PITTSBURGH (AP) — Guess Brandon Phillips’ thumb is OK.
The Cincinnati second baseman hit a long home run off Pittsburgh’s Rob Scahill in the top of the 13th to lift the Reds to a 5-4 win on Thursday night. Phillips had three of Cincinnati’s season-high 17 hits and started a double play in the eighth with a diving stop and a behind-the-back flip to shortstop Eugenio Suarez.
Not bad for a guy who sat out a game to give his thumb a rest following a collision at second base on Tuesday.
“He had a nice day, did a lot of good things,” Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. “Made some great plays … It was good to see.”
Todd Frazier added three hits for the Reds, including a tying homer in the seventh off Pittsburgh reliever Arquimedes Caminero. The Pirates had been 35-3 when leading after six innings, but the Reds quickly tied it after Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett exited. Joey Votto led off with a single that turned into three bases when right fielder Josh Harrison overran the ball. Frazier then pounced on a 99 mph fastball from Caminero and sent it into the bleachers in left for his 24th homer.
“The guy was throwing heat and throwing hard,” Frazier said. “I get a fastball, I like to drive ‘em and I got a pitch to hit. I squared it up and that’s all I’m trying to do every at-bat.”
Pedro Villarreal (1-2) worked two scoreless innings for his first major league win. The Reds improved to 7-2 against the Pirates this season and have won six of their last eight overall.
“It could be a season changer,” Frazier said. “We just keep fighting, we keep scrapping and hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be where we need to be.”
Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Jung Ho Kang had two hits each for the Pirates, but Pittsburgh left 12 runners on base and went 4 for 13 with runners in scoring position. The Pirates are 2-7 in extra-inning games and have lost five of six.
“We missed some opportunities tonight in some different areas,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.
The Reds wasted plenty chances of their own. Cincinnati had at least one baserunner in all but two innings, including two on with no outs in the 11th only to come up empty. Phillips didn’t leave it up to chance with his first homer in nearly a month off Scahill (2-4).
Villarreal breezed through three outs in the bottom of the 13th to end the game that lasted 4 hours, 41 minutes, not including a 56-minute rain delay before it started.