Instant Replay: Phillies 5, Reds 3

051713_jimmyrollinsmichaelyoungusa.jpg

Instant Replay: Phillies 5, Reds 3

BOX SCORE

The Phillies blew a lead in the top of the eighth inning, but roared back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-3, in front of 43,129 at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.

Cliff Lee pitched well and had a big hit for the Phillies, who are 20-22.

The victory snapped Cincinnati’s six-game winning streak.

Starting pitching report
Lee was strong once again. He held the second-highest scoring team in the NL to two runs over seven innings. He walked two and struck out seven. Lee has allowed just four runs in 22 innings over his last three starts.

Cincinnati rookie Tony Cingrani allowed five hits and three runs in five innings of work. He left the game trailing, 3-2.

Bullpen report
With Mike Adams sidelined with a back strain, Antonio Bastardo got the call to protect a one-run lead in the eighth. He failed, giving up a solo home run to Joey Votto on the second pitch he threw.

Justin De Fratus finished the eighth and got the win. De Fratus has faced just four batters since joining the club and has two wins.

Jonathan Papelbon took over after the Phillies re-took the lead and earned the save.

Cincinnati lefty Sean Marshall allowed a one-out walk and a hit in the eighth. The hit was a check-swing infield single toward third base by Ryan Howard. Michael Young, who had walked earlier in the frame, scooted home with the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice against Jonathan Broxton.

At the plate
Jimmy Rollins’ two-run home run off Cingrani in the third inning was his first against a lefty since June 24, 2012. It was the Phillies’ first homer with a man on base since April 27. They had hit 16 straight solo homers.

With the home run, Rollins reached 1,200 runs for his career.

Lee doubled leading off the bottom of the fifth, moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Rollins and scored the Phillies’ third run on Young’s two-out triple.

Domonic Brown drove home the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice in the eighth. Carlos Ruiz pushed home Howard with an insurance run on a sacrifice fly off of Broxton. Howard dove into home plate just ahead of centerfielder Shin-Soo Choo’s throw.

Jay Bruce and Votto homered for Cincinnati. Bruce's two-run shot came against Lee on a hanging curveball.

Phillies pitchers have allowed 49 homers, second-most in the NL.

Transaction
The Phils swapped out a pair of relievers, sending lefty Raul Valdes to Triple A and recalling right-hander B.J. Rosenberg (see story).

Health check
An MRI revealed a mild strain in the middle of reliever Mike Adams’ back (see story). He is day to day. If he can’t be ready to pitch by Tuesday, Adams might have to go on the disabled list as the Phils must add a starting pitcher that day.

Up next
Kyle Kendrick (4-1, 2.47) and Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 3.76) are the pitchers Saturday at 4:05 p.m.

Yordano Ventura, Andy Marte die in separate Dominican crashes

usa-yordano-ventura-andy-marte-crash.jpg
USA Today Images

Yordano Ventura, Andy Marte die in separate Dominican crashes

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former major leaguer Andy Marte died in separate traffic accidents early Sunday in their native Dominican Republic.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo said Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. It was not clear if Ventura was driving.

Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte died when the Mercedes Benz he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.

Ventura, 25, burst onto the baseball scene with a 100 mph fastball and an explosive attitude to match. He was a fierce competitor always willing to challenge hitters inside, then deal with the ramifications when they decided to charge the mound.

He went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 2014, his first full season in the big leagues, and the next year he helped the long-downtrodden Royals reach the World Series for the first time since 1985. He proceeded to dominate San Francisco in both of his starts, though the Royals would ultimately lose in seven games.

"Our prayers right now are with Yordano's family as we mourn this young man's passing," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement. "He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano."

Born June 3, 1991, in Samana, Dominican Republic, Ventura quit school at 14 and was laboring on a construction crew to support his family when he heard about a tryout, which led to a spot in the Royals' academy on the island.

The right-handed Ventura went 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA last season, and wound up pitching his entire career for the Royals, going 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA.

Fans began arriving at Kauffman Stadium shortly after Ventura's death was announced, leaving flowers, hats and other mementos outside the stadium. Flags outside the ballpark also were lowered to half-staff.

Marte, a 33-year-old infielder, played in the Major Leagues from 2005-2010 with Atlanta and Cleveland and returned in 2014 with Arizona. He hit .218 with 21 home runs and 99 RBIs in the big leagues. He spent the last two seasons in South Korea, where he hit 22 homers last year.

Both Ventura and Marte were part of the Dominican winter league team Aguilas Cibaenas, though neither was playing this season.

"We have awoken this Sunday with this sad news that we have lost a special being," club president Winston Llenas said in a statement about Marte that was issued before Ventura's death became known.

Ventura is the second young star pitcher to die in past four months. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, 24, was among three men killed in a boating accident in September.

Two other active Dominican baseball players have died on the country's dangerous highways in recent years.

St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Oscar Taveras -- a close friend of Ventura -- died in 2014 when he crashed in his hometown of Puerto Plata. He was 22. Shortstop Andujar Cedeno died at age 31 in a 2000 crash in the city of La Romana.

A 2015 study by the World Health Organization found that the Dominican Republic had the highest traffic accident death rate in the Americas, with a rate of 29.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Phillies officially sign outfielder Michael Saunders, DFA Severino Gonzalez

Phillies officially sign outfielder Michael Saunders, DFA Severino Gonzalez

The Phillies on Thursday officially announced the signing of outfielder Michael Saunders to a one-year deal with a club option for 2018. 

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Saunders will make $9 million this season with the Phillies and the club option for 2018 will be worth $11 million with escalators potentially pushing it to $14 million.

Saunders, 30, is the left-handed hitting outfield bat the Phils were seeking. He hit 24 home runs for the Blue Jays last season in his walk year, making the AL All-Star team before slumping in the second half.

Saunders hit .298/.372/.551 with 16 homers in 82 games for the Blue Jays before the All-Star break, then hit .178/.282/.357 with eight homers in 58 games after.

He had a good year against same-handed pitching, hitting .275 with a .927 OPS and eight homers against lefties. 

He'll likely start in right field for the Phillies, with Odubel Herrera in center and Howie Kendrick in left (see Phils' projected lineup).

It was important to Phillies GM Matt Klentak that the player he signed to fill the spot in the outfield was not going to block young outfielders like Roman Quinn, Nick Williams and others.

On a one-year deal, Saunders came relatively cheap to the Phils, lingering in free agency as other hitters found contracts. In the middle of last summer, Saunders seemed poised for a multi-year contract like the four-year, $52 million deal Josh Reddick signed with the Astros. His second half cost him some money.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Saunders, the Phillies designated right-hander Severino Gonzalez for assignment.