MVP: Felipe Lopez (+.194)
All told, that was a lot closer to a victory than I expected tonight, but still a loss.
On the mound, Jeff Suppan picked right back up where he left off. After missing nearly a month with a strained oblique, Suppan returned to the rotation tonight and lasted just 4.1 innings, retiring 13 batters and allowing 14 baserunners and four earned runs. As bad as it was, it could have been much, much worse: Suppan had a runner in scoring position with no one out in each of his first four innings of work. He threw 90 pitches, 50 of them strikes and remains winless since June 12.
The Brewer bats, meanwhile, waited until the last moment to wake up. Bronson Arroyo held the Crew to one run on six hits in seven innings, and struck out four. Felipe Lopez hit a solo home run to provide the team's only offense against him. Counting tonight's outing, Arroyo has now posted a 1.89 ERA in five August starts.
The Brewers came back to life in the ninth, as Frank Catalanotto reached on an error with one out, Jason Kendall drove him home on a double and Mike Rivera drew a pinch hit walk, before Dusty Baker brought in Arthur Rhodes to face Felipe Lopez, who reached on an infield single to load the bases. Craig Counsell drew a bases loaded walk to bring up Ryan Braun, who hit a two-run single to bring the Brewers within one. Prince Fielder hit a single through the left side to load the bases again, Casey McGehee drove home the tying run with a single, but Braun was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a would-be sac fly from Mike Cameron, sending the game to extra innings.
Lopez left the game after the ninth inning with what appears to be a reaggravation of his previous hamstring injury. The ensuing double switch left the Brewers out of position players, which would later force Todd Coffey to be left in to hit for himself.
After Trevor Hoffman pitched a scoreless tenth, Todd Coffey shut down the Reds offense in the 11th and 12th innings before allowing home runs to Joey Votto and Laynce Nix (his second of the game) while trying to close out a third inning. Daniel Ray Herrera retired Kendall, Alcides Escobar and Yovani Gallardo (pinch hitting) in order in the bottom of the 13th to end the game.