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10/08/10 9:45 PM ET
After leadoff homer, Phillips misses cycle
Reds second baseman triple shy; feat never done in playoffs
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- The Reds' drought at Citizens Bank Park came to a quick end on a game-opening home run by Brandon Phillips, who later put himself in position for an even more significant accomplishment. Following up the leadoff homer off Roy Oswalt with a single in the third and a double in the fifth, Phillips was within a triple of the first cycle in Major League Baseball postseason history, but he was unable to achieve the feat. Phillips has 26 career triples, including five during the 2010 regular season. Four pitches into Game 2 of the National League Division Series -- which the Reds lost, 7-4 -- Cincinnati had not only a hit but a run as well, as leadoff hitter Phillips yanked Oswalt's 2-1 pitch deep over the left-field wall. So minutes after the pregame flyover at the conclusion of the national anthem, Phillips provided the Reds with a flyover of his own. Any suspense over the Phillies' so-called little Roy following Big Roy Halladay's Game 1 no-hitter by himself threatening history thus came to an early end. It was Cincinnati's first leadoff home run in a postseason game since Oct. 20, 1972, when Pete Rose led off Game 5 of the World Series with a home run off Catfish Hunter. The most recent postseason leadoff homer was by Derek Jeter, who did it last Oct. 19 in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Angels. Phillips' leadoff homer snapped the Reds' 30-inning scoreless streak here that dated back to the 10th inning of their 9-7 loss on July 9 -- which the Phillies followed with a pair of 1-0 victories to complete a four-game sweep. It was also Cincinnati's first hit in this park since Joey Votto's two-out double in the eighth inning of the 1-0 defeat on July 11, the final game prior to the All-Star break. It was the Reds' first postseason home run since Mark Lewis connected for a grand slam -- their last of three homers that day -- in Game 3 of the 1995 Division Series sweep over the Dodgers.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.