McCoy: Reds Finally Score Runs, But Still Lose to Brewers

By Hal McCoy
Contributing Writer

The Cincinnati Reds’ elusive pursuit of runs ended Sunday afternoon in Great American Ball Park, but their even more elusive pursuit of wins against the Milwaukee Brewers remains unfulfilled.

After getting shut out three straight times by Milwaukee, the Reds scored three times Sunday. Not enough. The Brewers scored four and completed a three-game sweep, 4-3.

With their eighth win against the Reds in 10 games this season, the Brewers grabbed a two-game lead in the National League Central. And they’ve won 12 of the last 14 played in Great American Ball Park.

The Reds led, 3-2, entering the eighth inning, but a defensive lapse enabled the Brewers to score the two runs they needed.

Lucas Sims walked Willy Adames on a full count to open the eighth and he took third on Jesse Winker’s single.

Owen Miller flied to center and Adames tagged and scored to tie it. Center fielder TJ Friedl overthrew the cutoff man, enabling pinch-runner Tyrone Taylor to tag at first and take second, putting him in scoring posiition.

And he scored what proved to be the winning run on Andruw Monaserio’s shalllow single to right.

The Reds entered the game on a 27-inning scoreless streak and it was stretched to 28 before it concluded.

Jonathan India (2 for 24) opened the second with a single. Joey Votto (0 for 10) ripped a first-pitch double to left center, scoring India for a 1-0 lead.

Votto, though, was stranded at third base when Spencer Steer (0 for 21) was called out on a dubious pitch.

Both teams were disturbed by umpire Edwin Jimenez’s wide strike zone and when Steer was called out Reds manager David Bell expressed disagreement.

He was immediately ejected and went berserk, acting as if he wanted to bite his initials into Jimenez’s forearm. He had to be restrained by coach Freddie Benavides.

Christian Yelich tied it with one out in the third by unraveling the stitches and knocking the ball lop-sided with a 439-foot home run into the upper precincts of the right field stands against Reds’ starter Ben Lively.

The Reds barged back in front, 3-1, in the third when Matt McLain (2 for 12) singled en route to a three-hit game and Jake Fraley (1 for 9) propelled a two-run homer against Milwaukee starter  Adrian Doogy Houser, giving the Reds a 3-1 lead.

Lively pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning, but was forced to leave with left lat tightness. For his four innings, he gave up one run, three hits, walked none and struck out three.

Thus began Cincinnati’s daily procession and parade of relief pitchers. Interim manager Benavides used six to complete the game.

In the third inning, third baseman Elly De La Cruz continued to turn the unbelievable into the believable. Milwaukee’s Joey Wiemer hit a grounder to De La Cruz. His throw to first was clocked at 97.9 miles per hour, the speediest throw by an infielder on an assist since StatCast began recording such things in 2015.

Can he pitch?

After Fraley’s home run, the Reds reverted to their no-hit zone as 11 straight went down.

Over the last six innings, after Fraley’s home run, the Reds produced a walk and two singles against Houser and three Brewers relief pitchers.

After the Brewers took the lead for the first time in the eighth, closer Devin Willliiams arrived for the fourth straight game against the Reds and did the same thing for the fourth straight time.

He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth on nine pitches, ending it with a strikeout of Nick Senzel on a full count.

Williams recorded four saves in the last four games — four perfect innings. . .no runs, no hits, no walks, seven strikeouts.

The Reds placed six runners in scoring position, but were 0 for 6 and stranded six. After getting only seven hits total in their previous three losses, the Reds poked seven Sunday, but not enough at the right time.

In addition to winnng 12 of the last 14 in GABP, the Brewers have won 35 of their last 49 on Cincinnati’s home grounds.

While winning three of the last four against the Reds by one run, the Brewers are 18-7 this season in one-run affairs while the Reds are 20-18.

And there is no rest for the Reds. They begin a four-game series Monday night in GABP against the San Francisco Giants, winners in six of their last seven.


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