On a day marked by tragedy at the Boston Marathon, a former Red Sox pitcher with a heavy heart helped the Reds end a five-game losing streak, and on a day when all of baseball honored Jackie Robinson, a rookie named Robinson scored the winning run.
Those were two story lines in the Reds’ 4-2 victory over the Phillies at Great American Ball Park on Monday, but the star of the game was Brandon Phillips.
The Reds second baseman’s two-run single to right in the eighth inning scored Derrick Robinson and Zack Cozart to break a 2-2 tie. The Phillies walked Joey Votto, his 13th walk in 13 games, to get to Phillips.
Reds manager Dusty Baker told Phillips, “Man, you’re going to win the game,” and he did.
Phillips, who leads the Reds with 16 RBIs, joked that Baker must be related to the famous psychic Miss Cleo.
“He’s been money,” Phillips said. “He said I’ll do this and I’ll do that, and it’s been working.”
Phillips was just glad to win one day after the Reds finished a 1-5 road trip.
“I got tired of losing,” he said. “We’re not trying to lose. We’re just having bad luck on the road. I think we’re better than the teams we lost to, but you can’t win every game. I hope Cincinnati still has faith in us.”
Bronson Arroyo, a member of 2004 Boston Red Sox team that won the World Series, almost pitched eight scoreless innings. But Chase Utley hit a two-out, pinch-hit, two-run home run to tie the game in the eighth.
Arroyo remembers pitching in Boston against the Blue Jays on the day of the marathon and then going out to the finish line after the game to see two of his teammates’ wives finish the race. He said he was able to focus despite his sadness about the deaths and injuries from the explosions at the finish line in Boston on Monday afternoon.
“It’s right downtown where people love to congregate and have a good time,” Arroyo said. “I’m sure it’s going to leave a stain on the Back Bay for a while. It’s an event in Boston, and it’s close to home for everybody.”
On the mound, Arroyo dueled the Phillies’ Cliff Lee all night. Lee threw six scoreless innings, but in the seventh Votto scored on a wild pitch, and Todd Frazier hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Phillips.
Phillies at Reds, 7:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410