CINCINNATI - The Reds expected a lot from Luis Castillo coming out of spring training and they're finally getting it.
The 25-year-old right-hander pitched his first scoreless outing of the year Sunday, holding the Phillies to four hits in seven innings while striking out nine, and the Reds wrapped up their long homestand with a third consecutive win, 4-0.
"We got what we needed and then some," interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "That's a very good lineup he's facing over there. To throw zeroes up there for seven innings is impressive. It was really nice to get that start. We had a fairly fresh bullpen and could have covered it. It was good to show Castillo that he could do it."
Castillo (6-8) has been on a roll even though he had not picked up a win since June 22. The righty has a 2.25 ERA over his last five starts, dropping his overall ERA to 4.98
"I've been working on my arm angle with the pitching coach," Castillo said through interpreter Julio Morillo. "I was working on it and focused on it today. With my old arm angle, I felt my wrist was staying behind. I feel my arm is quicker with this arm angle."
Castillo retired 14 of his last 15 batters, and the only baserunner in that span was eliminated on a double play.
Scooter Gennett hit a two-run homer and Phillip Ervin and Curt Casali each had an RBI and run for the Reds, who won a four-game series against the Phillies for the first time in nearly 21 years.
The Phillies, who lead the National League East Division, have lost three straight games for the first time since June 24-26. They opened the series with a 9-4 win on Thursday before scoring just six runs over the next three games.
"You have to give some credit to a good, young, hungry baseball team and the job Jim Riggleman is doing," Philadelphia manager Game Kapler said about the Reds.
The Reds, the Central Division cellar-dwellers, finished their season-high 10-game homestand 5-5 after starting 1-4.
The Reds bullpen completed the shutout with two scoreless innings. David Hernandez allowed a hit with three strikeouts in the eighth. The Phillies loaded the bases in the ninth with two bloop hits off Wandy Peralta and a single off Raisel Iglesias before Iglesius struck out Scott Kingery and Andrew Knapp for his 21st save, finishing Cincinnati's third shutout win.
Philadelphia has lost Zach Eflin's last three starts after winning six straight. In his second start since coming off the disabled list with a right middle finger blister, Eflin (7-3) allowed seven hits and four runs with one walk and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
"I didn't do my job today," Eflin said. "I had good stuff. I think I was one or two pitches from going deep into the game with just one run. I had a really good fastball. I could've throw more curves and changeups. I've got to do a better job sequencing.'
THIS ONE COUNTS
Gennett's homer was his first since his ninth-inning, two-run shot sent the All-Star Game to a 10th inning on July 17.
Gennett's homer was the sixth allowed by Eflin in four July starts after giving up none in five June outings and four over five May appearances.
The Phillies needed Cesar Hernandez's pinch-hit double in the eighth to extend their streak of consecutive games with an extra-base hit to 101, tying the 2000 team for the second-longest in franchise history.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (12-3) is scheduled to make his first career appearance at Fenway Park and against the Red Sox on Monday.
Reds: After a day off, RHP Homer Bailey (1-7) is due to make his second start since coming off the disabled list on Tuesday at Detroit's Comerica Park.