MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Philadelphia0 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 570
Cincinnati1 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 x 890
  W: M. Lorenzen (1-4)   L: J. Álvarez (3-4)   S: R. Iglesias (29)
3:40 PM PT4:40 PM MT5:40 PM CT6:40 PM ET18:40 ET22:40 GMT6:40 3:40 PM MST5:40 PM EST6:10 PM VEN2:40 UAE (+1)5:40 PM CT, September 4, 2019
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio  Attendance: 13,448

Phillies look to Nola amid wild-card push

The Philadelphia Phillies are slowly making up ground in the National League wild-card race.

They will try to inch closer to their first postseason appearance in eight years when they visit the Cincinnati Reds in the third game of their four-game series on Wednesday night.

Philadelphia won its third straight game on Tuesday night to move seven games over .500 for the first time since the middle of June. Incredibly, the Phillies had lost 11 straight tries when trying to move to seven games over .500 before Tuesday night.

The Phillies enter Wednesday 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild card. They have two more games against Cincinnati before closing out the seven-game road trip with three against the New York Mets.

"Keep winning, that's what it's all about," Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper told NBC Sports Philadelphia after the win on Tuesday. "You've got to beat the bad teams and you've got to beat the good teams as well. If we can go out (Wednesday) and win the series, hope to get that bonus game on Thursday, and go into New York pretty hot."

The Phillies are scheduled to face a talented pitcher who's desperate for a good outing.

Trevor Bauer was 9-8 with a 3.79 ERA when he was traded to the Reds from the Cleveland Indians on July 31. He went 1-4 with the Reds last month, posting an 8.40 ERA.

He has lost his past four starts.

"By far, the worst month of my career," Bauer told reporters after allowing six runs and seven hits in four innings in his last outing, a 10-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bauer was a first-time All Star with the Indians last season and finished third in the majors with a 2.21 ERA while going 12-6.

He was 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA after seven starts this season, but went 0-4 in May with a 5.50 ERA. He mixed some stellar performances with a few poor outings before he was traded to the Reds three days after he angrily threw the ball over the center field fence as he was about to be removed from a game in the fifth inning.

Bauer is still searching for answers to his inconsistency.

"If there's something you can point to and try to fix, you should have hope to, like, fix it," he said. "Right now, we're just trying to figure out what it is."

Aaron Nola finished one spot behind Bauer among the major league leaders in ERA last season and he's remained consistent throughout this season, though the bullpen has let him down a few times.

Nola (12-4, 3.45 ERA) didn't receive a decision in his only appearance against the Reds this season because the bullpen couldn't hold a 3-1 lead with two outs in the seventh.

Nola left after 6 2/3 innings and the Phillies holding a 3-1 lead on June 9 in Philadelphia, but Reds rallied for a 4-3 victory.

That was similar to his last start on Thursday against the Mets, when Nola departed with Philadelphia leading 1-0 with one out in the seventh and the bases loaded. The Mets tied the score at 1-1 before both teams combined for 14 runs over the final two innings in the 11-5 win by New York.

"It is frustrating," Nola told reporters afterward.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 4, 2019

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