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Eric Thames kills the Reds again, Brewers win 2-0

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There’s nothing hotter in April than Thames’ bat

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds should have learned a key lesson about playing the Milwaukee Brewers in April: DON’T pitch to Eric Thames. Fortunately, they keep throwing to him.

Thames was the team hero for the second day in a row after his two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning. In fact, the storyline for the game is more or less the same. Thames’ bomb to right field produced the only runs for the Brewers and the Brewers’ starter (or “initial out-getter”) combined with two bullpen pitchers for a shutout with one of the pitchers getting a two-inning save.

Zach Davies was the co-star of this afternoon’s victory. Davies went 6.1 innings, only allowing three hits and two walks while striking out two. His performance was arguably his best of the season, even with a lower than normal strikeout total. The last time the soft-throwing starter threw more than six shutout innings was August 26, 2017, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The defense — specifically from Jonathan Villar — wasn’t necessarily trying to help. Runners only advanced past second base twice this afternoon, both moving to third on Villar fielding errors. The first mess came in the fourth, when an error allowed Adam Duvall to advance to third. Duvall would be gunned down at home after the next batter hit a grounder to Travis Shaw. Then, Villar would bobble a ball allowing Billy Hamilton to reach and loading the bases. Dan Jennings would replace Davies and immediately get a double play to end the threat.

The fans were treated to some defensive theater in the outfield as well. Hernan Perez, Orlando Arcia and the returning Christian Yelich all converged on the same softly-hit fly ball to left-center field. Before the ball would drop, Perez would get a glove on it, the ball fell out of his glove and right into Yelich’s, for the traditional F 7-8.

Jacob Barnes came on to end the game. Like Josh Hader yesterday, Barnes ran through the Reds over two innings to record the save.

The Brewers stay in Milwaukee tomorrow for the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins. Chase Anderson (1-1, 2.82 ERA) will take the mound against Dillon Peters (2-1, 6.75 ERA). First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.

W: Zach Davies (1-2)
L: Tyler Mahle (1-3)
HR: Eric Thames (7)