Brandon Phillips launches two-run homer as Reds strike first in NLDS Game 1 vs. Giants

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The Reds lost their ace in the bottom of the first inning to a back injury, but they have an early lead in this NLDS Game 1 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

Drew Stubbs hit a leadoff single in the top of the third inning, then Brandon Phillips waited on a hanging curveball from Giants starter Matt Cain and deposited it with authority into the first row of the left-center field stands, pushing Cincinnati ahead 2-0.

Cain was on a run of 23 2/3 straight scoreless postseason innings before giving up the two-run blast.

Mat Latos will enter in the bottom of the third for Sam LeCure, who took over when Johnny Cueto went down after just eight pitches. Latos was scheduled to start Game 3, so changes will need to be made.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.