5/18/2014 12:43 A.M. ET
Hernandez to rejoin rotation as fifth starter
By Todd Zolecki and Austin Laymance / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Roberto Hernandez is proving to be a valuable piece in the bullpen for the Phillies, but he'll be back in the rotation next week. Such is the life of a fifth starter with experience as a reliever.
With the Phillies using a four-man rotation in the short-term, Hernandez has made two relief appearances since making 99 pitches in a start against the Nationals on May 4. Manager Ryne Sandberg seems to trust the right-hander out of the bullpen, as both of Hernandez's appearances have come in the ninth inning.
Hernandez tossed a scoreless ninth against the Reds on Friday with the Phillies trailing, 3-0. Clinging to a lead last Sunday in New York, Sandberg asked Hernandez to get out of a jam left behind by Antonio Bastardo.
"He's got his stuff right from the get go," Sandberg said of Hernandez, who is 2-1 with a 4.19 ERA in seven starts. "He gets to let it all hang out there for one inning and he's got a lot to offer. He gets some tough swings, but he's got good movement on his stuff all around the zone. So as far as coming out and throwing strikes, he's been very good at that."
Phillies management still prefers Hernandez to be in the rotation, and he's scheduled to start Friday against the Dodgers. The organization doesn't have many options to replace Hernandez as a starter. Jonathan Pettibone is on the disabled list in Triple-A due to a shoulder issue.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Pettibone was examined by team physician Michael G. Ciccotti and given a couple of options -- likely including surgery -- but is seeking a second opinion on Wednesday from Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.
Pettibone has a history of shoulder problems. He was on the disabled list for the final two months of last season and had a setback during Spring Training this year.
Hamels strikes out side in third on nine pitches
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has had his way with the Reds over his career.
Hamels improved to 9-0 with a 1.49 ERA in 12 career starts against Cincinnati, including a shutout in Game 3 of the 2010 National League Division Series. He allowed three hits, one run, two walks and struck out 10 in seven innings Saturday in a 12-1 victory over the Reds at Citizens Bank Park, the 100th win of his career.
Hamels struck out the side on nine pitches in the third inning: Zack Cosart, Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier. Five of the strikes were swinging, including all three third strikes.
"I didn't know until someone told me," Hamels said. "You're just trying to plug away, throw strikes and get through the inning. I know A.J. [Burnett] and I have done it [this season], so we might have to push so Cliff [Lee] might be able to do it someday."
"I know he's not off to a great start this year and he started on the DL, but he's back," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "That's what our scouting report said. He looks like the regular guy -- good velocity, both sides of the plate, all the accoutrements. He's got the cutter and the change and the curveball and the good fastball command. And he pitched a good game."
Asche moved up as Sandberg changes lineup
PHILADELPHIA -- Manager Ryne Sandberg tinkered once more with the Phillies lineup on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. And the changes paid off, as the Phils had 13 hits in a 12-1 victory over the Reds.
Sandberg kept Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz in the top two spots for the second consecutive game with Ben Revere sidelined with a stomach virus and carrying a .289 on-base percentage in the leadoff spot, which is 24th out of 26 hitters with 100 or more plate appearances in the top spot this season. Sandberg also moved up Cody Asche to sixth after hitting eighth in his previous 27 starts this season.
"I was impressed with [Asche's] at-bats last night," Sandberg said before the game. "Driving the ball, quality at-bats, nice aggressive swings. I want to try him in the sixth spot. I like the way he's going about things, working on things and applying it. Kind of a grind-it-out attitude."
After going 2-for-4 with three RBIs on Saturday, Asche is now hitting .318 (14-for-44) with five doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs in 13 games this month. He also has a .752 OPS for the season, which is higher than Ryan Howard (.750), Domonic Brown (.596) and Revere (.581).
Brown had hit sixth in 34 of his 36 starts this season, but he dropped to seventh. He responded on Saturday with just his second homer since last August and drove in a career-high five runs.
"A lineup creates scoring opportunities, then it comes down to execution and a big at-bat and a swing to drive in one run or maybe two or three," Sandberg said. "That's the one punch that we want to see. That's what we need to get us over the hump and get us going. There are multiple guys in the lineup that could be that guy. I don't think it's one person."
• Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins singled in the first inning for the 2,212th hit of his career. It moved him past Hall of Fame outfielder Ed Delahanty into sole possession of third place on the Phillies' all-time hits list. He is five shy of Richie Ashburn (2,217) for second place.
• Right-hander Ethan Martin, the Phillies No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday and optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Martin began the season on the DL after experiencing shoulder inflammation during Spring Training.