Phillies again benefit from Joseph's walk-off hit

Phillies again benefit from Joseph's walk-off hit

PHILADELPHIA -- Maybe manager Pete Mackanin's team meeting Friday made a difference Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.

Then again, maybe not. Regardless of its impact, the Phillies enjoyed their second walk-off victory in three days, this one a 4-3 win over the Reds. Aaron Altherr singled to center field and advanced to second base on a wild pitch by Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Tommy Joseph ripped a single up the middle to score Altherr.

"I'd like to think I did," Mackanin said about seeing more intensity from his players. "I was hoping I would. They played well."

Lorenzen motivated to do better

It was just the Phillies' sixth win in their past 27 games, which saw them improve to 17-30. They can win their first series since April 26-27 -- they have lost eight consecutive series, their longest winless stretch since 2006 -- with a victory in Sunday's series finale.

Joseph's solo home run

"No, no," Joseph said, asked if he thought the team played with more energy or intensity. "We know what we're capable of. We have a great team in here, it's a matter of playing great as a team. We were able to show that today."

Reds shortstop Zack Cozart hit a two-run home run in the first inning and finished 4-for-4 with one walk. It was the third four-hit game of his career, and first since 2013.

"I just felt like I was in battle mode the whole game because I was in two-strike counts the whole game," Cozart said. "I just got lucky getting some hits. They made a couple of mistakes."

Gennett's RBI double

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Scooter hammers a hanger: Eugenio Suarez singled and stole second in the sixth inning, when Scooter Gennett hit a 1-1 hanging curveball from Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff to right field for a double to score Suarez and tie the game at 3. It was the first run Eickhoff had allowed since Cozart's two-run homer in the first that handed the Reds a 2-0 lead.

"Eickhoff wasn't at his best," Mackanin said. "I've seen him better. He got into a little trouble and hung some curveballs. We need to get him going to where he's consistent."

Saunders' towering solo homer

Three is better than none: Cesar Hernandez homered in the first, Michael Saunders homered in the second and Joseph homered in the fourth to score three runs in five innings against Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo and give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. It was the first time since May 20 that the Phillies scored three runs against a starting pitcher. The Phillies have not scored four or more runs against a starting pitcher since May 13, when they scored four against Washington's Tanner Roark.

QUOTABLE
"It always helps when the manager comes and talks about different situations and the things we need to do. It always helps. It shows that everybody cares on the whole team, and it's a wakeup call for everybody." -- Phillies reliever Joaquin Benoit, on Mackanin's team meeting. The Phillies' bullpen has thrown 19 2/3 scoreless innings since Tuesday.

"I feel like I would have had to hit it and they dive and it rolls to the wall for me to get to third base. I was aware of it. In that situation, we're facing their best because the game is tied. So I didn't get a lot of drivable pitches up there. They weren't just going to groove me a pitch. It was a good overall day for me. But those are the games you like to win, for sure." -- Cozart on needing a triple for the cycle, which would have been the Reds' first since Eric Davis on June 2, 1989.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Arroyo has allowed 18 home runs over 51 2/3 innings and 10 starts this season. But each of his last 12 homers allowed have been solo shots.

"Control was king, man," said Arroyo, who has a 6.62 ERA. "And I'm just not consistent enough spotting the fastball. When I miss, they make me pay for it. When I don't miss, they do like everybody and hit ground balls to the shortstop. I've just got to get more consistent doing that. I'm giving up solo homer after solo homer, which is better than giving up two- and three-run homers. It's definitely frustrating to have that happen time and time again this month."

WALK IT OFF
Joseph also had a walk-off hit Thursday against Colorado. He is the first Phillies player to have two walk-off hits in three days since Juan Samuel on June 21-22, 1985. Elias Sports Bureau said Joseph is the first player to accomplish the feat since Starlin Castro on June 13-14, 2015, against the Reds.

WHAT'S NEXT
Reds: Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.99 ERA) will be on the mound in the rubber game at 1:35 p.m. ET Sunday. Feldman faced Philadelphia on Opening Day and took a 4-3 loss after pitching 4 2/3 innings and allowing three earned runs, seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts and two home runs.

Phillies: Right-hander Zach Eflin (0-2, 5.36 ERA) hopes to get back on track in the series finale. He had a 2.81 ERA through his first five starts this season, but he has a 13.50 ERA (15 earned runs in 10 innings) in his last two.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.