David Kohl / USATODAY Sports Images

The Philadelphia Phillies were swept in their first series of the 2016 season

After losing the first two games of the season because of bullpen meltdowns, the Phillies fell again in the series finale against Cincinnati, losing 10-6. The good news is that veterans Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz homered in the losing cause.

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jay Bruce homered twice and matched a career high with five RBIs, and the Cincinnati Reds made a winner of top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson in his major league debut by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 10-6 on Thursday to complete a season-opening sweep.

Eugenio Suarez hit his first career grand slam and Bruce connected for a three-run shot as the Reds scored eight times in the fourth inning, ruining the big league debut of reliever Daniel Stumpf. Bruce capped the 13-batter outburst with an RBI single.

Stephenson (1-0), a first-round draft pick in 2011, was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on March 18 and recalled on opening day for what is expected to be one start. The right-hander allowed six hits and four runs - three earned - with two walks and one strikeout in five innings.

Cedric Hunter hit a leadoff homer in the fourth and Ryan Howard had a two-run shot in the fifth for Philadelphia. Carlos Ruiz added a two-run homer in the eighth.

The Reds are 3-0 for the second consecutive season. They swept a three-game series from Pittsburgh and added a win over St. Louis to open 2015.

The loss was Philadelphia's eighth straight in Cincinnati, the team's longest skid in the Queen City since a nine-game stretch at now-demolished Riverfront Stadium that spanned 1976-77.

The Phillies have dropped seven in a row overall to the Reds, the most since an eight-game slide in 1996.

Philadelphia was swept in a season-opening road series for the first time since April 2000 at Arizona.

Bruce hit his first homer of the season off starter Charlie Morton (0-1), who allowed five hits and six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Morton is winless in six April starts since 2012.


Phillies: Outfielder Odubel Herrera, limited to 13 exhibition games due to a jammed middle finger on his right hand, went 1-for-6 in his first two games after batting .419 (18 for 43) in spring training.

Reds: RHP Michael Lorenzen's comeback from elbow problems that sent him to the disabled list was sidetracked by a bout with mononucleosis, manager Bryan Price said.


Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff is the scheduled starter for Philadelphia in the New York Mets' home opener Friday afternoon. Eickhoff was 1-2 in three starts against the Mets after the Phillies acquired him from Texas last July 31.



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