Board Topics: Losing over two legs would be hard for Martino
LOS ANGELES -- Brandon Phillips gets as much of a charge out of making a defensive gem to save a run as he does hitting a home run. Kevan Barlow Jersey . Wednesday night, he was able to do both in the same inning to help the Cincinnati Reds pin a frustrating loss on two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. Phillips and Homer Baileys seven effective innings led the Reds to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night. "Regardless of who was pitching, it feels good just to come through for the team and do something positive to get us going in the right direction," Phillips said. "We havent been really scoring that many runs and havent been getting many clutch hits. Kershaws one of the best pitchers in the game, but tonight we just hit some mistakes." Phillips, a four-time Gold Glove second baseman, robbed Andre Ethier of an RBI single when he made a diving stop of his grounder in the hole and threw him out after a leadoff double by Dee Gordon. Bailey escaped the inning unscathed by striking out Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez. "I feel like defence wins championships and offence sells tickets," Phillips said. "That defensive play I made really saved the game. Im surprised I got to that ball. I didnt really see it come off the bat really good." Bailey (5-3) allowed two runs and five hits while striking out six. The right-hander has won consecutive starts for the first time this season following his 5-3 victory over St. Louis last Friday. "It was good for me, especially with the April I had," Bailey said. "Obviously its not how I wanted to start the season. It took a little while to get my legs underneath me. I would have liked to put up a few more zeros, but doing it against Clayton -- and the fact that we scored three runs -- you just make sure you lock them down. It was a really big win. We needed that one. You dont ever want to get swept. I dont care where youre at or who youre playing." Ethier, who drove in a season-high four runs Tuesday night, was 0 for 3 against Bailey and is hitless in 21 career at-bats against him with seven strikeouts. "He was just moving the ball so well," Ethier said. "Hes one of those guys who can be wildly effective at times, and other times he can spot up a pitch and throw something in there at 93-94 -- then reach back for 96-97 -- and its moving all over the place. He can throw his other pitches for strikes, too, so its a tough combination. In the past, Ive seen a lot of cutters from him, and tonight I didnt see one. It was all two-seam fastballs and one breaking ball." Puig, who has reached base safely in 29 straight games, led off the Dodgers sixth with an opposite-field homer to right-centre that narrowed the gap to 3-2. But former Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton retired Puig and Ramirez on flyballs for the last two outs in the eighth after replacing Manny Parra with a runner at second, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save. Kershaw (3-2) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings and struck out nine. He retired 14 of his next 16 batters after Phillips homer. The left-hander, who led the majors in ERA in each of the previous three seasons, has a 3.57 mark through his first six starts this year. He missed all of April because of a strained muscle in his back, after beating Arizona March 22 during the Dodgers season-opening two-game trip to Australia. Matt Kemp, who hadnt started a game in left field since his rookie year, was back there Wednesday on the eighth anniversary of his major league debut. It was his eighth career start in left, and first since June 21, 2006. Todd Frazier doubled over Matt Kemps head leading off the sixth and scored on a wild pitch to give Cincinnati a 3-1 lead. Only one of the last 34 home runs Kershaw has given up has been with more than one man on base. That was a three-run shot by former Seattle catcher Miguel Olivo, who eventually joined the Dodgers in January as a free agent -- and was released last week after biting off a piece of Triple-A Albuquerque teammate Alex Guerreros left ear during a dugout brawl. NOTES: Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully was back in the Dodgers TV booth after missing two games because of a chest cold. ... Canadian-born OF Jamie Romak, promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque because of Crawfords injury, pinch-hit for Kershaw in the seventh and grounded out to second on the first pitch he saw in the major leagues. ... Dodgers RHP Brandon League retired both batters he faced. He hasnt allowed an earned run in a career-best 22 innings spanning his last 16 appearances. Trent Dilfer Jersey .C. Lions signed cornerback Dante Marsh to a contract extension on Friay and released receiver Paris Jackson. Junior Seau Jersey . -- Packers cornerback Tramon Williams has been fined $26,250 for contact with an official, per NFL guidelines.MANCHESTER, England -- As Champions League rallying cries go, Gerard Pique struck an unusually downbeat tone for a Barcelona player. Particularly when speaking in the stadium of Tuesdays opponent: Manchester City. "Maybe they dont fear us as before," Pique said on Monday, "because in the last two years we didnt win the Champions League." Uncertainty is seeping into the squad that was previously lauded as the greatest-ever, having won the Champions League three times since 2006. And it is showing as the round of 16 begins. Such pessimism, though, seems at odds with Barcas current outlook. The team is already through to the domestic cup final and top of the Spanish standings, albeit only on goal difference in a three-way tussle with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, while Lionel Messi has 10 goals in 10 games since returning from a two-month injury layoff. "We are a team with a lot of players who won the World Cup (with Spain), the Champions League, leagues," said Pique, a former defender at Citys rival, Manchester United. "We can still be the best, but we have to show the world we can do it. Tomorrow is a great chance." It is also a chance to shift the attention away from Barcas most damaging crisis in years. Club president Sandro Rosell abruptly quit last month as he fights a lawsuit alleging he misappropriated funds by hiding the real cost of the signing of Brazil striker Neymar with false contracts.. Larry Schreiber Jersey. The saga has taken some of the sheen of footballing perfection off a Catalan football institution that is owned by its members and prides itself as being "more than a club." "We know within the club maybe in the last six months there were some things that we could not control (as) the players," Pique said. "All we can do is tomorrow on the pitch show the world we can still be the best." Their opponents, seen by some pundits as a "Mini-Barcelona," are on a turbo-charged mission -- funded by Abu Dhabi -- to become a global force. Not only is Citys board room populated by former Camp Nou executives, but the team attempts to play with similar stylish, short-passing moves. "City is one of the greatest teams in the world right now," coach Gerardo Martino said through a translator. "They are very similar to us, maybe they are a bit more direct but they have good possession ... if we dont have the ball its just pointless to turn up." Perhaps, thats not what the visiting fans want to hear. Losing over two legs would be hard for Martino to take, given the four-time European champions are taking on a team in its first knockout phase, and is third in the Premier League. "For the last six seasons, Barcelona has made it to the semifinals and the fans are used to that," Martino said. "It would be difficult to understand that we didnt go through." ' ' '