PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A mental mistake by a veteran catcher cost the Philadelphia Phillies a chance for a sweep.
Anthony DeSclafani threw seven effective innings, Brandon Phillips had three hits and two RBIs and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Phillies 6-4 Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
The go-ahead run scored in the fifth when Carlos Ruiz tagged the runner on a force play at the plate, and the call was overturned.
Todd Frazier hit a grounder to shortstop Freddy Galvis with one out and the bases loaded. Galvis threw home for the force, but Ruiz tagged DeSclafani instead of just keeping his foot on the plate. DeSclafani was out by several feet, but Cincinnati manager Bryan Price challenged the call and it was ruled Ruiz blocked the plate illegally.
“He was caught off guard,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Ruiz, who wasn’t available for comment. “If he does what he normally does on a throw from the outfield, it would have been fine. As the rule stands, it was pretty blatant.”
Phillies starter Aaron Harang doesn’t agree with the rule.
“It’s one of those rules where nobody knows what’s going on,” Harang said. “The guy could have been out by 10 feet. It’s something that has to be figured out.”
Harang (4-6) had his worst start with the Phillies, allowing a season-high six runs — five earned — and six hits with five walks in 5 2-3 innings. Harang pitched at least six innings in each of his first 11 starts and gave up more than three earned runs once. His ERA rose from 2.02 to 2.45.
“He was off with his command and up in the zone,” Sandberg said.
DeSclafani (4-4) allowed four runs and six hits. He left with two runners on in the eighth and both scored. Aroldis Chapman, whose streak of 29 straight saves ended Wednesday night, tossed a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 11 tries.
The Phillies rallied for walk-off wins Tuesday and Wednesday, but couldn’t pull off another comeback.
Phillips lined an RBI double to left to tie it at 2 in the fifth before Ruiz made his miscue. Billy Hamilton hit a two-run single in the sixth to extend the lead to 5-2. Phillips followed with an RBI single to make it 6-2.
Ben Revere hit an RBI double in the eighth and Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly got the Phillies to 6-4.
Frazier ripped an RBI double in the first after going hitless in 11 at-bats in the series.
Revere hit his NL-leading fifth triple in the first and scored on Jeff Francoeur’s groundout to tie it at 1. Utley hit a double and scored on Maikel Franco’s double for a 2-1 lead.
Phillies: RHP Jerome Williams (3-5, 5.49) starts the opener of a three-game series against the World Series champion Giants. Tim Lincecum (5-3, 3.00) goes for San Francisco.