Syndergaard strong for 7 innings, Phillies beat Reds 4-1

Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds
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PHILADELPHIA – Noah Syndergaard pitched seven strong innings to stay unbeaten with Philadelphia, Nick Castellanos and Bryson Stott homered and the Phillies defeated the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 on Monday night.

Alec Bohm added three hits, a day hitting a pair of three-run homers, as Philadelphia moved ahead of idle San Diego for second place in the NL wild-card race. The Phillies rebounded from a disappointing four-game weekend home series against the NL East-leading Mets in which they dropped three of four.

“Noah threw the ball well like he’s been doing for us, and we hit the ball,” Stott said.

Austin Romine homered for the Reds.

Syndergaard (8-8) allowed one run on three hits with one strikeout and two walks. The 29-year-old right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA in four starts with Philadelphia since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels early this month at the trade deadline.

“My time here so far has been amazing,” Syndergaard said. “I feel like I’m on cloud nine.”

The Phillies got a boost before the game with news that slugger Bryce Harper will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.

The NL MVP hasn’t played since breaking his left thumb on June 25. Lehigh Valley is hosting Gwinnett for a six-game series, and Harper is expected to play there through Saturday, take Sunday off and possibly return to the Phillies’ lineup on Monday when they begin a three-game series at Arizona.

The Phillies improved to 29-20 since Harper last played. He is batting .318 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs in 64 games.

Andrew Bellatti pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.

The game was delayed for 57 minutes at the start due to rain.

Castellanos extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games by leading off the second inning with a drive off Luis Cessa (3-2) into the batter’s eye in center. It was the 12th home run of the season for Castellanos, who got a five-year, $100 million contract this past offseason from Philadelphia after compiling 34 homers and 100 RBIs in his second season with the Reds last year.

It has taken Castellanos some time to get comfortable in Philadelphia, and he has heard some boos from Phillies fans this season. But he’s starting to get in a groove.

“For me, everything is about familiarity and comfort,” he said. “Feeling good in my surroundings and where I’m at, and everything else usually follows.”

Reds manager David Bell, who was at the helm druing Castellanos’ time in Cincinnati, sees a similar player.

“He’s always been able to hit,” Bell said. “I haven’t seen him as much as people here, but he definitely looks like the same guy. He’s in great shape. It looks like he’s swinging the bat well.”

Stott followed Castellanos’ shot with a long drive into the second deck in right field to make it 2-0, marking the seventh time this season the Phillies have homered in consecutive at-bats, to give Syndergaard plenty of cushion.

“He comes to compete, pounds the strike zone and is fun to play defense behind,” Castellanos said.

After Castellanos’ RBI double in the third made it 3-0, Cincinnati got on the board in the fifth when Romine went deep for the first time this season and 29th in 1,373 career plate appearances.

Philadelphia got the run back in the bottom of the frame on J.T. Realmuto‘s RBI double to the gap in right-center.

Cessa, making his second start of the season following 34 consecutive relief appearances, gave up two runs on three hits in two innings.

HITS KEEP COMING

Reds lefty Art Warren plunked Jean Segura with one out in the sixth inning to set a franchise record with 81 hit batters by Cincinnati pitchers this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: After throwing a bullpen session on Sunday without issue, RHP Hunter Greene (strained right shoulder) will throw another one on Wednesday. Greene, who last pitched on Aug. 1, could face live hitters on Sunday. . INF Matt Reynolds was not in the lineup on Monday after leaving in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 9-5 win at Pittsburgh due to hip soreness.

Phillies: An MRI on RHP Seranthony Dominguez (right triceps tendinitis) revealed no structural damage. Dominguez is eligible to return from the 15-day IL on Sept. 2.

UP NEXT

Reds LHP Nick Lodolo (3-4, 4.12) opposes Philadelphia LHP Ranger Suarez (8-5, 3.31) in the second contest of the four-game series on Tuesday night.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.