With the starting pitching cupboard as bare as Mother Hubbard’s, the Cincinnati Reds were forced to use a Bullpen Day on Monday night in Philadelphia.
It didn’t work.
While Reds manager David Bell used five pitchers, the Phillies put the ball in the talented right hand of Noah Syndergaard and left it there for seven innings.
The result was a 4-1 victory for the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park. In his previous start, last week in Cincinnati, Syndergaard silenced the Reds.
And he kept them quiet again Monday night — one run, three hits, two walks, one strikeout. The run was a solo home run by catcher Austin Romine.
With the win, Syndergaard is 7-and-0 for his eight starts against the Reds.
The Reds have three more games in Philadelphia and will have to cover them with an overused bullpen.
Each of the first three Reds pitchers, starter Luis Cessa, Joel Kuhnel and Art Warren gave up runs.
Cessa started for the Reds and gave up back-to-back home runs, both on the first pitch, to former Reds teammate Nick Castellanos and Bryson Stott to open the second.
Kuhnel followed Cessa for the third inning and he gave up a two-out single and a run-scoring double to Castellanos, who has been a Reds killer this season. In four games against the Reds, Castellanos own five extra-base hjts.
After Romine’s home run cut Philadelphia’s lead to 3-1, Warren, the third Reds pitcher, gave up a run in the fifth on a two-out single by Alex Bohm and a double by J.T. Realmuto to make it 4-1.
After Syndergaard departed, Sam Coonrod made his second appearance of the year for the Phillies and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.
Andrew Bellatti was assigned to close if off in the ninth. Eight straight Reds had been retired, but Jonathan India led off the ninth with a full-count walk. Kyle Farmer struck out, Mike Moustakas struck out and Donovan Solano popped to right field.
The Reds finished with three hits — Romine’s home run and singles by India and Moustakas.
The Phillies had lost four of five when this series began. After winning the last two games in Pittsburgh on Saturday and Sunday, the Reds lost for the ninth time in 13 games.