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After long rain delay, Encarnacion-Strand, Elly De La Cruz carry Reds past Phillies, 4-1

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Elly De La Cruz had RBI doubles, Frankie Montas pitched 5 2/3 innings and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Wednesday night after a long rain delay.

The game was originally scheduled for the afternoon, but the start was pushed back three hours because of heavy rain in the forecast. Then the teams waited out an additional delay of 3 hours, 55-minutes — the second-longest stoppage in the 20-year history of Citizens Bank Park.

“It was not great conditions, but I was really happy with how our team stayed ready,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Every hour that passed, they did a good job of staying ready and came out and played a really good game.

“Our pitching was outstanding. Just great stuff all night. Obviously starting with Frankie, but then the bullpen came in and they had great stuff too and finished it off against a really good team.”

Montas (2-0) allowed one run on five hits. Alexis Diaz pitched the ninth for his first save.

“I’m the type of guy who, until they call the game, I stay locked in,” Montas said. “I was just getting ahead in the count. I feel like I’ve done a really good job of that. I’m trying to get outs in three pitches or less. That’s my main focus and not trying to strike everybody out. The quicker I get outs, the longer I can stay in the game.”

Cincinnati had six hits – five for extra bases. Encarnacion-Strand plated two runs with a double off Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler in the third inning, and Jake Fraley and De La Cruz hit back-to-back doubles off Wheeler in the sixth inning to score the third run. Nick Martini added an RBI single in the ninth.

Wheeler (0-1) allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits in six innings. He had 10 strikeouts, marking the 22nd time in his career that he struck out at least 10.

Kyle Schwarber hit a solo home run on a first pitch four-seamer from Montas in the sixth inning for the Phillies. He extended his hitting streak to five games with his second homer of the year.

“We’re a better offensive club than we’re showing, obviously, and it’ll come,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “I have all the confidence in the world. But we’re off to a little bit of a slow start. Tough hitting tonight, tough conditions, but no excuses.”

TRAINING ROOM

Reds third baseman Jeimer Candelario left in the eighth inning with what Bell called a minor hyperextension of his elbow. He injured it swinging the bat in the sixth inning. He stayed in the game for a while and picked up a double in the eighth, but Bell said he removed him because the elbow bothered Candelario while throwing but not while swinging and they wanted to be cautious because of the weather conditions.

UP NEXT

The Reds turn to RHP Hunter Greene (0-0, 3.86) in the opener of a three-game series at home against LHP Jose Quintana (0-1, 3.86) and the New York Mets on Friday. Philadelphia is at Washington on Friday. RHP Aaron Nola (0-1, 14.54) will start for the Phillies.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By ANTHONY SANFILIPPO
Associated Press

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