The shortage of healthy and able starting pitchers on the Cincinnati Reds roster was on display Wednesday night in Citizens Bank Park.
T.J. Zeuch, summoned from Class AAA Louisville as a stand-in for injured Graham Ashcraft, survived only 2 2/3 innings and gave up six runs to the Philadelphia Phillies.
And the Phillies made those early runs stand up for a 7-5 victory, their third straight win in this four-game series.
With injuries piling up, Reds manager David Bell continues to splice together make-shift lineups. Donovan Solano made his major-league debut at first base.
And Chuckie Robinson, called up from Louisville before the game, made his major league debut, the seventh different catcher used by the Reds this season. The record is eight used by the 1909 Reds.
He was the 58th different player to appear in a game this season for the Reds, a record.
Robison got a glove full during his debut as five Reds pitchers used 164 pitches.
Zeuch retired eight Phillies and 11 reached base on seven hits and four walks.
The beleaguered Reds bullpen pulled the plug on Philadelphia’s offense after Zeuch left and the Reds pecked away.
It was 6-1 when Zeuch departed with two outs in the third. The Reds cut it to 6-2 in the fourth, 6-3 in the fifth and 6-4 in the seventh.
After scoring a run in the seventh, the Reds had runners at third and first with two outs, but Kyle Farmer popped out.
The Reds scored first against left hander Cristopher Sanchez in the second on a home run by Stuart Fairchild deep into the left center seats.
The Phillies quickly gained the lead, 2-1, with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. With two on a one out, Matt Vierling singled on the first pitch for a run, Kyle Schwarber singled to fill the bases and a run scored on a fielder’s choice.
The Phillies scored four in the third and chased Zeuch. It began with a home run by J.T. Realmuto. Zeuch gave up an infield hit and two walks to fill the bases. And he walked Schwarber to force in a run.
Art Warren replaced Zeuch and he walked Jean Segura on a full count to force in another run. Alex Bohm singled for another run, and it was 6-1.
Farmer led off the third with a home run to cut the margin to 6-2. Robinson singled on the first pitch he saw in the fifth, his first major league hit, and scored on Jonathan India’s double, stretching his hitting streak to eight games.
And the Reds crawled to within 6-4 in the seventh on a single by Jose Barrero, a double by pinch-hitter Jake Fraley and a sacrifice fly by T.J. Friedl, pinch-hitting for India.
The Phillies put a temporary halt to the Reds comeback ideas with a run in the seventh off Reiver Sanmartin. Matt Vierling tripled and scored on a bad-hop single off third baseman Farmer’s glove. That made it 7-4.
The Reds quickly reclaimed that run in the eighth on Donovan Solano’s single and a double to right by Alejo Lopez, pulling the Reds to within 7-5.
Fraley opened the ninth with a fly ball that left fielder Yairo Munoz dropped for a two-base error. After T.J. Friedl struck out, Fraley took third base on a wild pitch and Nick Senzel walked on a nine-pitch at bat.
That put runners on third and first with one out. But the game ended quickly when Farmer, hitting .337 with runners in scoring position, grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.