D-backs blow 6-run lead as Reds rally in finale

BY foxsports • July 19, 2012

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Bryan Shaw and the Diamondbacks were just about to end a rough road trip on a positive note.

Then they gave up a six-run lead, and just like that, they were headed back to Arizona having lost five out of seven following a 7-6 loss in Cincinnati on Thursday.

Starter Joe Saunders pitched six innings and turned in a quality start, allowing three runs and four hits, but Brandon Phillips hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning, doubled in the tying runs and scored the go-ahead one.

Phillips finished with five RBIs, with the home run the big blow. Saunders thought he made the right pitch.

"I don't know how he kept it fair," Saunders said. "Maybe he was cheating inside. You have to tip your cap and move on. It's a shame we couldn't close it out and win the series.

The D-backs were swept in three games against the Cubs in Chicago but then took two out of three from the Reds before Thursday, when they built a big lead.

Saunders was in control early. He retired the first 10 Reds' hitters and didn't allow the first hit until the fifth when Devin Mesoraco singled with two outs.

"Their pitcher did a good job. He kept us off balance," Phillips said. "I stayed short on the home run. My swing was kind of long until then. I tried to keep my hands in. It felt good to get the good part of the bat on the ball."

Still, the D-backs led 6-3 with one out in the seventh when Shaw (1-4) walked pinch-hitter Xavier Paul and leadoff batter Drew Stubbs. Wilson Valdez's grounder then skipped under the glove of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for a run-scoring error, setting up Phillips' double. Phillips moved to third on Jay Bruce's groundout to Goldschmidt against reliever Mike Zagurski and scored on Frazier's single to left off of reliever Brad Ziegler.

"You can't come in and walk two guys on eight pitches," Gibson said. "Not that he's trying to, but that's something that has to be addressed. The Reds are a very resilient team. We gave them an opportunity and the capitalized on it."

Unlike Saunders, Shaw admitted his pitch to Phillips was a poor one.

"I couldn't get a grip on the ball. My hands were sweating," Shaw said. "I hung the pitch to Phillips that he hit for a double."

Goldschmidt tried to do too much with Valdez's grounder that gave Phillips another chance to drive in runs.

"It's a play I should have made," Goldschmidt said. "Looking back, I may have rushed a bit trying to get a double play."

Alfredo Simon (2-1) allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings for the win. Logan Ondrusek and Sean Marshall combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 15th save.

The Reds improved to 2-2 in their first four games without All-Star first baseman Joey Votto, who had arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

The Diamondbacks scored in the first inning for the third time in the four-game series. Willie Bloomquist led off the game with a single to right field, stole second as Aaron Hill was striking out and scored on Goldschmidt's two-out single to center.

They made it 2-0 in the third on Bloomquist's leadoff double to right field and Hill's RBI single to right. extending his hitting streak to 10 games.

Hill added his 13th homer of the season, a 395-foot solo shot into the left field seats, with one out in the fifth. The Diamondbacks added three in the sixth, including Henry Blanco's two-run homer, his first since Sept. 28 against the Dodgers.

Stubbs and Valdez led off the sixth with singles before Phillips crushed a 1-1 pitch 428 feet into the second deck in left field for his 11th homer of the season.

Saunders allowed one hit in five innings before wilting in the sixth.

"I took Joe out. It was a hot day. I had the bullpen all lined up and rested," Gibson said. "I'd have liked to win that game for sure."

Cincinnati starter Mike Leake tied his career high by allowing 11 hits and his season high with six runs before being lifted with one out in the sixth inning. Leake finished with two strikeouts and a walk.

NOTES: Hill's homer extended to 72 the number of consecutive games in which at least one home run has been hit at Great American Ball Park, the longest active streak. ... The Diamondbacks are scheduled to open a 10-game homestand Friday against Houston. RHP Trevor Cahill, Arizona's projected starter, is 1-3 with a 4.63 ERA over his last four starts. ... RHP Homer Bailey, who won his last three starts, is scheduled to start for the Reds against Milwaukee Friday at Cincinnati. Bailey never has won four straight starts. ... The start of the game was delayed 46 minutes by rain.


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