Rolen's 300th HR Lifts Reds to 7-3 Win over Phillies - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Rolen's 300th HR Lifts Reds to 7-3 Win over Phillies

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CINCINNATI (AP) - Scott Rolen's timing was only off by a little.

Rolen hit his 300th career homer with his family watching Monday

night, and Johnny Cueto shut down the team that gave him an

historic loss the last time they faced, leading the Cincinnati Reds

to a 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Reds won for the sixth time in seven games, keeping them

atop the NL Central. It's the latest they have been in first place

since 1999.

Rolen hit a two-run shot in the fourth inning off Kyle Kendrick

(4-3), a hooking drive that smacked off the bottom of the foul pole

in left field. He added a sacrifice fly.

Rolen grew up in Indiana and had his family in town for a

get-together to celebrate his parents' anniversary. He connected a

day late.

"I actually wanted to do it yesterday with my parents

celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary," Rolen said of No.

300. "With my whole family in town, I thought it'd be great. But I

guess it goes to show you that when you try to force something, it

usually doesn't work out."

Cueto (8-2) retired only two batters when he faced the Phillies

last July 6, setting the Reds on course for a 22-1 drubbing that

was the worst in franchise history. This time, he allowed six hits

and one run in eight innings.

"The big difference was last year, I was thinking about making

the All-Star team and I really wasn't concentrating," Cueto said

through a coach acting as translator.

The Phillies lost for only the second time in seven games. An

offense that averaged 6.8 runs over the last 11 games froze up

against the 24-year-old Cueto, who had plenty of motivation to look

good.

When the right-hander pitched in Philadelphia last July, he gave

up a career-high nine runs while failing to make it through the

first inning. The NL's top defense prevented this one from getting

away early.

The Reds pulled off two double plays in the first four innings,

including an improbable one started by second baseman Brandon

Phillips. He made a backhand stop on Raul Ibanez's grounder up the

middle and flipped the ball under his body to second base while

falling on his chest.

Shortstop Orlando Cabrera robbed Chase Utley in the sixth, going

up the middle to grab his grounder and throw him out from center

field. Cabrera also made an over-the-shoulder catch of Ross Gload's

fly ball in the eighth.

Utley jammed his right thumb when he tried to stretch a single

in the fourth inning, getting thrown out at second. He left the

game for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. He will have tests on the

thumb Tuesday.

"We hit some balls hard and they made plays," Phillies manager

Charlie Manuel said. "We had some freak things happen to us as far

as the game. We hit balls hard and were having a hard time

scoring."

Ryan Howard had a double and triple and scored the Phillies' run

off Cueto in the seventh. Ibanez hit a two-run homer in the ninth

off Bill Bray.

Joey Votto doubled ahead of Rolen's 17th homer, his highest

total in four years. The 35-year-old third baseman has avoided the

nagging injuries that limited him the last few seasons.

Rolen swung at the first pitch, a hanging slider. Kendrick

retired the first 10 batters before the Reds figured out they

needed to swing early in the count.

"He was aggressive all night," Kendrick said. "They made

adjustments. They were swinging early."

Votto and Cabrera both had three hits as the top of the NL's

most prolific lineup did most of the damage. Cincinnati leads the

league in batting average, runs and hits.

NOTES: Phillies 3B Placido Polanco was out of the lineup for the

third straight game with a sore left elbow, aggravated on a dive

Friday night. He could return Tuesday. ... Reds RHP Homer Bailey,

on the DL since May 24 with an inflamed pitching shoulder, threw 30

pitches off a flat surface without a problem. He hopes to throw off

a bullpen mound a couple of times before the All-Star break. ...

Votto got on base for the 36th consecutive game, the longest Reds

streak since Pete Rose did it in 48 straight in 1978, according to

the Elias Sports Bureau.