WP: Gio Gonzalez (9-11, 2-0 Mil); LP: Matt Harvey (7-9); Save: none; Homeruns: Cin - none; Mil - Jesus Aguilar (33), Manny Pina (9)
Yay Wins! Box Score!
The Milwaukee Brewers (87-66) rode the left arm of late August acquisition Gio Gonzalez and two three run homers to a 7-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds (65-88). The win moves the Brewers to a three game lead over the Cardinals, 7-3 losers to the Braves for the first Wild Card spot. The Colorado Rockies are now four behind Milwaukee with nine Brewer games remaining, pending the Rox outcome tonight vs the Dodgers.
Milwaukee jumped on top 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Jesus Aguilar got his 100th RBI of the season on an infield single. The hit scored Christian Yelich, who had doubled into left center and taken third on a passed ball.
A now relaxed Zeus added three more RBIs on a homerun in the bottom of the third. Gonzalez led off the inning with a walk, and a one out infield hit by Yelich when his infield chop was fielded by Reds starter Matt Harvey but nobody covered first. Harvey probably had a play on Gio at second but turned to throw to first for the sure out. He wisely chose not to throw it. He probably should have chosen to throw something different to Aguilar, who rudely interrupted a booth interview with GM David Stearns:
That made it four zip Milwaukee after three.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez was keeping the Reds off balance with his three pitch rotation. He started the game using his fastball, which seemed to catch the Reds by surprise, and then mixed in his curve and (especially) his change-up to shut out Cincy over six innings on just two hits, two walks, and with five strikeouts.
Three Brewer relievers combined to finish the shutout. Corey Knebel allowed a walk in the seventh, but had a strikeout and a double play grounder to only face three. Junior Guerra worked a 1-2-3 eighth with a K, and Freddy Peralta made his first appearance since a start against the Reds Aug. 29th in the ninth. He had a walk allowed and two fans, and touched 96 mph on the fastball, well above his cruising rate as a starter.
Milwaukee put the game away in the bottom of the sixth. With one down, Domingo Santana blooped one into right center that Billy Hamilton veered away from at the last minute, rather than run into rightfielder Scott Schebler (probably a wise decision). The ball bounced past Schebler and Sunday had a triple. The Reds intentionally walked Mike Moustakas to go for a double play from Manny Pina, who would have had two DPs if there had been a runner on first for his two groundballs to short in his first two at bats. Not this time, though.
Manny worked through twelve pitches before he took pitch thirteen out to left for a three run blast, and a 7-0 Brewer lead.
The Cubs trail the D’Backs in the fifth, 4-0, so I can dream of a day that erases yesterday’s results.
After a day off Thursday, the Brewers go to Pittsburgh to try and figure out how to score runs off of the Pirates during a three game set. Jhoulys Chacin (14-8, 3.54) certainly hopes for some offense as he looks to end a three game losing skid. Ivan Nova (9-9, 4.07) stifled Milwaukee last weekend, and looks for a repeat performance Friday night.
- Orlando Arcia started the game with a nice running catch. He sprinted from behind second base to the railing down the leftfield line for Scherber’s foul pop, and earned himself a hug from an appreciative fan. His nifty short-hop pick of a Joey Votto liner was also fun to watch.
- The Brewers have shut out the Reds five times this season, and that is the first time a team has done that since 1960 (Pittsburgh).
- Yeli ends the day at .319; Scoots is at .317. Zeus trails Baez by four for the RBI lead.
- Santana’s last start in a game for Milwaukee was June 12th. His triple gives him five extra base hits since his recall.