The fact that the .125-hitting journeyman was inserted into the lineup against the Reds means manager Ryne Sandberg has run out of options
By Sam Bush
Pity Ryne Sandberg.
The Phils new manager has taken just as the team has hit the iceberg and he has run out of options.
So, John Mayberry Jr. is being used as a lifeboat.
Even a new lineup couldn’t get the Phillies going.
Alfredo Simon allowed five hits over 7 2-3 strong innings, Devin Mesoraco hit a three-run homer and the Cincinnati Reds beat the struggling Phillies 3-0 on Friday night.
The Phillies haven’t scored a run in the last 20 innings and were shut out for the fifth time this season. They have lost four straight and eight of 10 to fall a season-worst five games under .500 at 17-22. Four of those eight losses were shutouts.
“We need consistent swings and contact,” Sandberg said. “We continue to have baserunners and opportunities, but don’t get a hit to drive them in.”
Kyle Kendrick (0-4) lost his ninth straight decision, dating to last Aug. 11. He allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings.
Kendrick hasn’t had much help from the offense, however. The Phillies have been shut out five times in those 15 starts and have scored one run or less eight times.
“Main thing is I want to win,” Kendrick said. “Just have to go out there, take care of my job and give my team a chance.”
Sandberg reshuffled the lineup hoping to spark the offense. Leadoff hitter Ben Revere was out with a stomach virus, so Jimmy Rollins batted first for the first time in 70 games. Carlos Ruiz moved up to bat second and Mayberry took Revere’s spot in center field.
“Everybody struggles,” said left fielder Domonic Brown, who has one homer after hitting 27 in an All-Star season last year. “We have professional hitters. Things are going to turn around. Just keep battling.”
Simon (5-2) had a season-high eight strikeouts, walked one and hit one batter. Manny Parra got one out in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman struck out pinch-hitter Cesar Hernandez on a 102 mph fastball with runners on second and third for his second save in two tries.
The Reds didn’t have slugger Joey Votto because of a left distal quadriceps strain. The 2010 NL MVP remained in Cincinnati.
With Jay Bruce on the disabled list, it was the first time the Reds didn’t have Votto and Bruce in their lineup since Sept. 20, 2012, at the Cubs.
Mesoraco gave the Reds a 3-0 lead on a three-run shot in his first at-bat since returning from his second trip to the disabled list. Mesoraco was sidelined by a left hamstring injury.
“One bad pitch he’d like to have back,” Sandberg said of Kendrick.
The Phillies squandered a few chances in the early innings. They had runners on first and third with two outs in the first, but Simon struck out Marlon Byrd to end the inning. They had runners on the corners again with one out in the third, but
Simon fanned Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Simon struck out Ruiz to leave another runner on third in the fifth.