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Brewers hold off Reds 7-6

Back in first!

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds
More great Jeremy Jeffress relief pitching
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Chase Anderson (3-2); LP: Homer Bailey (0-4); Jeremy Jeffress (1); Save: Homeruns: Mil - Travis Shaw (6); Jesus Aguilar (2); Hernan Perez (3); Cin - Eugenio Suarez (3); Alex Blandino (1)

A Box Score for Y’all

The Milwaukee Brewers (18-13) won their second game in a row at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati over the Reds (7-23), 7-6, and I’m not exactly sure how. Milwaukee pitchers allowed six runs (five earned) on eleven hits and six walks. The Brewers had nine hits and just two walks, but scored seven. Both of the Brewers that walked scored, and only one of the Reds’ walkees scored. Another major difference was (surprise!) that the Crew out-homered the Reds, but only by one (3-2).

Chase Anderson didn’t have it tonight. To be fair, the Brewers’ pitching staff didn’t have it tonight. Except for Jeremy Jeffress, who Houdini’d out of another jam and finished the game for his first save of the year...but not his first jam escapement.

Anderson worked into the sixth and threw 90 pitches, allowed three first inning runs, walked four and gave up six hits, finishing up with four runs allowed.

The Brewers gave Chase a three run lead in the top of the first. Christian Yelich lined a one out single to right and took second on Ryan Braun’s groundout. Travis Shaw drilled a no-doubt homer off of Bailey well up into the right-field bleachers, and Jesus Aguilar crushed a curve ball off of the second level facade in left center for the third run on back to back jacks.

It looked like we might be in for a slo-pitch softball game when the Reds struck back for three in the bottom of the first. A single and stolen base set up Joey Votto for an RBI single, and one out later Eugenio Suarez went deep to left to tie things up at three.

Anderson allowed a single and walk in the second and two singles in the third, but no runs. Bailey settled down for the Reds and gave up only a single over the next three innings, and Chase finally had a perfect inning in the bottom of the fourth. Milwaukee finally took out Bailey in the top of the fifth.

With two down, Orlando Arcia (single) was on second and Christian Yelich (walk) on first, Ryan Braun lined a two-run double down the right field line to give the Brewers a 5-3 lead that they would never relinquish. It got hairy, but the Reds couldn’t quite climb all of the way back.

A one-out walk by Manny Pina and triple into the right-center gap by Jonathan Villar built the lead to 6-3 in the top of the sixth.

Outs on the bases helped Anderson escape his next two innings with just one run scoring for Cincy. Adam Duvall walked leading off the bottom of the fifth inning, and Suarez drew a two out pass to put runners at first and second. After a mound visit, Anderson picked off Duvall at second to end the inning. Well, sort of. He was called out, and the call was upheld on review despite pretty darn incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. In the sixth, Anderson issued another walk and after a flyball out, Matt Albers took over. Scooter Gennett’s slow tapper moved the runner to second with two down, and Billy Hamilton’s single to center cut the lead to 6-4. Pina nabbed Hamilton at second trying to steal to end that inning.

Milwaukee bumped the lead back up to three in the top of the seventh when Hernan Perez (who had entered the game on a double switch along with Albers in the bottom of the sixth) golfed a fastball on a line into the first row of the left field seats. 7-4 Brewers.

Albers continued to struggle in the bottom of the seventh. A hit and a walk put runners on first and second with one down, and an Arcia error loaded the bases. Suarez drove in another run with a sac fly, and walking machine Tyler Barnhart (five walks in two games) drew a free pass to re-load the sacks. Another magic visit by pitching coach Derek Johnson got Albers to get the third out on a shallow fly to center. 7-5 Brewers.

Jacob Barnes had the bottom of the eighth and just didn’t have it. A homer and two singles surrounded a flyball out, and with Joey Votto coming up Craig Counsell went with Jeffress in a one run game with first and third, one out. He caught Votto looking on a come-back fastball over the inside corner, and with the tying run on third Scott Shebbler topped a slow roller that bounced over Jeffress as he ran towards first; Braun bare-handed the ball and his throw to Jeffress on the bag ended the inning with Milwaukee up 7-6. Jeffress then put up a 1-2-3 ninth to end the ballgame, with the final out coming on a very good play from Arcia on a slow roller from Devin Meseraco.

Milwaukee is now tied for first with the Cubs, and the Cards and Pirates trail by a half game. The final game of the three game set with Cincinnati is tomorrow night, and lefty veteran Wade Miley makes his Brewer debut against the Reds’ Luis Castillo (1-3, 7.85).