Lousville Scores 22

It might have been a Fireworks Friday last night at Great American Ballpark, but the Reds saw sparks fly elsewhere in their system when two of their affiliates scored 22 runs. Louisville jumped on Gwinnett early and cruised to a 22-1 win. Later in the evening Billings scored 16 runs over their last three at-bats to beat Orem 22-6.

The Louisville Bats scored season high 22 runs Friday night and rocked Gwinnett by a score of 22-1. Dennis Phipps raised his batting average .022' by going 5-6 with a walk, grand slam, and three runs scored. Didi Gregorius was 3-6 and is now 5-10 in his two games at the AAA level. Henry Rodriguez added three hits and is now batting .310 for the Bats. New Bat Xavier Paul was 3-5 and his now hitting .320 since coming over from Syracuse. Cody Puckett was 3-5 with two walks and a home run and four RBI. Other multi-hit games were contributed by Neftali Soto and Dioner Navarro who had two each. Soto provided half of the six runs the Bats plated in the first with a three run homer. Their scoring was capped off by and eight-inning grand slam by Chris Valaika.

On the mound Sean Gallagher got the win when he allowed one run on five hits across six innings to bring his ERA below five. Josh Judy, J.J. Hoover, and Travis Webb all contributed a scoreless inning of relief. The Bats evened their four-game home series against the Braves at one win each going into this weekend.

Phipps was an obscure player in the Reds system until he had a breakout season last year. He finished the year hitting .346 overall while splitting time between Carolina and Louisville. That performance earned him a spot on the Reds 40-man roster coming into this season. His 2012 season started off well enough when he hit over .300 in spring training. Since opening day his performance could be described as a mighty struggle.

He was put on the DL with a shoulder injury with a .168 average after his first 38 games. At the end of June he hit well in a rehab stint at Arizona, going 8-20 with two homers. Since his return to Louisville he's gone only 4-34 before the big game last night. He's missed some golden opportunities this season. The Reds were looking for some outfield depth earlier when Drew Stubbs was sidelined with an abdominal strain. Phipps figured to not be far down their depth chart coming into the season and might have gotten a shot had he been ready.

He might have even gotten a chance to show what he could do as a leadoff hitter. Now after the midpoint of the season the Reds leadoff hitter Zach Cozart has an on-base percentage below .300 and Drew Stubbs is hitting .211 while Phipps is trying to salvage his season. The Reds picked up veteran Joey Gathright out of an Independent League and he was hitting around .300 with the Bats, but they released him this week to make room for Xavier Paul who was granted free agency by the Nationals.

It appears that Phipps will have further opportunity to prove that last season was no fluke. Outfielder Felix Perez was swinging a hot bat and raised his average to .279 before going on the DL on July 4. Another Louisville outfielder, Bill Rhinehart was recently sent down to Pensacola and Daryl Jones was released. That leaves Phipps, Paul, and converted infielder Puckett as the only outfielders on the Bats roster for the time being.

The Reds have several prospects in their system that project as top-of-the-lineup hitters, but unfortunately all of them are at lower levels. After Phipps's emergence last year Bats centerfielder Dave Sappelt was considered expendable and included in a trade package for Sean Marshall. Now Phipps will be working over the second half of the season to regain his status as a serious candidate for a promotion to the major league level.

Other News from the Farm:

Pensacola made up last night's rainout with a doubleheader at Chattanooga. They took the first game 2-1 behind a complete game by Tony Cingrani. The southpaw got his fifth win (9-2 overall) by allowing one unearned run and only four hits in seven innings. Both Wahoo runs came on a triple by Tucker Barnhart. He and Ryan LaMarre had two hits each for the offense. In the second game Pensacola scored five in the third and cruised to a 6-1 win to complete the sweep. Their offense was limited to five hits. On the mound Mark Serrano improved his record to 6-1 by allowing one run on four hits in five innings while striking out five.

Billy Hamilton Theft Watch:

Hamilton led off the first game with a single and introduced the Southern League with to one of his "double-steal" innings by swiping both second and third bases. In the second game he walked in the seventh and stole before scoring the game's final run on a single. He now has 108 stolen bases in 85 games.

Bakersfield took a three run lead on a home run by Travis Mattair in the third inning and cruised to a 9-0 win at Stockton. Mattair had three hits and four RBI. Theo Bowe and Kurtis Muller added two hits each. Chad Rogers got the win with a strong outing. He threw five innings of one-hit, shutout ball. He did work up his pitch count by walking five and striking out five. Justice French threw three scoreless innings and Daniel Wolford retired the side in order in the ninth including two strikeouts.

Dayton gave up six runs in the first inning and lost 8-1 at Peoria. The Dragons had only two hits on the night. Starting pitcher Jacob Johnson threw one inning and took the loss.

Louisville wasn't the only Reds team to hang up 22 runs last night. Billings finished their game against visiting Oram with a 22-6 win after crossing the plate eleven times in the eighth. Daniel Pigott was 5-6 with six RBI, four runs, and a home run. Robert Maddox was 4-4 with three RBI, three runs and also homered. Brandon Dailey was 3-3 with two walks and scored five times. Robert Ramirez had two hits and drove in five. Beau Amaral and Jeff Gelalich added two hits each. Alejandro Chacin was charged with a blown save when he allowed inherited runners score in the seventh. He hung around to finish the game while offense scored sixteen over the next three innings and picked up his second win.

The AZL Reds were idle and will play their next game at the AZL Indians on Saturday.

The DSL Reds cruised to a 6-1 win at the DSL Twins. Rusbel Farinez had three hits and three RBI. Ronald Bueno added two hits and walked twice in his first game of the season for the Dominican team. The Reds pitchers combined for a two hitter with Franderlin Romero getting his second win. He threw six shutout innings and allowed only one hit.

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