The Phillies experienced a painful flashback to 2012 on Friday night when they blew an eighth-inning lead. They did that 13 times last year and it led the team to sign setup man Mike Adams in December.

Adams was supposed to fix the eighth inning, but he couldn’t fix it on this night as he was sidelined for the fourth straight game with a back strain (see story). With Adams down, Antonio Bastardo was called on to protect a one-run lead in the eighth inning. He failed to the tune of 420 feet –- the distance of Joey Votto’s game-tying home run. While Votto’s blast quieted Citizens Bank Park in a hurry, it did not totally take the life out of the ballpark. The Phillies’ offense, led by the quitless Michael Young, put together a nice rally in the bottom of the inning to pull off a 5-3 win over a Cincinnati Reds club that had won six games in a row (see Instant Replay).

The Phillies have won six of their last 10 games to pull within two games of .500 at 20-22.

“We’re taking positive steps in the right direction,” Young said after the game. “We still think our best baseball is ahead of us.”

Young walked three times, drove in a run with a two-out triple in the fifth inning, and scored the tie-breaking run in the bottom of the eighth. He had reached base on a 10-pitch walk against lefty Sean Marshall. Ryan Howard, mired in a 2-for-29 slump at the time, then reached base on a check-swing single up the third base line.

Young described Howard’s hit as “a well-placed lawn dart.”

“That’s how we drew it up in the dirt,” Howard said with a laugh. The man who loses a lot of hits because of the right-side shift added, “You take ‘em all. You don’t frown on them.”

“That’s how you beat the shift,” manager Charlie Manuel said.

Howard’s hit ended Marshall’s night. Reds skipper Dusty Baker went to Jonathan Broxton, who has not fared well in Philadelphia, dating to his days as the Dodgers’ closer. Broxton hit Delmon Young to load the bases. Domonic Brown then hit a ground ball up the middle that went for a fielder’s choice –- the Reds couldn’t get an out -- and pushed home Young with the go-ahead run. Howard then scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield. He suffered a small cut on his left hand diving into home, but was willing to take it for the win.