CINCINNATI — Brandon Phillips hit one of Cincinnati's three homers and drove in four more runs on Thursday afternoon, leading the ailing Reds to a 12-5 victory and their first three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians since 2008.
Joey Votto and Ryan Ludwick also homered for the Reds, who had a season-high 17 hits.
"What a series!" Ludwick said. "What a win!"
No surprise that Phillips played a starring role for the NL Central leaders. He went 8-for-13 with two homers and seven RBI against the team that gave up on him in 2006, raising his career average against Cleveland to .356.
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He also paid a price for a dust-up between Indians starter Derek Lowe and Reds manager Dusty Baker, getting hit in the arm by a pitch during a 5-3 win on Wednesday night. Phillips wasn't aware of why Lowe hit him.
"To be honest, I don't even know what he said," Phillips said. "We won. We're in first place, that's all I care about. We're too busy winning."
Mike Leake went 41⁄3 innings before having to leave the game, still feeling the effects of a stomach virus that swept through the clubhouse at the start of the series. Jose Arredondo (4-1) pitched out of a threat in the fifth.
Votto hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Josh Tomlin (3-4), who had been 4-0 in five career interleague starts. Cleveland's Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 21 games, longest in the majors this season.
Other than that, there wasn't much good for the Indians during the visit to the Ohio River city.
"Not the way you wanted to finish a road trip," Manager Manny Acta said. "You've got to give them credit. They beat us on both sides of the ball. Their starters pretty much held our offense down, and they out-hit us, too."
Phillips was upset at his treatment in Cleveland before he was traded to Cincinnati. He has mellowed over the years, but got a lot of enjoyment out of beating his former team.
"Deep down, it feels good to beat up on the Tribe," Phillips said.