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Another Sunday Santana homer powers Brewers to 7-4 win over Reds

Neil Walker collects two hits in his Brewers debut, but it’s a three-run Domingo Santana bomb that’s the difference

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

WP: Matt Garza (6-6)
LP: Sal Romano (2-5)
SV: Corey Knebel (22)
HR: CIN - Adam Duvall (27); MIL - Domingo Santana (19)

When the Brewers have needed to break out of a slump or rebound from a tough series this year, the Cincinnati Reds have always been there to help.

That was the case again this weekend, with the Brewers once again beating the Reds -- and taking the series -- with a 7-4 win Sunday.

The offense got going early, scoring 3 runs in the first inning off Reds rookie Sal Romano. Jonathan Villar, who's quietly been having a good month of August with a .292/.320/.458 line in 10 games before today, worked a leadoff walk (with some help from the umpire). After Eric Thames struck out looking while very nearly making it two straight walks to start the inning, Ryan Braun hit a screamer off the left field wall that somehow didn't break the out-of-town scoreboard. The ball ricocheted far enough away from Adam Duvall in left field to allow Villar to score from first, giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

Former Brewer Killer and New Brewer Neil Walker followed with a hit in RISP in his first AB with the team, singling to right field, where Jesse Winker proceeded to overrun the ball, allowing Braun to score and moving Walker up to second.

It was a tough inning for Winker, who followed that up by not chasing down a slicing flyball to right by Manny Pina, resulting in a ground-rule RBI double to make the score 3-0.

Matt Garza came into today looking to rebound from his worst start of the year, an 8-run, 4-homer clunker in the mess that was the Minnesota series. He started the afternoon with three shutout innings before Adam Duvall took him deep for a 2-run homer to right to cut the lead to 3-2. After getting Scooter Gennett to fly out, Garza walked Eugenio Suarez and then hit Jose Peraza on an 0-2 pitch but was able to escape the 4th inning without further damage.

In the bottom half of the inning, Eric Sogard lined a one-out triple into the right field corner and Hernan Perez followed by squeeze-bunting a pitch headed for his face to get a run back and give the Brewers a 4-2 lead.

Talk about self preservation.

The Brewers would get another RISP in the bottom of the 5th, when Villar led off the inning with a double down the left field line. The play was reviewed after Scooter Gennett thought Villar's feet left the base while a tag was applied, but it ultimately stood as called. Romano followed by grazing Thames' elbow guard on a pitch inside, but got Braun to strike out and Walker to ground out to second to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd. However, Romano wouldn't get out of the inning before giving up a three-run opposite field bomb to Domingo Santana to push the Brewer lead to 7-2. It’s only fitting that of Domingo’s 19 home runs, 7 have come on Sundays.

Garza again found himself in trouble in the top of the 6th, issuing a leadoff walk to Gennett and a single by Peraza to put runners on the corners with one out. A wild pitch allowed Gennett to score, and Peraza moved up to third on the following throwing error by Manny Pina. Tucker Barnhart followed with an RBI single to center, shrinking the Brewer lead to 7-4. Garza was pulled in favor for Jeremy Jeffress after that, leaving after allowing 4 runs in 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits and 5 walks. Jeffress got the remaining two outs to end the inning.

Jacob Barnes came on for the 7th inning and gave up a leadoff single to Winker, but got Joey Votto to ground into a double play in an otherwise stress-free inning. Craig Counsell elected to send Barnes out again for the 8th and proceeded to strike out the side, working around a one-out double from Suarez.

The bottom of the 8th saw a scary moment when Robert Stephenson came up and in on Pina, hitting him near the right elbow, narrowly missing his head. After a brief exam by trainers, Pina stayed in the game.

Corey Knebel came on for the save in the 9th inning, despite working 2 innings the night before and being presumably unavailable. Knebel struck out Patrick Kivlehan and got Billy Hamilton to pop out before Winker dropped a two-out single into left field. Votto gave the Brewers a scare by hitting one to the warning track, but Braun had just enough room to make the catch and end the game.

In the scoreboard watching department, the Cardinals lost 6-3 to Atlanta to fall into a second-place tie with the Brewers, while the Cubs got out to an early lead against the Diamondbacks.

The Brewers have off tomorrow before facing the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday and Wednesday.