By Sam Bush
Two games does not a trend make.
Just call it a big red flag.
Scott Schebler delivered a walk-off double with the bases loaded to give the Reds a 3-2 victory over the Phillies and the first two games of the season-opening series.
Once again, the Phillies bullpen did not get the job done. As Cincinnati was trailing, 2-1, in the ninth against reliever Dalier Hinojosa (above), Eugenio Suarez hit a leadoff single and Devin Mesoraco squibbed a one-out infield hit between the mound and third base. Jay Bruce loaded the bases with an opposite-field single that rolled into left field.
Schebler, who was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts on the night entering his last plate appearance, drove Hinojosa’s 2-2 fastball to the wall in left field, easily scoring Suarez and pinch-runner Tyler Holt with the go-ahead run.
“We really didn’t get things going until the eighth inning in the opener and the ninth inning tonight,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “But, I think the guys feel like we have that ability. It’s not going to be like this all year. I think we have a really nice offensive ballclub, but in the games like this, I don’t think anyone in our lineup feels that we’re going to be behind, even with the tough setup guys coming in and closers, that we can’t still beat them. It’s a good sign. It’s a great way to start the season.”
Phillies starter Aaron Nola gave his team seven innings of one-run baseball with one earned run, four hits no walks and eight strikeouts. Brandon Finnegan also had a strong night with two earned runs on three hits. Finnegan walked one and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts.
Caleb Cotham worked two scoreless innings in relief for the Reds and Blake Wood’s scoreless top of the ninth earned him the victory.