Icing on the cake: Phillips celebrates birthday by leading Reds past Indians 8-1

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Phillips celebrates birthday by helping Reds win

CLEVELAND — Brandon Phillips celebrated his 28th birthday with another big game against the Cleveland Indians, leading the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-1 win over his former team Sunday.

Phillips broke out of a 1-for-16 slump with three hits, three runs and three RBIs as the Reds took two of three from their Ohio rivals to move back to .500 overall. Ramon Hernandez also had three hits and three RBIs for Cincinnati.

Micah Owings (5-8) gave up one run and five hits over six innings for only his second win in eight starts since May 21.

Phillips had a two-run single in a four-run third inning off David Huff (3-3). He had an RBI single and scored on Jonny Gomes’ homer in the fifth, then singled, stole second and scored on a single by Hernandez against Rafael Perez in the seventh.

Phillips developed into an All-Star and Gold Glove second baseman after being traded by Cleveland to the Reds at the start of the 2006 season. He has consistently come back to hurt the Indians in interleague play, hitting .341 (30-for-88) with four homers, 18 RBIs and five stolen bases in 23 games.

The Indians dropped further into last place in the AL Central with their 10th loss in 12 games.

Owings was replaced by Danny Herrera after hitting Ben Francisco with a pitch to start the seventh. Herrera got Asdrubal Cabrera to hit into a double play and struck out Grady Sizemore.

Phillips gave the Reds a 2-1 lead with a two-run single in the third, then scored on Hernandez’s two-run triple off the wall in left-center.

Cleveland left fielder Ryan Garko dropped a fly ball by Joey Votto in the fifth, leading to a three-run inning. Phillips followed with line single to center to make it 4-1 and scored on Gomes’ fourth homer, an opposite-field shot to right.

Cabrera, activated from the disabled list Sunday after missing 22 games with a strained shoulder, singled and scored in the first to put Cleveland ahead, 1-0. The shortstop went to third on a single by Sizemore and scored on a sacrifice fly by Victor Martinez.

Huff gave up nine hits and six earned runs over five innings. The rookie left-hander had been 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in his previous four starts.

Cleveland went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position in its first game since trading veteran Mark DeRosa to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. DeRosa was second on the club in home runs (13) and RBIs (50).

The Indians had two runners on base against Owings in the third, fourth and sixth and could not deliver.

NOTES: Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo said he’s considering having carpal tunnel surgery on his right wrist after the season. “I’m worried about it all the time,” said Arroyo, who has had soreness since 2004 and been forced to give up his favorite hobby of playing the guitar. “It’s gotten to the point where it’s sore whenever I do anything.” A cortisone shot has enabled Arroyo, who is 8-6 with a 5.54 ERA, to continue to pitch. … Cleveland went 5-13 against NL teams this year and is 11-25 in interleague the last two seasons. … Francisco is hitting .133 (11-for-83) with three RBIs in 22 games in June. … Cleveland 2B Luis Valbuena is in a 1-for-21 (.048) skid.

will not be displayed