PHILADELPHIA – Brandon Marsh sat at his locker scrolling Instagram highlights of Philadelphia’s ninth-inning rally and could not decide on which one was his favorite.
The big-bearded outfielder had plenty of choices: Nick Castellanos‘ distracting lead off third nearly 60 feet off the bag that saw him begging for a disengagement. Marsh even played a pivotal role with an RBI single and a pivotal stolen base.
But it was the last swing of the game that got the most likes for the Phillies. Bryson Stott capped a three-run rally in the ninth inning with a winning single to lead Philadelphia over the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Saturday.
“I knew it was a matter of time before we would score some runs,” Stott said. “I’m just glad we did.”
Cincinnati’s bullpen wasted a tremendous effort from left-hander Nick Lodolo, who struck out a career-high 12 and tossed three-hit ball over seven shutout innings. He walked two batters over 106 pitches and left with a 1-0 lead.
“When you’ve got a pitcher like that throwing the ball like Lodolo was, you’re really trying to work it, work it, work it and try and get into their bullpen,” manager Rob Thomson said.
Consider it a success. The Phillies had no runs and three hits through eight innings and got three runs and three hits in the ninth.
“Lodolo, he’s gross,” Marsh said.
Alexis Díaz (0-1), who struck out the side in the eighth, couldn’t escape the ninth. He walked Castellanos and Alec Bohm singled up the middle. With nearly 44,000 fans standing and going wild like last October, Marsh ripped an RBI single to make it 2-1.
Díaz got the hook for Ian Giabut, who allowed Edmundo Sosa‘s tying sacrifice fly. Marsh stole second base and sped home on Stott’s single that sent the NL champions to their second straight win. Stott was doused with water by his delirious teammates.
“It kind of felt like October again,” Stott said.
Andrew Vasquez (1-0) got the win. Phillies batters struck out 17 times.
Spencer Steer crushed a solo shot to dead center against Bailey Falter in the first for a 1-0 lead and was awarded the Viking helmet in the dugout the Reds give to home run hitters.
Lodolo, who struck out nine in five innings in his first start of the season in a win against the Pirates, took it from there.
Lodolo’s ninth strikeout was clutch. Clinging to a 1-0 lead in the fifth, the lefty allowed a two-out double to Christian Pache. Lodolo intentionally walked Trea Turner to set up a matchup with Kyle Schwarber. On a 1-2 pitch, Lodolo got the left-handed NL home run champion Schwarber to strike out on a 94 mph fastball and end the threat.
Lodolo struck out Turner, Schwarber and JT Realmuto to open the first -the second straight game the Phillies top-three hitters fanned to start the game. The Phillies couldn’t generate any offense against Lodolo.
“My fastball command, I felt like I could put it pretty much where I wanted,” Lodolo said. “I was able to get it really in there on guys. I honestly moved it all around.”
Replay, though, wiped out their chance in the second to at least tie the game.
The Phillies had runners on second and third with two outs when Schwarber beat a light shift with a grounder to third. Steer lunged at Pache as he hustled to third base and was called safe by umpire Sean Barber. After a lengthy review, the call was overturned, Pache was out and the run did not count.
Jake Fraley added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
PUT A RING ON IT
The Phillies will receive their NL championship rings before Sunday’s game.
Reds: Manager David Bell returned after he missed Friday’s game to have a cyst removed from a nerve in his shoulder.
Bell said it was a “tough ask” to make Diaz go out in the ninth but the reliever “just didn’t have the same stuff in the ninth.”
The Reds send RHP Connor Overton (0-0, 11.25 ERA) to the mound against Phillies RHP Taijuan Walker (0-1, 8.31 ERA) in the finale of the three-game series.