Phillies hope offensive explosion continues against Reds


For a rare night this season, everything went right for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The task now is to carry the momentum into the next game and repeat the feat.

The Phillies will look for a series win when they battle the host Cincinnati Reds Wednesday afternoon. On Tuesday, the Phillies tied a franchise record with seven home runs, two each by Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera, in a 17-3 win.

In addition, the pitching was effective, and the defense turned five double plays.

“Big is an understatement,” McCutchen said in a postgame interview on NBC Sports Philadelphia. “This was an enormous win for us.”

The Phillies scuffled to a 12-16 record in May before breaking out against the Reds with a season-high 18 hits.

“We’ve got a lot of baseball left,” said Rhys Hoskins, who homered, doubled and drove in three runs, presciently after Monday’s 11-1 loss. “And especially in the northeast and in Philly, when the summer months come, we get some guys back, we get some guys feeling more like themselves, we’re going to score some runs. We’ve just got to weather the storm right now.”

The Phillies will send right-hander Spencer Howard to the mound for his third start. Howard (0-1, 5.56 ERA) has never faced the Reds in his brief career.

Bryce Harper (wrist) is eligible to be activated from the injured list on Wednesday, but manager Joe Girardi has intimated that he’ll be on the bench again and might not return until Friday at the earliest. Didi Gregorius (elbow) is also expected to be out a bit longer.

“I know we’re missing some guys, but other teams are missing guys, too,” Girardi said.

The Reds scored 11 runs in the series opener before struggling on Tuesday.

But Nick Castellanos had two more hits to extend his hitting streak to 18 in a row.

“He has always been a good hitter, and he has been a good player now for a long time, even though he’s young,” Reds manager David Bell said of Castellanos. “Just the way he continues to work, he wants to be the best in all areas of the game.”

Vladimir Gutierrez will take the mound for his second career start.

Gutierrez (0-1, 1.80) gave up two hits and one run with three strikeouts and no walks in five innings in his debut Friday on the road against the Chicago Cubs.

“It’s Major League Baseball, it’s the best league in the world,” Gutierrez said through a translator. “I really wanted to go out there and give all my best in my performance and really do a good job out there to get a win, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win today.”

Maybe not, but Bell was sure impressed.

“Outstanding. He did exactly what we’ve seen of him a lot,” Bell said. “On a day when the wind was blowing in here, he was very aggressive. He attacked, threw strikes, really good life on his fastball, really pitched and heavily relied on his fastball but also showed good breaking balls — a good curveball, a good slider. Seemed totally unfazed by being here, but I know it was very meaningful for him. He handled it extremely well.”

–Field Level Media

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