De La Cruz powers Reds to 8-1 win to end Phillies' 7-game streak

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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

CINCINNATI -- - Elly De La Cruz hit a two-run home run, Christian Encarnacion-Strand went 3 for 4 with two RBI and the Cincinnati Reds ended the Philadelphia Phillies' seven-game win streak with an 8-1 victory on Tuesday night.

Cincinnati's Santiago Espinal also had three hits including a solo homer in the eighth inning, his first since July 29. Fernando Cruz (1-1) pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief.

The Phillies' seven-game streak was the franchise's fourth-longest in April. They haven't won eight straight games in April since 1953. The Phillies played without Bryce Harper, who's expected to return from the paternity list on Thursday.

"We were due for one of those," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said of Tuesday's performance. "There were some things that were unfortunate. We're going to move on."

J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm hit back-to-back doubles in the first for the Phillies' run. Philadelphia's five hits matched a season low.

Encarnacion-Strand's RBI double tied the score in the bottom half.

Phillies' starters have been on a roll, but Christopher Sánchez (1-3) lasted only three innings on Tuesday, allowing five runs, one earned. The Phillies' defense made three errors.

"We certainly didn't help him on defense," Thomson said. "But I thought 79 pitches in three innings, that's a lot. I didn't think he was quite as crisp as normal."

Sánchez struck out eight and allowed two runs in five innings when he faced the Reds on April 1. Reds batters made things more difficult on Tuesday.

"I missed a lot of pitches today," Sánchez said. "I'm not going to bring up excuses. I threw a lot of pitches and that's why he took me out."

Phillies center fielder Johan Rojas made a leaping catch of Spencer Steer's drive up against the wall in the fourth. Rojas was evaluated by training staff but remained in the game.

"Just banged his hip on the post out there," Thomson said. "The post is padded, but he hit it pretty hard. He should be fine for tomorrow."

The Phillies got two hits through 4 1/3 innings against Andrew Abbott, who was facing them for the second time this month. They had the bases loaded with nobody out in the fifth but couldn't score as Abbott and Cruz combined to end the threat.

De La Cruz's seventh home run of the season to deep left-center field in the fifth extended Cincinnati's lead to 7-1, equaling the total runs allowed by the Phillies in their previous four games. De La Cruz stole his 12th base, tied for the league lead.

He also made a sliding catch of Rojas' pop fly in short left in the seventh and started an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

"It is amazing what Elly did when you stop and think about it," Reds manager David Bell said. "He wants to do everything he can to get his hands on the ball. Maybe a more impressive play was the double play ball that he charged. Defense is so important."

TRAINERS ROOM

Phillies: RHP Taijuan Walker (right shoulder soreness) threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and is expected to make his season debut Sunday in San Diego.

Reds: LHP Sam Moll (left shoulder impingement) was reinstated from the 15-day injured list on Tuesday and RHP Casey Legumina was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Moll pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

UP NEXT

Phillies right hander Spencer Turnbull (2-0, 1.23) beat the Reds on April 2. Reds left hander Nick Lodolo (2-0, 0.75) is unbeaten in two starts since coming off the IL.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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