CLEVELAND -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips has never hit an inside-the-park home run in his professional career, but he hoped a scoring decision from Monday will be changed to give him his first.
In the fifth inning of Cincinnati's 10-9 loss to the Indians, with a runner on second base, Phillips lined a ball down the left-field line. Left fielder Johnny Damon gave chase but stumbled into the wall as the ball rolled between his legs. That enabled Phillips to motor around the bases and score with a headfirst slide just ahead of a throw to the plate.
The play was ruled by the official scorer as an RBI double and an error on Damon. Phillips and his agent are appealing to have the decision reviewed by Major League Baseball.
"I saw the replay last night. Everybody said I should [appeal]," Phillips said on Tuesday. "Maybe they can turn it around. I thought it was a home run, especially how [the Cubs'] Tony Campana had a similar play. Hopefully they can change it. If we were in Cincinnati, it would be a home run. But we're in Cleveland. You know how that is. They won't give me [anything] at all. I've got to earn it here."
Campana was credited with an inside-the-park home run against the Reds in August of last season, when his ball bounced off the Wrigley wall and got past left fielder Yonder Alonso in similar fashion.
Phillips, who played for the Indians from 2002-05, felt that Damon could have waited for the ball to carom off of the wall near the foul line and then cut it off.
"Once you try to make that effort, crazy things happen," Phillips said. "Outfielders take a gamble when they dive for a ball coming in. That's how people get inside-the-park homers, when you take a gamble on something. I feel he took a gamble, so it should be a home run. He never touched the ball."