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
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
"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
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
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
"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
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.