CINCINNATI (AP) ― This Cleveland-versus-Cincinnati series will be remembered for an inside fastball and a wagging finger.
Don’t overlook that sweep, though.
Brandon Phillips hit one of Cincinnati’s three homers and drove in four more runs on Thursday afternoon, leading the ailing Reds to a 12-5 victory and their first three-game sweep of the Indians since 2008.
Joey Votto and Ryan Ludwick also homered for the Reds, who had a season-high 17 hits.
“What a series!” Ludwick said. “What a win!”
No surprise that Phillips played a starring role for the NL Central leaders. He went 8 for 13 with two homers and seven RBIs against the team that gave up on him in 2006, raising his career average against Cleveland to .356.
He also paid a price for a dust-up between Indians starter Derek Lowe and Reds manager Dusty Baker, getting hit in the arm by a pitch during a 5-3 win on Wednesday night. Phillips wasn’t aware of why Lowe hit him.
“To be honest, I don’t even know what he said,” Phillips said. “We won. We’re in first place, that’s all I care about. We’re too busy winning.”
Mike Leake went 4 1/3 innings before having to leave the game, still feeling the effects of a nasty stomach virus that swept through the clubhouse at the start of the series. Jose Arredondo (4-1) pitched out of a threat in the fifth.
The Reds won the first two games of the series even though more than a half-dozen players were sick. Leake had to be pushed back a day to give him more time to recover. He left after giving up seven hits, including two solo homers by Choo Shin-soo, in 4 1/3 innings.
NY Mets 9, Tampa Bay 6
Detroit 5, Chicago Cubs 3
Oakland 8, Colorado 2
Houston 6, San Francisco 3
Baltimore 12, Pittsburgh 6
Arizona 11, Texas 3
Kansas City 4, Milwaukee 3
Philadelphia 6, Minnesota 1
St. Louis 5, Chicago White Sox 3
San Diego 6, Seattle 2