Stephenson wins debut, Reds to sweep Phillies
CINCINNATI >> Jay Bruce homered twice and matched a career high with five RBIs, and the Cincinnati Reds made a winner of top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson in his major league debut by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 10-6 on Thursday to complete a season-opening sweep.
Eugenio Suarez hit his first career grand slam and Bruce connected for a three-run shot as the Reds scored eight times in the fourth inning, ruining the big league debut of reliever Daniel Stumpf. Bruce capped the 13-batter outburst with an RBI single.
Stephenson (1-0), a first-round draft pick in 2011, was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on March 18 and recalled on opening day for what is expected to be one start. The right-hander allowed six hits and four runs — three earned — with two walks and one strikeout in five innings.
Cedric Hunter hit a leadoff homer in the fourth and Ryan Howard had a two-run shot in the fifth for Philadelphia. Carlos Ruiz added a two-run homer in the eighth.
The Reds are 3-0 for the second consecutive season. They swept a three-game series from Pittsburgh and added a win over St. Louis to open 2015.
The loss was Philadelphia's eighth straight in Cincinnati, the team's longest skid in the Queen City since a nine-game stretch at now-demolished Riverfront Stadium that spanned 1976-77.
The Phillies have dropped seven in a row overall to the Reds, the most since an eight-game slide in 1996.
Philadelphia was swept in a season-opening road series for the first time since April 2000 at Arizona.
Bruce hit his first homer of the season off starter Charlie Morton (0-1), who allowed five hits and six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Morton is winless in six April starts since 2012.
Phillies: OF Odubel Herrera, limited to 13 exhibition games due to a jammed middle finger on his right hand, went 1 for 6 in his first two games after batting .419 (18 for 43) in spring training.
Reds: RHP Michael Lorenzen's comeback from elbow problems that sent him to the disabled list was sidetracked by a bout with mononucleosis, manager Bryan Price said.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff is the scheduled starter for Philadelphia in the New York Mets' home opener Friday afternoon. Eickhoff was 1-2 in three starts against the Mets after the Phillies acquired him from Texas last July 31.
Reds: RHP Alfredo Simon makes his seventh career start against Pittsburgh in the opener of a three-game series Friday night. Simon was 1-1 against the Pirates in two starts for Detroit last season.
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