Phillies try to build momentum vs. Reds

PHILADELPHIA -- At some point, the worst stretch of baseball the Philadelphia Phillies have played in quite some time has to end.

One win isn't enough to declare a slump is over just yet after a 4-20 stretch, but it is a start.

So when the Phillies welcome the Cincinnati Reds to Citizens Bank Park on Friday to open up a three-game series, after snapping a five-game losing streak with a 2-1, 11-inning win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, the key will be to turn that one win into two.

Otherwise, it could just be more of the same from a month that saw the Phillies go from two games over .500 in late April to last place in the National League East.

"Today was a good step in the right direction," said first baseman Tommy Joseph, who had a game-tying solo home run in the seventh inning Thursday and provided the game-winning hit in the 11th. "Winning helps with a positive environment, and looking forward to building on it."

The Phillies (16-29) will open the Cincinnati series with Aaron Nola (2-1, 3.52 ERA) on the mound. The 23-year-old right-hander will try to build off a strong start his last time out.

The Reds (22-24) are coming off a rainout on Thursday at Cleveland. With the postponement, Cincinnati right-hander Tim Adleman (2-2, 6.19 ERA), the scheduled Thursday starter, will pitch Friday against the Phillies. Bronson Arroyo had his start pushed back a day to Saturday.

Nola was effective for seven innings in Pittsburgh on Sunday while making his return after a month off with a lower back strain. He gave up just four hits and one run and threw only 89 pitches, but he took the loss as his offense failed to put up anything in a 1-0 defeat.

Nola hadn't looked quite as comfortable in his first three starts of the season, when he picked up two wins but gave up eight runs in 16 innings.

"I was confident," Nola told the Philadelphia Inquirer of his return to form. "My body felt good, back felt good. I felt like I didn't skip a beat."

In two career starts against Cincinnati, Nola is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, giving up three runs (two earned) in 14 innings and striking out 17 Reds along the way.

A lack of offense has become a real problem for the Phillies, whose bats were absolutely dead in the Colorado series.

The Reds, meanwhile, have scored at least four runs in nine consecutive games.

Cincinnati hopes Adleman can bounce back after a pair of rough outings. He was tagged for six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings by against the Rockies on Saturday. In his previous start, he lasted only one inning, giving up four runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks.

In his only previous appearance against the Phillies, Adleman surrendered three runs in five innings during a loss on May 14, 2016, in Citizens Bank Park.

Despite the rainout, the Reds were busy on Thursday. They claimed right-hander Jake Buchanan off waivers from the Chicago Cubs and designated first baseman/outfielder Peter O'Brien for assignment.

Cincinnati also placed left-hander Amir Garrett on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, because of right hip inflammation. Garrett gave up seven runs on seven hits in five innings Tuesday in a no-decision against the Indians.
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