Phillies-Reds Preview

The Cincinnati Reds have played better baseball since the end of their dreadful losing streak last month, and with a red-hot Joey Votto, that has a good chance to continue.

Following a huge night for Votto, the Reds will look to finish off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.

Votto hit three home runs for the third time in his career to pace Cincinnati's offensive outburst in an 11-3 win Tuesday. Zach Cozart and Todd Frazier also went deep as the Reds won their third straight.

"Today was wild ... I just happened to get lucky on three pitches,'' said Votto. ''A few of them were out of the (strike) zone, that's not typical. You're going to fail a lot if you swing at balls out of the zone.''

Cincinnati (26-31) has gone 8-5 since a nine-game skid in May and Votto has batted .400 with six home runs and 14 RBIs in the last 11. He has 13 home runs and 35 RBIs on the season.

Jerome Williams (3-5, 5.68 ERA) will face the Reds for the first time since 2006. The right-hander has pitched fewer than six innings in seven of his last eight starts and his ERA is among the worst in MLB.

The Phillies (22-38) have lost in each of Williams' last four outings. They've dropped 12 of 15 overall and have been especially bad on the road, where they're a major league-worst 7-22 and have lost six in a row - Philadelphia's worst skid away from home since dropping 11 straight July 20-Aug. 11, 2013.

"We need to play solid games and put some games together," manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Cincinnati's Jon Moscot comes off his major league debut Friday, when he filled in for the injured Raisel Iglesias and allowed four runs and struck out three in five innings of a 6-2 loss to San Diego. The right-hander yielded two home runs and issued three walks but retired 11 of his final 12 batters.

"He's not going to learn anything from the experience by pitching an inning or two innings in that game," manager Bryan Price told MLB's official website. "He needed to stay in the game, find a way to manage that lineup, make better pitches because our expectation here is, if you're going to be in the rotation, you're going to pitch the innings."

Billy Hamilton was held out of Tuesday's game with a sore right hand after stealing two bases Monday. Brandon Phillips will likely sit after straining his groin on a slide.

Chase Utley is hitting .188 and has gone 0 for 16 in his last five games. Maikel Franco has picked up the slack with an eight-game hitting streak and .469 average in that span.

Franco went 2 for 3 with a double Tuesday for his ninth extra-base hit of the hitting streak.


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