Phillips comes through in clutch


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Phillips comes through in clutch

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Joe Robbins
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 20: Brandon Phillips #4 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammates after hitting a sacrifice fly to win the game against the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park on April 20, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 3-2 in 13 innings. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)


Marlins at Reds, 1:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410

A woman in the front row held up a sign throughout Saturday’s Reds game against the Marlins.

“DatDudeBP, will you go to the prom with me?” it read.

For those not familiar with Twitter, DatDudeBP is Brandon Phillips. The Reds second baseman has more than 800,000 followers, and he tweeted before the game, “FINALLY, it’s 4.20.13 Brandon Phillips Bobblehead Day! Hope u can take me home today LOL!”

Thirty thousand fans did take the Phillips bobblehead home — even manager Dusty Baker had seven boxes on the couch in his office — but they took another memory of DatDudeBP, too. His sacrifice fly with one out in the 13th inning scored Shin-Soo Choo from third base and gave the Reds a 3-2 victory on a long, frustrating day for hitters.

Even the Reds’ bats had a tough day. At least four of them were headed for the scrap pile or a spot in the gift shop after shattering during the game.

Phillips struck out in the seventh and ninth innings and lined out in the 11th before finally coming through in the 13th for the Reds (10-8), who left 17 runners on base.

“It’s a beautiful thing to get the game-winning sac fly on your bobblehead day,” Phillips said. “It took long enough. Wow, I’m tired. The game should not have took that long, but I’ll take the win.”

Choo, who reached base six times in all with three hits and three walks, led off the 13th with a double to left. Zack Cozart tried to advance Choo with a bunt, but he was hit on the hand while bunting, and since the hand was part of the bat at that point, he didn’t get first. He had to leave the game but said after the game he didn’t think he would miss any time.

Cesar Izturis replaced Cozart at the plate and lifted a fly to center, moving Choo to third. The Marlins then chose to intentionally walk Joey Votto.

Phillips came through in a similar situation in the first game of the homestand Monday. The Phillies walked Votto to load the bases, and Phillips drove in two go-ahead runs with a single to right in the eighth.

Phillips was asked after the game if opponents will ever learn that deciding to pitch to him isn’t necessarily the best choice.

“Joey’s one of the best hitters in the game,” he said. “They’re just doing what they’re supposed to do. I’ve got to do my job by coming through.”

Pitching to Votto wasn’t a good option either because he went 4-for-6. He homered for the second time this season and the first time at Great American Ball Park since June 24 of last season, a solo shot that gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the third. He then singled in the fourth to score Devin Mesoraco.

“The home run looked great,” Baker said. “The RBI looked great. It looked like he’s swinging it better. He’s feeling it better, and when he’s feeling good, he’s hard to beat.”

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