PHILADELPHIA — The Cincinnati Reds got some unfortunate news earlier this morning, when they heard their best player, Joey Votto was in Cincinnati, getting an MRI on his left knee, the same knee that he had surgery back in 2012. Good news, it’s not serious and the team picked up a solid series opening victory in Philadelphia over the Philies behind an outstanding pitching performance by Alfredo Simon.
Simon allowed five hits over 7 2-3 strong innings, Devin Mesoraco, returning from the disabled list, delivered a three-run homer as the Reds beat the Phillies 3-0 on Friday night.
The big right hander Simon (5-2) had a season-high eight strikeouts, walked one and hit one batter. Manny Parra got a strikeout to end the bottom of the eighth inning and Aroldis Chapman struck out pinch-hitter Cesar Hernandez on a 102 mph fastball with runners on second and third for his second save of the season.
Simon bounced back big time,after his last outing, where he only lasted three innings, allowing five runs, eight hits in a 11-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
The Phillies haven’t scored a run in the last 20 innings and were shut out for the fifth time this season. Kyle Kendrick lost his ninth straight decision, dating to last Aug. 11. He allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings.
The Reds didn’t have slugger Votto because of a left distal quadriceps strain. The 2010 NL MVP remained in Cincinnati. With Jay Bruce on the disabled list, it was the first time the Reds didn’t have Votto or Bruce in their lineup since Sept. 20, 2012, at the Cubs.
Mesoraco provided all the support they would need. He connected on a three-run shot in his first at-bat since returning from his second trip to the disabled list. He was sidelined by a left hamstring injury. He arrived to the ballpark less than three hours before the first pitch after making the trip from Norfolk where he played three games for Triple-A Louisville
The Phillies had their chances, but Simon was able to not let that happened. They had runners on first and third with two outs in the first, but Simon struck out Marlon Byrd to end the inning. They had runners on the corners again with one out in the third, but Simon fanned Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Simon struck out Carlos Ruiz to leave another runner on third in the fifth.
Homer Bailey will be on the mound for Cincinnati tomorrow night, looking to build on his great start, last time out against the Rockies. First pitch is at 7:05pm.