By Hal McCoy
That was no video replay, that 1-0 Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds Friday night in Great American Ball Park..
That was live and a repeat, the second straight 1-0 win for the Brewers over the Reds, this one in front of a full house of 41,514.
The Brewers beat the Reds, 1-0, in Milwaukee in the last game before the All-Star break, a four-hitter started by former Reds lefthander Wade Miley.
The main culprit Friday was All-Star pitcher Corbin Burnes as the Brewers beat the Reds for the sixth time in eight games this season.
Corbin was even better than Miley. He force-fed the Reds with cutters and change-ups and pitched six scoreless two-hit innings, striking out 13.
Corbin faced the Reds in Milwaukee on July 7 and held them to two runns and three hits over six innings of a 7-3 win.
Those two harmless hits were singles by TJ Friedl and Will Benson and were the sum total of Cincinnati’s offense and the Reds struck out 18 times.
And Corbin nearly passed out on the mound with two outs in the fifth. After a pitch to Matt McLain, he crumpled to his knees. He stayed down for nearly seven minutes while the Brewers’ trainer gave him a full examination.
Amazingly, he stayed in the game and struck out the side in the sixth, his final inning.
With the win, the Brewers pulled into a tie for first place with the Reds, both at 50-42, with two games remaining in the series.
Cincinnati starter Graham Ashcraft kept in step with Burnes, minus the strikeouts.
He escaped minor problems in the first three innings, but escaped, holding, the Brewers to three hits through six innings.
But Willy Adames, who munches on Reds pitching like a ham sandwich, opened the seventh with a double over center fielder Friedl’s head. Owen Miller singled Adames to third.
Ashcraft was replaced by Lucas Sims and Victor Caratini blooped a shallow single to right, scoring Adames with the game’s only run.
The Reds reached second base only twice. McLain walked with one out in the second. Jake Fraley struck out. McLain took second on a wild pitch, but Elly De La Cruz struck out on three pitches on his way to a three-strikeout night.
Friedl singled with one out in the third. After McLain struck out, Fraley was hit by a pitch, putting runners on second and first. De La Cruz struck out again.
That started a dry spell during which 19 of the final 20 Reds went down, 12 via strikeouts.
The only hitter to reach base during that futile span was Benson with a one-out single in the fifth.
After Burnes burned the Reds, Elvis Peguero pitched a 1-2-3 seventh with a strikeout, Joel Payamps pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts and closer Devin Williams put the exclamation point on it in the ninth for his 21st save.
It was the same three relief pitchers, in the same order, that finished last Friday’s 1-0 game.
Fraley was batting third in a lineup, a switch that had Jonathan India dropped from third to fifth. Fraley led the ninth by working a 3-and-2 count, then struck out. De La Cruz flied to center. India, too, worked a full count and struck out, the Brewer’s 18 strikeout victim.
Ashcraft (4-7) gave up a one-out double in the first to Wlliam Contreras, but retired the next two. He walked the leadoff hitter in the second, but the Reds turned a double play.
He walked No. 9 hitter Joey Wiemer with one out in the third. He took second on a ground ball. Contreras singled to left and Wiemer tried to score.
Catcher Tyler Stephenson grew a beard waiting for Wiemer to arrive and he was out on left fielder Spencer Steer’s perfect peg, his first career outfield assist.
Ashcraft pitched a perfect fourth and fifth. He gave up a leadoff single to Wimer in the sixth and the Reds turned another double play.
Then came the decisive seventh as the Reds’ record in one-run games fell to 20-16. The Brewers are 16-7 in one-run affairs.