Mesoraco followed with a single, and Phillip Ervin’s RBI single tied it at 3. After a sacrifice, Neris struck out Cliff Pennington and Billy Hamilton to escape further trouble.
Hernandez launched a deep drive into the second deck in right field off Luis Castillo to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
Kingery, making his first start in left field, preserved the lead with a perfect throw to the plate in the sixth to retire Jose Peraza trying to score from second on Joey Votto’s single. Peraza didn’t slide and banged into catcher Jorge Alfaro, who held onto the ball.
”He looked absurdly good,” Kapler said of Kingery. ”Looks like a natural wherever we put him.”
Crawford gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the second when he drove an 0-2 fastball out to right. Starting pitcher Nick Pivetta, batting eighth in manager Gabe Kapler’s 11th different lineup in 11 games, lined a single to right with two outs before Crawford connected.
The Reds scored twice in the fourth to tie it. Peraza led off with a double and Votto followed with an RBI single. Votto scored on Ervin’s groundout.
The Phillies (6-5) have won five of six and have a winning record for the first time since they were 11-10 on April 28, 2017.
Cincinnati (2-9) has lost four in a row and six of seven.
Manager Bryan Price defended a questionable decision to have pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart sacrifice in the ninth before Neris escaped the jam.
”I wanted to put the heat on them, create a bigger field for our hitters to hit in and we just weren’t able to get it done,” Price said.
Reds: Castillo allowed three runs and five hits in six innings.
Phillies: Pivetta gave up two runs and five hits, striking out seven in seven innings.
Kingery has now started games in left field, right field and three each at shortstop and third base.
Reds: 3B Eugenio Suarez might return in less than a month from a fractured right thumb, according to manager Bryan Price. Suarez initially was expected to miss several weeks.
Phillies: Alfaro was in the lineup a night after being hit on the left hand by a pitch.
Reds: RHP Sal Romano (0-0, 5.73 ERA) takes the mound in the start of a four-game series against St. Louis.
Phillies: After a day off, RHP Vince Velasquez (1-1, 5.19 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game interleague series at Tampa on Friday night.
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