CINCINNATI — All joking aside, Brandon Phillips’ renewed power has more to do with his hamstring than his biceps.
Phillips drove in three runs with a pair of homers off Brandon Beachy on Tuesday night, leading Cincinnati to a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves in another game of all-or-nothing that got the Reds second baseman back in the flow.
“I started doing push-ups,” Phillips suggested.
Nice try. Nobody bought it.
He hadn’t homered since April 24, an indication something was wrong with his swing. He pulled his left hamstring in the fourth game of the season and had to adjust his stance, standing more upright.
Now that the hamstring is healed, he’s back into his usual crouch at the plate.
“That really helped me a lot,” Phillips said.
Rookie shortstop Zack Cozart also homered off Beachy (5-2) as the Reds got the best of another high-powered game. The teams have combined for 10 homers in the two games, seven of them by Cincinnati.
“It is pretty wild,” said Braves leadoff hitter Michael Bourn, who had his first career multihomer game with two solo shots. “They hit some, we hit some. Ten in two games is a lot, I don’t care what ballpark you’re in. You don’t expect that.”
The Reds moved a season-high four games over .500 at 23-19 with their fourth win in a row.
Beachy allowed three homers Tuesday. He had allowed only one homer in his first eight games this season, tied for fewest in the majors by a starter.
“I’m not going to make the ballpark an excuse for any of those three home runs,” said Beachy, who came in leading the majors with a 1.33 ERA. “None of the three pitches was where they were supposed to be. Other than those three pitches, I pitched the way I wanted to tonight.”
Cozart hit his second homer in two games, and Phillips led off the fourth inning with another homer for a 4-2 lead. It was Phillips’ ninth career multihomer game and the fifth by a Reds player this season.