33 games in 31 days: Game #1: The Phils hang on to defeat the Reds, 3-2.

The Phils start playing their last 33 games of the regular season within a period of 31 days, with no days off, thanks to a few rain outs, by hanging on to defeat the Reds, in the first of four games in the city of Cincinnati, 3-2.

The Reds took the lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Joey Votto hits an RBI ground out, scoring Brandon Phillips, who had earlier tripled on a ball that Hunter Pence was unable to catch, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. The Phils came back to tie the game up at one-all in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI double, scoring John Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier hit into a force out, 3-6, wiping out at second base Pence, who had earlier singled, for the inning’s first out, then stopped at second base on Carlos Ruiz’s single, while sending Ruiz, who had just singled, on to third. The Phils took the lead in the eighth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Shane Victorino hits a two-run home run, his fifteenth home run of the year, scoring Valdez, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Reds would cut the Phils’ lead in their half of the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Dave Sappelt hits an RBI infield single, as he beat out third baseman Placido Polanco’s throw to first, allowing Ryan Hanigan, who had earlier singled, then stopped at third on Phillips’ single, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, while allowing Phillips, who had just singled, to reach third as the ball gets away from first baseman Ryan Howard. That would end up being the final score as Ryan Madson recorded his twenty-fourth save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth.

Cole Hamels recorded a no-decision as he went six strong innings, giving up just a run on two hits, while striking out seven batters. Antonio Bastardo (6-0, 1.42) got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, before striking out the side. Michael Stutes recorded his eghth hold of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson received his twenty-fourth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Homer Bailey (7-6, 4.35) took the lost as he went eight innings, as he gave up three runs on six hits, while he struck out nine. Bill Bray and Nick Masset combined for a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter (Bray) between them.

The Phils had six hits in the ballgame, with Wilson Valdez leading the team with two hits, a single and a double, knocking in a run. Shane Victorino (Home Run, 2 RBIs), Chase Utley (Single), Hunter Pence (Single) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits.

The Phils (84-46, 1st East) will continue their four-game series with the Reds (67-67, 3rd Central) with a night game tomorrow night. The game will start at 7:10 pm EDT and will be played at the Great American Ball Park. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.56), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nats on August 21, as he went only five innings, thanks to a long rain delay, giving up just two runs on seven hits, as he struck out five, in the Phils’ 5-4 lost. Roy will once again be going for his sixteenth win of the season, while trying to put down the Reds after a more than a week period of rest. The Reds will counter with Bronson Arroyo (8-10, 5.02), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on August 24, as he went eight shutout innings, giving up six hits, while striking out a batter, in the Reds’  3-2 win. He will be trying to even up the series. The Phils will be out to win their second straight game.

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