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Philadelphia Phillies beat Cincinnati Reds 7-4, go up 2-0 in NLDS

Reds rightfielder Jay Bruce misses a catchable ball hit by the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins during the seventh inning in Game 2. The two-base error allows Chase Utley to score the tying run, and Jayson Werth comes around on the same play when the relay throw is dropped for another error.

Associated Press

Reds rightfielder Jay Bruce misses a catchable ball hit by the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins during the seventh inning in Game 2. The two-base error allows Chase Utley to score the tying run, and Jayson Werth comes around on the same play when the relay throw is dropped for another error.

PHILADELPHIA — Bright lights, glaring error.

Reds rightfielder Jay Bruce missed a seventh-inning line drive after losing the ball in the lights, allowing two crucial runs to score, and the Phillies took advantage of Cincinnati's shoddy fielding for a 7-4 win Friday night and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five NL division series.

After Roy Halladay threw the second no-hitter in postseason history in Philadelphia's 4-0 win Wednesday, the Reds were determined to show their resilience.

Brandon Phillips hit a leadoff homer on Roy Oswalt's fourth pitch, and the Reds built a 4-0 lead before their defense and bullpen unraveled.

"I feel like I let my team down," Bruce said. "It was in the lights the whole time. I tried to stick with it. It was a pretty helpless feeling."

The Phillies rallied against rookie Aroldis Chapman and his triple-digit fastball after soft-tossing starter Bronson Arroyo, a former Hernando High standout, kept Philadelphia's hitters off balance. Arroyo allowed two unearned runs and four hits in 51/3 innings.

The two-time defending NL champions can close out the series in Game 3 on Sunday night in Cincinnati. Cole Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, pitches for the Phillies. Johnny Cueto is on the mound for the Reds.

Leading 4-3, the Reds turned to Chapman in the seventh. The 22-year-old Cuban hit Chase Utley with a 101 mph fastball leading off. It wasn't clear whether the ball grazed Utley's right forearm.

"I'm not sure …" Utley said when asked if the ball hit him. "I felt like it hit me, so I put my head down and ran to first."

Chapman saw it differently. "No, I don't think at any time the ball hit him," he said.

After Ryan Howard struck out, Jayson Werth hit a bouncer to third baseman Scott Rolen. Utley beat the throw to second on a close call. Phillips threw his arms up and Reds manager Dusty Baker argued briefly.

Jimmy Rollins then hit a liner to right that Bruce turned into a two-base error. The lights were the culprit, he said, not the sea of "Fightin' Phils" rally towels.

The ball rolled past Bruce, and Utley scored the tying run. Werth scored without a play when Phillips dropped the relay throw for another error, giving the Phillies a 5-4 lead.

"It's embarrassing," Bruce said. "I take great pride in my defense, but there was nothing I can do about it."

Raul Ibanez followed with a single and Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI grounder for a 6-4 lead.

Werth hit an RBI single off in the eighth to cap the scoring.

Jose Contreras tossed a perfect seventh to earn the win. Ryan Madson worked the eighth, and Brad Lidge pitched around a leadoff walk in the ninth for the save. Third baseman Placido Polanco made a diving, backhanded stab on Chris Heisey's hard grounder and threw to first to end it.

The Reds finished second in the NL with a club-record .988 fielding percentage, but four errors led to five unearned runs. Their relievers hit three batters, who all ended up scoring.

"That was an uncommon night for us," Baker said. "I don't think it's pressure as much as it is inexperience."

Phillips, who made the final out against Halladay, drove a slider into the leftfield seats to snap the Reds' 30-inning scoreless drought vs. Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies beat Cincinnati Reds 7-4, go up 2-0 in NLDS 10/08/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 9, 2010 12:36am]
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