Gio Gonzalez was a stalwart for Milwaukee’s starting rotation for his first four starts after inking with the team late last month. He put the team in a hole to start tonight’s game, though, but in the end it was the offense — or lack thereof — that doomed the Brewers.
Nick Senzel got things started for the Cincinnati Reds by ripping Gio’s fourth pitch of the game off the wall in left-center for a leadoff triple. After a punchout against Joey Votto, a walk to Eugenio Suarez put runners on the corners. It didn’t stay that way for long, though, as a wild pitch to the next batter Phillip Ervin brought Senzel home for the game’s first run. Ervin would later double in the at-bat to score Suarez and extend the lead to 2-0. A single by Jose Iglesias put runners back on the corners, and then a fielder’s choice groundout by Kyle Farmer made it 3-0 Cincy.
That would end up being all the cushion that Reds’ pitching — led by Sonny Gray — would need. Gray stranded a pair of runners in the first, and then didn’t face much adversity again until the fourth. Ryan Braun and Yasmani Grandal both walked to start the frame, but Braun was thrown out trying to steal third base to change the tone of the inning, which ended with another ‘0’. Two more runners stranded in the fifth (which featured a pinch-hit single by Brandon Woodruff), and then another two in the sixth. The right-hander danced around traffic all night, but ended up navigating through six scoreless innings with five hits, four walks, and nine strikeouts.
Gonzalez settled in nicely after battling through the first and ended his day with four scoreless frames to cap off a five-inning, three-run outing. He walked three and punched out four while seeing his ERA rise to 2.39. It wasn’t a terrible start by any means, but it was the first losing decision that Gio has been saddled with in 10 starts with the Brewers. Freddy Peralta threw two clean innings with a pair of strikeouts as the first man out of the bullpen, and Adrian Houser finished things off by whiffing four while allowing one hit during the final two innings.
Unfortunately, Cincy’s ‘pen was just as stout. David Hernandez, Amir Garrett, and Raisel Iglesias each threw a scoreless inning with only one hit allowed between the three of them to secure the 3-0 victory.
The Queen City Nine improves to 22-26 and will send Luis Castillo to the mound for tomorrow afternoon’s series finale. The Cream City Nine falls to 28-22 and will counter with Zach Davies. Both pitchers have earned run averages below 2.00 entering play tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PM central.