In a 7-4 loss to drop their first series of the season in Cincinnati on Wednesday, some familiar flaw emerged.
A lack of run support and a bullpen implosion gave away a three-run lead on a chilly day in Ohio and had the Phillies scratching their heads after a promising Opening Day four days prior.
Daniel Nava became the first big leaguer to homer twice in his first two at-bats as a Phillie since Jeremy Giambi in 2002 (and the third ever).
Unfortunately, spotting the Phillies a 4-1 lead wasn’t enough insurance as starter Clay Buchholz buckled a bit after the Reds rallied off three runs in the fourth inning.
In the sixth, Adam Morgan gave up a solo shot to relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen to give Cincy a 5-4 advantage — the first pinch hit homer by a pitcher since 2009.
Cincinnati padded its lead with two more runs in the seventh and the team failed to rally in the later innings.
The Reds bullpen threw six scoreless innings (and added a home run) in their win.
The Phillies leave Cincinnati on getaway day and will return to Philadelphia for the first home series of the season, a 3:05 start against the Nationals.
Vince Velasquez will take the hill to kick things off (weather permitting) against Washington on Friday before handing it off to Aaron Nola, the Phillies’ final starter on a Saturday evening tilt. Game 3 of the series will put both the Nationals and Phillies’ aces on their respective mounds as Jeremy Hellickson and Stephen Strasburg do battle in a 1:35 Sunday matinee.