Just prior to the first pitch of the game, the Cincinnati announcers referred to the match-up between the Brewers and the Reds as a "must win game" for the Reds. While the Reds seem to have a firm grasp on the second wild card spot, they trail the Cardinals by 3.5 games for first place in the division. And, I guess if the Brewers can't win maybe the next best thing is to help the Reds overtake the Cardinals in the division.
After being held to just one run last night, the Reds jumped out to an early lead that they never relinquished, beating Milwaukee 7-3 on Saturday afternoon. Johnny Hellweg struggled a bit with his command (he hit three batters) and gave up two runs in the first inning and two in the second inning on a two-run home run by Shin-Soo Choo.
Things started to look as if they would get ugly early with the Reds up four and threatening again in the top of the fourth inning, but Hellweg turned things around and got through five innings without further damage. He gave up the four runs on eight hits and struck out one.
Meanwhile, the offense showed a little life in the fourth inning and cut the lead to 4-3. Scooter Gennett led off the inning with a single and scored on Kris Davis's double. Davis came around to score on a Carlos Gomez single and Gomez scored after he stole second and Yuni Betancourt and Jeff Bianchi hit sacrifice flies.
But that was all the closer the Brewers would get as the Reds pushed more runs across the plate in the sixth and eighth innings, while Milwaukee left the bases loaded in the eighth and two on base in the ninth. Two of the Reds runs scored on a towering shot by Joey Votto off of Michael Blazek that went an estimated 470 yards and smacked off the right field foul pole.
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