By HAL McCOY
It is no surprise that the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers seemed to sleepwalk through a baseball game Thursday afternoon in Great American Ball Park.
Both teams had to be exhausted, mostly from running the bases in the first two games of the series when they combined to score 41 runs.
What a difference a day makes, 12 little hours.
After playing 10 innings Wednesday night, they came back little more than 12 hours later and played in slow motion.
This time the game went 11 innings before Lorenzo Cain led the 11th with a home run to provide the Brewers with a 2-1 victory.
And was it any surprise the game was decided on a Milwaukee home run? It was the 22nd straight game the Brewers have hit at least one home run in Great American Ball Park.
The victim was Austin Brice. Pitcher Robert Stephenson was placed on the disabled list before the game with shoulder inflammation and Brice was called up from Class AAA Louisville.
He entered the game in the 11th and the first pitch he threw to Cain landed in the left center field seats.
Cody Reed made his first start of the season and acquitted himself well, four shutout innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
He gave up back-to-back singles to Mike Moustakas and Hernan Perez. He nearly escaped, though, when he struck out Erik Kratz and pitcher Wade Miley.
He was one out away from escaping, but Cain beat an infield hit to shortstop to fill the bases.
That brought up Christian Yelich, the scary guy who was 6-for-6 and hit for the cycle Wednesday night during Milwaukee’s 13-12 victory in 10 innings. And he had hit two home runs in Tuesday’s opener, a 9-7 Reds victory.
Reed wanted no part of Yelich and walked him on four pitches to force in a run. And Reed’s day was done — 4 2/3 innings, one run, four hits, three walks, three strikeouts.
Meanwhile, the Reds were having difficulty against Miley, 4-and-0 for his career in GAPB. They broke through for a run in the seventh on Phillip Ervin’s single and Dilson Herrera’s double to tie it, 1-1. Miley pitched 7 1/3 innings and gave up one run, five hits, walked one and struck out six.
The Reds threatened in the eighth when Billy Hamilton poked a pinch-hit double with one out. But Scott Schebler grounded to the mound and Hamilton was caught trying to take third. From there the Reds had one base runner the rest of the way.
After Cain’s 11th-inning home run, Milwaukee brought in Josh Hader, the same guy who gave up four hits, a walk and three runs in two-thirds of an inning Wednesday night.
This time he went an easy one-two-three to end it, retiring Scooter Gennett on a first-pitch ground ball, a fly ball from Jose Peraza and a ground ball from Joey Votto.
Votto returned from the disabled list for his first game and went 0 for 5.
The game began without Billy Hamilton (sore from a home plate collision Wednesday), Eugenio Suarez (sore back) and Gennett (day of rest).
So the Brewers took two of three in the series, winning the last two in extra innings.
After the teams combined for 25 runs and 36 hits on Wednesday, they scored three runs Thursday and each team had six hits.