There is something about Philadelphia that doesn’t agree with the Cincinnati Reds — too many cheesesteaks, something in the water of the Schuylkill River, unruly and unfriendly fans.
Whatever it is, whether the Philadelphia Phillies are, good, bad or average, the Reds can’t win a series in the City of Brotherly.
IT HAS BEEN 11 YEARS since they’ve won a series in Citizens Bank Park. They are 0-9-1 in 10 series.
Things looked good for them Friday night when they won the first game of a three-game series.
But a game-ending single by Tommy Joseph in the bottom of the ninth against Michael Lorenzen lifted the Phillies to a 4-3 victory Saturday afternoon.
Joseph is a game-ending specialist. He ended a game in the 11th-inning Thursday with a base hit.
AFTER BRONSON ARROYO GAVE up three solo home runs in five innings, the Reds bullpen took over and retired 12 straight (Austin Brice, Wandy Peralta) entering the ninth inning.
But Lorenzen gave up a leadoff single in the ninth to Aaron Altherr and moved him to second with a wild pitch. On a 2-and-2 count, Joseph ended the game with a sharp single to left center, only the Phillies 19th win in 49 games.
In five innings, Arroyo gave up only five hits, but three were bases-empty home runs and he has given up 18 home runs in 52 innings, the most home runs given up in the National League.
PHILADELPHIA STARTER JEROD Eickhoff, who was 0-and-5 and the Phillies had lost all eight games he started this year.
Billy Hamilton opened the game with a bunt single up the third base line, only his second bunt hit this year. He stole second, his league-leading 26th stolen base.
It wasn’t needed. Zack Cozart homered into the left field seats for a 2-0 lead and the beginning of a four-hit day for the Reds shortstop. And he also walked.
But the first batter Arroyo faced in the bottom of the first, Cesar Hernandez, homered into the right field upper deck. Hernandez started the season on Opening Day against the Reds with a game-opening home run against Scott Feldman.
THE SAME THING HAPPENED with the first batter in the second inning. Arroyo gave up a home run to Michael Saunders to tie it, 2-2.
And the Phillies took a 3-2 lead in the fourth when Joseph hit a home run. Of the 18 home runs given up by Arroyo this season, 13 have been with nobody on base.
The Reds tied it in the sixth when Eugenio Suarez singled, stole second and scored on Scooter Gennetti’s double down the right field line.
Gennett was on second with one out and took third on Tucker Barnhart’s grounder to third. But he remained anchored at third base after pinch-hitter Patrick Kivlehan walked because Hamilton struck out.
Cozart homered, doubled and singled twice and he walked with two outs in the ninth. But Joey Votto, hitless in the two games in Philadelphia, struck out.
Austin Brice replaced Arroyo and pitched two perfect innings. Wandy Peralta pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, but Lorenzen (3-and-1) couldn’t close the door in the ninth.
The Reds missed an opportunity against the team with baseball’s worst record to climb back to .500, but fell two below .500.
They have a chance Sunday afternoon to win their first series in Philadelphia in 10 years, with Scott Feldman on the mound.