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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Lacking big bats, Reds lose 8-3 to Phillies

Lacking big bats, Reds lose 8-3 to Phillies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The short-handed Reds could have used some power bats on Sunday.

Unfortunately for Cincinnati, sluggers Jay Bruce and Joey Votto were still unavailable.

Cody Asche, Jimmy Rollins, Wil Nieves and Marlon Byrd all homered, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Reds 8-3.

Cincinnati's Devin Mesoraco had a career-high four hits, including two doubles and an RBI. The Reds, already without Bruce (knee), again played without Votto, who remained in Cincinnati during the three-game series with a left knee injury.

Manager Bryan Price said there is no timetable for Votto's return. The Reds are reluctant to put the four-time All-Star and 2010 MVP on the disabled list in hopes that he will return sooner than the 15 days required for the DL.

"We don't know exactly how much time it will take for him to be game-ready, so we don't want to make a commitment to a DL," Price said. "That's the challenge we have. We don't want to DL him and find out in two or three days he's ready to play. As long as we're somewhat comfortable having a four-man bench, we won't have to make a decision. Hopefully we get better news every day."

The Reds open a three-game series at the Nationals on Monday night, and Price couldn't say whether Votto even would be in Washington, let alone play.

Bruce, a two-time All-Star, is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday. Votto and Bruce have hit 330 combined homers.

The Reds certainly could have used some of that production on Sunday.

"The elephant in the room is the fact we have Votto and Bruce unavailable," Price said. "Those are pretty essential pieces. That being said, we do have players getting an opportunity to play and do some things. I was very, very optimistic going into today's game that we were going to do some really good things offensively. We got some things started, but we weren't able to finish."

Philadelphia's offense came to life for a second straight day. Despite playing in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies entered Sunday second-to-last in the NL in home runs with 27.

But they were riding the confidence of homering twice while scoring 12 runs in Saturday's victory, which snapped streaks of four straight losses and 23 consecutive scoreless innings.

"Today's game was a momentum game and a build off (of Saturday)," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It was a carry-over game on the offensive side."

After the Reds went up 2-0 in the top of the first Sunday on Brandon Phillips' RBI groundout and Mesoraco's run-scoring double, Rollins hit his 46th career leadoff homer. Nieves followed with a solo shot to left to tie the game.

It was just the fifth time in club history the Phillies began the game with consecutive homers, the last coming Sept. 9, 2004, at Atlanta when Rollins and Placido Polanco accomplished the feat.

Chase Utley's fifth-inning groundout scored Cliff Lee and put Philadelphia ahead for good. Byrd opened the sixth with a solo homer to right to push the lead to 4-2.

That was enough offense for Lee (4-4), who had gotten very little support at home this season. He entered 0-3 in four home starts despite posting a 1.55 ERA. Lee gave up two runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

"It's definitely easier to pitch with a lead," Lee said.

Reds starter Tony Cingrani (2-3) returned from the disabled list and allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings while striking out seven and walking three. Cingrani, who hadn't pitched since April 30 because of left shoulder tendinitis, had given up a total of three homers all season in 32 1-3 innings before the three Sunday.

"I felt pretty good today," Cingrani said. "Everything was coming out well. I was spotting it pretty much all day."

Cincinnati scored just seven runs in the series as the Phillies took two of three from the Reds and improved to 7-0-1 in home series against Cincinnati since 2006.

Notes: To make room for Cingrani, the Reds optioned catcher Tucker Barnhart to Triple-A Louisville before the game. ... Reds RHP Mike Leake (2-3, 3.09) opposes Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-3, 3.48) when Cincinnati travels to Washington to open a three-game series on Monday night. ... After Monday's off day, the Phillies travel to Miami for three games against the Marlins, with Philadelphia RHP A.J. Burnett (2-3, 3.13) facing Marlins RHP Anthony DeSclafani (1-0, 3.00) on Tuesday.Lacking big bats, Reds lose 8-3 to Phillies

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Ohio Sports

BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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