CINCINNATI -- Scott Schebler struck out in his first three at-bats on Wednesday night. But, Jay Bruce had a premonition for his corner outfield mate.
"He kept telling me the whole game that it was going to come down to me," Schebler said. "That's just how this game works. You struggle the whole game and it comes down to you."
Schebler's two-run double with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on a windy, rainy Wednesday evening at Great American Ball Park.
It was the Reds' second come-from-behind win in as many games against a struggling Phillies bullpen.
"We were slow to get started in the opener (on Monday) and tonight," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "It's not going to be like this all year. But, I think the guys believe we can come back. We have a nice offensive ballclub."
Cincinnati's rally wasted a two-run home run by Philadelphia's Maikel Franco and a solid start by Aaron Nola, who allowed one run through seven innings.
Coming off a bullpen implosion on Opening Day, the Phillies again got shaky relief work on Wednesday.
Right-hander David Hernandez, who took the loss on Monday after allowing three runs in a five-run Cincinnati eighth inning, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth in relief of Nola.
But, in his first audition for the open closer's role, right-hander Dalier Hinojosa (0-1) gave up three singles to load the bases with one out.
On a 2-2 pitch, Schebler, who was acquired in the three-team trade which sent popular third baseman Todd Frazier to the White Sox, ripped a double to left-center driving home the tying and winning runs.
Schebler was mobbed by his teammates near second base as dejected Phillies players sauntered past.
"They do (hurt) because we don't have a defined ninth-inning guy so we're searching for that," Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said. "We knew going in that we might lose some games not having a guy to close it out at the end."
Right-hander Blake Wood (1-0) earned the victory for Cincinnati.
Third baseman Eugenio Suarez hit a solo home run for the Reds, one of only four hits allowed by Nola.
Cincinnati starter Brandon Finnegan set a career high with six innings pitched and had a career-high nine strikeouts, the most for a Reds left-hander in two years.
Following Franco's homer, Finnegan, one of the key acquisitions in the trade which sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City last July, was able to forgo the fastball and rely more on his changeup and breaking pitches.
"At first they were kind of jumping on fastballs," Finnegan said. "I was able to establish the changeup in the second and third inning. It kind of threw them off guard I think."
Nola retired 11 straight before allowing a single by Zack Cozart in the sixth. He struck out eight and didn't walk a batter.
The Phillies were denied an insurance run when center fielder Billy Hamilton made a diving grab of pinch-hitter Cedric Hunter's sinking liner with a runner at second in the seventh. That missed scoring opportunity proved costly.
"These close ones are killing me already," Mackanin said. "It's a shame we wasted two good starts. We need to score more runs."
Wednesday's game was a pitcher's delight up until the ninth inning.
Finnegan struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches.
But following Odubel Herrera's two-out dribbler for an infield hit, Franco launched Finnegan's first offering into the right-field seats for a two-run home run, putting the Phillies ahead 2-0.
"He stayed in the game mentally and threw a lot of quality strikes," said Price of Finnegan's recovery.
The strong wind blowing out toward left field helped carry Suarez's deep drive into the seats for a second-inning solo homer, trimming Cincinnati's deficit to 2-1.
With the rain swiftly approaching from the west, both starters helped pick up the pace with Nola retiring 14 of 15 following Suarez's homer and Finnegan setting down 13 of 14 after Franco went deep.
Through five innings, Finnegan had seven strikeouts, tying a career high, and even collected his first career hit with a fifth-inning single. Nola had fanned six and retired nine straight in one stretch.
Conditions weren't ideal on Wednesday night with winds howling at around 24 miles per hour with steadily falling temperatures. But, Schebler's clutch hit sent Reds fans home to warmer environs.
"The first (inning) was cold, the second one was even colder," he said. "It wasn't the greatest. I had a lot of adrenaline running through my body so I didn't really feel it."
NOTES: Reds RHP Anthony DeSclafani threw a pain-free simulated game on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park and is on track to start Sunday. DeSclafani began the season on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. ... On Tuesday, the Phillies released RHP Ernesto Frieri after he posted an 11.57 ERA with nine earned runs allowed in seven innings during the spring. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips was scratched from Wednesday's lineup due to a stomach virus. ... The Phillies played the Reds without 1B Ryan Howard, C Carlos Ruiz, 2B Chase Utley and SS Jimmy Rollins in the lineup for the first time since Sept. 21, 2002.