McCoy: Lefty Suarez dominates Reds in 7-0 Phillies’ win

Hunter Greene pitched the first inning as if his Mercedes-Maybach SUV was double parked on Pete Rose Way and he didn’t want a traffic ticket.

He threw 12 pitches, all 12 fastballs for strikes, and struck out two of the three Philadelphia Phillies he faced.

Then the Phillies pecked away, scoring single runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth.

It was enough for the Phillies to win their seventh straight game, 7-0, in Great American Ball Park.

The Reds ‘0′ was the handiwork of Philadelphi’s Mr. Zero, lefty pitcher Ranger Suarez.

His seven-inning effort Monday extended his scoreless streak to 25 innings — three straight starts without giving up a run.

In his previous start, he shut out the Colorado Rockies on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts on 111 pitches.

On Monday against the Reds, he was even better — seven innings, two hits, one walk, five strikeouts on 88 pitches, 54 strikes.

With Jonathan India still on the illness list, Stuart Fairchild led off the first with an infield single. The Reds only other hit was a single to center field by Christian Encarnacion-Strand leading off the fifth.

After Fairchild’s infield hit, he stole second … but the batter, Spencer Steer, was called for interfering with the catcher while striking out. And Fairchild was called out on the interference.

After Encarnacion-Strand’s leadoff single in the fifth, Elly De La Cruz forced him at second. Santiago Espinal bunted him to second and he stole third, his league-leading 11th theft. But Nick Martini popped up.

Suarez retired the last eight he faced and was replaced in the eighth by another lefty, Gregory Soto, and he pitched 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts.

Former Reds pitcher Jeff Hoffman finished the two-hit shutout with a 1-2-3 inning as the last 14 Reds went down in order.

After his perfect first inning, Greene gave one run in each of the next four innings.

SECOND: Singles bv Alec Bohm and Nick Castellanos led to a sacrifice fly by Bryson Stott. 1-0.

THIRD: No. 9 hitter Johan Rojas tripled and scored on Kyle Schwarber’s sacrifice fly. 2-0.

FOURTH: Bohm doubled; former Red Castellanos singled for the second time for another run. Earlier in the season, Castellanos was 0 for 10 during a three-game series in Philadelphia when the Reds took two of three. 3-0.

FIFTH: Schwarber walked and scored on J.T. Realmuto’s double. 4-0.

It was Greene’s first foray into the seventh inning this season and he gave up four runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out six.

“Overall, I thought I pitched well,” Greene told the media during his postgame chat in the interview room. “I did a lot better attacking the zone, better with my pitch count.

“I have to do a better of getting the first guy out,” he added after two of the four runs were scored by the leadoff hitter getting on base. “That’s what threw off those three or four innings. It’s tough when a guy hits a triple and you have to get three outs.”

Greene retired the last six batters he faced with a pair of strikeouts, but the damage had been done and Suarez, Soto and Hoffman kept the Reds totally silent.

Before the game, pitcher Frankie Montas was placed on the injured list after taking a line drive off his forearm Sunday in the first inning. He is expected to miss two starts.

Casey Legumina was called up to replace Montas and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. But third baseman Jeimer Candelario made his first error of the season opening the ninth, Stott walked and Kody Clemens crushed a three-run homer.

Clemens? Yes, the son of former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens. Like Legumina, Clemens was called up from Triple-A just prior to the game and doubled in the first inning.

The Phillies scored seven runs on nine hits despite the absence of star first baseman Bryce Harper. He is home on paternity leave and is expected to miss the entire four-game series.

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