WP: Corey Knebel (1-2); LP: Tim Adelman (5-10); Save: none; Homeruns: Cinc - Adam Duvall (26), Patrick Kivlehan (8), Zack Cozart (16); Mil - Travis Shaw (25), Ryan Braun (13), Eric Thames (27)
The two last place teams in the NL Central put on a good baseball game tonight at Miller Park, as each team hit three homers, there was some good relief pitching from both sides (and some bad starting pitching from both sides), extra innings, and a walk-off - or wild pitch off - win for the Brewers, 6-5 over the Reds.
Cincinnati scored first on a two run homer by Adam Duvall in the top of inning number one off of Brewers’ starter Brent Suter. Suter walked three in the frame, and one of them scored.
Milwaukee answered with a lead-off double by Jonathan Villar, a one out walk to Ryan Braun, and a three run homerun by Travis Shaw off of Reds starter Scott Feldman, putting the Brewers up 3-2.
Suter settled down for the next two innings, and the Brewers continued to put runners on base, but couldn’t increase their lead. A two out single by Suter in the second led to nothing, and a two out single from Domingo Santana saw Duvall throw out Eric Thames for the third out at the plate.
Patrick Kivlehan lined a two out, two run homer down the leftfield line and off the foul poll to move the Reds back in front in the top of the fourth, and Zack Cozart hit one out to right center for a 5-3 lead in the top of the fifth, Suter’s last inning.
In between those homers Milwaukee wasted a good chance in the bottom of the fourth. Orlando Arcia and Keon Broxton started the inning with singles, but Andrew Susac struck out for the second time (he would end up with three before coming out in a double switch after the fifth), and after a sacrifice bunt from Suter Villar took a called strike three.
The bottom of the fifth saw Ryan Braun continue his hot hitting with his thirteenth homer to pull within 5-4, but the Brewers once again couldn’t get that big hit. With two down Santana walked, Arcia singled, and Broxton was hit by a pitch to load the bases. But Susac gathered that third strikeout. The night was done for Susac and Suter, and the new battery of Josh Hader and Manny Pina took over.
Hader worked the sixth through the eighth innings, allowing no runs on one hit, two walks, and five strikeouts in his three innings. The one hit was a one out double in the eighth by Eugenio Suarez that just missed clearing the fence in right center.
Milwaukee tied things up in the bottom of the sixth on Eric Thames’ homer to left off of Kevin Shackleford.
The Brewers had the better of the scoring chances from then on, leaving one on in the eighth and two on in the ninth, while the Reds had a one out single in the tenth for the only runner against Corey Knebel. Knebel worked two innings for the win, walking none and striking out three. Two of the strikeouts were perhaps the most bizarre of the season, especially taken as a duo. Kivlehan, leading off the ninth, and Duvall, hitting with one down and one on in the tenth, were both called out on foul tips that they claimed hit their hands. Both plays went to review, and both players were called out. The Reds, believe it or not, were not pleased. Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco was tossed from the bench on the second review, but he wasn’t just upset with those calls - he was very upset with a ball call by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild on a borderline pitch in the bottom of the ninth. The pitch was close, but wasn’t close to being the worst call of the night by Fairchild - for both teams.
That set the stage for Milwaukee’s winning tenth. Facing (usually starter) Tim Adelman, Broxton led off with a flyout to left, but Eric Sogard nearly ended things with a drive off of the left-centerfield wall for a one out double. Manny Pina flew to right on a ball that Sogard probably should have tagged up on, but it mattered not. Adelman got ahead of Jesus Aguilar (the Brewers’ last bench player) 0-2 before walking him, and then walked Thames on four pitches to load ‘em up. The crowd was pumped for a game winning hit from Ryan Braun, but he fell behind 0-2 and we prepared ourselves for more disappointment, and an eleventh inning.
But fortunately, Sogard prepared for a slider in the dirt, and that’s exactly what Adleman threw. It didn’t bounce all that far away, but Soda Boy, with a great jump, easily beat Adelman to the plate. Nerd Power!
The Brewers broke their six game skid, and finally got that elusive 60th win of the season to go with 59 losses. The Cardinals won, and the Cubs and Pirates both lost, leaving the Cards and Cubs tied for first with Milwaukee two back and the Pirates three back. Tomorrow afternoon’s game will see the Reds (49-68) send Sal Romano (2-4, 5.35) out to face Matt Garza (5-6, 4.34) for the Brewers. My assumption is that we will see more offense in the rubber game of the three game set.