Fish Bats Shut Down by Reds

Marlins out of first after 7-0 loss to Cincy

Given the way the Cincinnati Reds are pitching, Brandon Phillips’ six RBIs were more than enough.

They only needed the first one.

Edinson Volquez allowed three hits in eight innings, and the Reds pitched their fourth shutout in the past six games last night to beat the Marlins 7-0.

Nick Masset threw a perfect ninth to complete the Reds’ sixth shutout this season, most in the majors.

“I believe in our rotation,” Phillips said. “We have future All-Stars.”

The Reds completed a 3-2 trip, during which their staff had an ERA of 1.68. They are 10-5 on the road this season.

Florida fell out of first place in the NL East for the first time since Opening Day. The Marlins are one-half game behind Philadelphia, which beat St. Louis 10-7.

Phillips had three hits, including a three-run homer, his fourth. His RBI total matched a career high, and he hiked his average from .205 to .226.

Each of Phillips’ hits came after Joey Votto, who reached base five times, walked.

“It makes you think when they walk a guy in front of you,” Phillips said. “I would have done the same thing, but you have to realize I’m a good hitter also. I tried to go out there and show them, ‘Don’t do that again, please.”’

The Marlins extended a club record to 18 consecutive games without a win by a starting pitcher. During that span the starters are 0-7.

Florida’s Chris Volstad (2-1) gave up four runs in six innings. He was no match for Volquez, who struck out seven and walked four.

“The story is the kid on the other side of the diamond—Volquez,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “That was about as dominating a performance I’ve seen against us all year.”

By the top of the third, Gonzalez was so impressed with Volquez that he brought the infield in when the Reds had a runner at third with one out and a 1-0 lead.

Volquez (4-2) extended a personal streak of 16 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings. He looked uncomfortable only at the plate, where he spun and fell after laying down a sacrifice bunt on an inside pitch.

The right-hander pitched a career-high eight innings in his last start as well, when he allowed one hit to beat Houston on April 29. Over his past three starts, he has allowed five hits in 21 innings.

“He’s not overthrowing as much,” Baker said. “His velocity is down a couple of miles an hour, but his location is better, and he still has good velocity. When you’re throwing strikes, you’re going to get some swings on some bad pitches, like he did on some changeups tonight.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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