CINCINNATI (AP) — Taijuan Walker pitched six efficient innings, Philadelphia scored five runs in the first three innings and the Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Walker (1-1) rode the early lead to his longest outing of the season, allowing four hits and one run. He struck out three and walked two.
“That makes my job easier,” the right-hander said. “I can go after them and make them put the ball in play and let the defense work.”
Edmundo Sosa hit his second homer of the season for the defending National League champion Phillies. They had lost four out of five, scoring a combined 12 runs in the four losses.
Seranthony Domínguez and José Alvaredo combined to pitch the seventh and eighth, and Connor Brogdon worked the ninth.
Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, two Phillies with Cincinnati connections, drove in runs with doubles. Schwarber grew up in the area and Castellanos spent two seasons with the Reds.
Brandon Marsh and J.T. Realmuto also got into the RBI parade, Marsh with a ringing triple off the left field wall that missed by a few feet of sailing out. Alec Bohm singled in two in a three-run ninth that left each Philadelphia starter with at least one hit.
“J.T.’s swinging the bat well,” said Phillies manager Rob Thomson, who dropped from fifth to sixth in the lineup and was rewarded with two hits and two RBIs. “It was a a good offensive night.”
Marsh was happy to see Philadelphia piece together some hits.
“Big-time,” he said. “We’re trying to support Taijuan with some runs so he can go out and get outs and doesn’t feel like he has to strike everybody out.”
Jake Fraley delivered Cincinnati’s only run against Walker with a third-inning RBI single. The Reds have lost seven of nine.
The Phillies pounced Connor Overton (0-1) with single runs in the first and second innings before a three-run outburst in the third. The right-hander managed a season-low three innings, getting roughed up for five runs for the second time this season on five hits with three walks and no strikeouts. His earned-run average over his first three starts ballooned to 11.45.
“I was getting behind and then trying to do too much.,” Overton said. “You can’t have success here doing that. My plan was to use the change up a lot, but it didn’t have the bite it usually has.”
“It was uncharacteristic of Connor to fall behind hitters” manager David Bell said. “Any pitcher has to get ahead. He couldn’t find the arm slot to do what he typically does.”
Sosa made it 2-0 with a second-inning solo shot.
The Phillies took command with a three-run third. Schwarber scored from first on Castellanos’s double to left-center field in the third. Marsh followed with his triple and scored on Realmuto’s sacrifice fly.
HAD TO HAPPEN TJ Friedl’s first-inning double down the right field line was the first by a left-hander off the right-handed Walker this season. Left-handers were 0-for-16 over Walker’s first two games.
Alec Bohm was caught stealing second by catcher Tyler Stevenson in the second inning, snapping at 10 the Phillies’ streak of successful stolen bases to start the season.
SPEAKING OF STREAKS
Bryson Stott doubled in the fourth to extend his career-high hitting streak to 14 games to start the season.
Phillies: LHP Ranger Suárez (left forearm tenderness) threw 40 pitches in the bullpen on Friday, manager Rob Thomson said, adding that if Suárez reports no problems on Saturday, the next step will be live batting practice. … Highly regarded right-handed pitching prospect Andrew Painter (strained right elbow ligament) played catch at 60 feet on Friday, up from 40 on Monday
Reds: INF Kevin Newman did not start Friday after being hit in the left shoulder by a pitch Thursday. The soreness didn’t bother him in the field, but it did affect his swing, manager David Bell said. … The team returned RHP Tony Santillan (lower back stress fracture, right knee discomfort) from a medical rehab assignment. He was not reinstated the active roster.
Phillies LHP Matt Strahm (1-0) meets Reds RHP Graham Ashcraft (1-0) in a promising matchup of pitchers who’ve gotten off to good starts.
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