WP: Jimmy Nelson (6-4); LP: Homer Bailey (0-2); Save: no, Jorge Lopez didn’t get one; Home runs: (deep breath) Mil - Ryan Braun (9), Manny Pina (6), Jonathan Villar 2 (7,8), Jesus Aguilar (7), Domingo Santana (13); Cinc - Joey Votto 2 (22,23)
After the tension of the last couple of games, the Milwaukee Brewers ran away and hid from the Cincinnati Reds tonight, winning 11-3.
The Brewers jumped on Reds starter Homer Bailey early and often, scoring six times in Bailey’s three innings of work. Ryan Braun’s homer with two down in the first put the Brewers on the board (Braunie’s second in as many days), and the Reds were never in it after that.
A one-out home run by Manny Pina in the second made it two zip, and the (nonexistent) roof fell in on Bailey in the third. Jonathan Villar, back in the lead-off spot tonight, hit the Brewers third homer in as many innings heading up the frame, and then Domingo Santana paid for the three long balls with a HBP on his wrist. Braun flew out and Travis Shaw fanned, but Jesus Aguilar doubled in Santana on a drive to right. The Reds protested that the ball had been wedged underneath the padding in right, but the call stood. Reds manager Bryan Price got himself tossed for arguing the replay decision, probably because he could see the writing on the wall for this one.
Hernan Perez made the point moot with a single up the middle. Eddie Sedar windmilled Aguilar home and Billy Hamilton’s throw beat Jesus home by ten feet, but Reds catcher Devin Mesaraco couldn’t handle the short-hop throw and Aguilar was safe with the third run of the inning, Perez taking second. Hernan stole third and scored on Pina’s single and the Brewers were up 6-0 into the bottom of the third. That ended Bailey’s night, and leaves his season ERA at 27.00
Meanwhile, Jimmy Nelson mowed the Reds down through three with only one base runner, a first inning walk to Joey Votto.
Cincinnati rookie (and former Brewer farmhand) Kevin Shackelford made his major league debut in the top of the fourth, and Jonathan Villar christened his career with a lead off homer. After striking out Santana, Shackelford gave up back to back singles to Braun and Shaw, and Aguilar homered to center to up the lead to 10-0. Shackelford settled down to retire seven straight before a two out walk to Shaw and a single to Aguilar ended his night in the fifth.
Milwaukee’s final run came in the top of the eighth when Santana led off the inning with a homer to deep center. That was six on the night for the Brewers, and it was a most welcome barrage.
Nelson continued to stymie all of the Reds except Joey Votto. Joey homered in the bottom of the fourth to break up the no-hitter and shutout, and then Jimmy retired eight more in a row before Votto went yard again leading off the seventh. Adam Duvall became the only other Red to reach base off of Nelson, doubling off the wall down the leftfield line. Nelson retired the next three to escape further damage, and left with an 11-2 advantage. His final line included seven innings, three hits, two earned runs, a walk, and a (tied) career high of eleven strikeouts. Jimmy Nelson has become the Brewers’ stopper.
Jorge Lopez, making his season debut, mopped up the final two innings for Milwaukee, albeit a bit sloppily. He was greeted by three consecutive singles, but induced a double play grounder from Scooter Gennett that scored Cincy’s final run, and worked the rest of the way with no further run damage. His two innings included four hits and a walk, with the one run and no strikeouts.
After the flight home tonight, the Brewers welcome the Miami Marlins to Miller Park tomorrow night. The Brewers (42-39) finish the first half a game up on the Cubs, who tipped the Nationals 5-4 with a ninth inning rally this afternoon. The Fish (35-42) will send Edison Volquez (4-8, 4.15) out to face Matt (3-4, 4.43) for Milwaukee.
The Atlanta Braves DFA’d Bartolo Colon today. Colon was the closest thing to me playing professional baseball, so I’m probably going to have to give up my hopes for a call to come pitch somewhere. It would have to be the AL, if someone did call. I can’t hit a lick. Of course, I can’t pitch a lick either.