If there is anybody fit to stop the Reds’ deep dive in the loss column, it is left-handed rookie pitcher Nick Lodolo.
When they took the field Wednesday afternoon, the Reds were 5-0 in Lodolo’s five home starts and his personal record was 3-0.
And he more than did his part against the Phillies — seven shutout innings on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Lodolo worked diligently the first few innings to keep Philadelphia off the scoreboard. The Phillies stranded two runners in the first, second and fourth innings.
The Phillies, though, matched Lodolo with seven shutout innings by their starter, lefty Ranger Suarez. He held the Reds to no runs and three hits (two by Alejo Lopez) with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Alexis Diaz replaced Lodolo in the eighth and went 1-2-3.
David Robertson, unscored upon in his five appearances since the Phillies acquired him from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline, replaced Suarez in the eighth.
Pinch-hitter T.J. Friedl greeted Robertson with a single, but languished at first base when Jonathan India popped up, Jake Fraley struck out on a full count and Kyle Farmer flied to the warning track in right field, leaving it at 0-0.
Diaz returned to the mound for the ninth and went 1-2-3, striking out J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos before retiring pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber on a pop-up.
Philadelphia closer Dominguez arrived for the ninth. After striking out Matt Reynolds, batting clean-up for the first time in his career, he walked Almora Jr. on four pitches, a walk that turned into a dagger in his and the Phillies’ back.
Aristides Aquino struck out on three pitches and Lopez singled, his third hit, putting the potential winning run on second base.
On 1-and-1, Dominguez offered Barrera a fastball and he punched it up the middle for the game-winner, Cincinnati’s second win in its last nine games.
While Aquino continued to take a bat to home plate for no apparent reason, The Punisher plays right field like Fred Astaire on the dance floor.
Wow is only a three-letter word, but it says it all in describing Aquino’s defense prowess. It surfaced again in the fifth inning after Rhys Hoskins singled with one out.
Alec Bohm blasted a Lodolo pitch toward the right field wall. Aquino chased it down, snagging it on the warning track with his back to the infield.
He whirled and ripped a line drive throw to first base to double off Hoskins and end the inning. It was Aquino’s ninth outfield assist and the third time he made a catch and then threw out a runner on the basepaths.
From there, Lodolo, Diaz and Barrero took over.