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Brewers defeat Reds 3-2 despite dismal night with runners in scoring position

Frelick collects first homer to tie game in sixth, Yelich walks it off in ninth

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

The Brewers spoiled plenty of scoring opportunities Monday night, but they got away with it thanks to another strong night from Milwaukee’s pitching staff.

The game got off to a bang quickly, as Elly De La Cruz hit a fly ball to deep center field only for Joey Wiemer to reach above the wall and make the grab for the first out of the night.

After the strong defensive play, Milwaukee provided Colin Rea with some offensive support. Christian Yelich kicked off the bottom of the first with a walk before stealing second and scoring on an RBI single from William Contreras to make it 1-0.

The Brewers threatened again in the second, getting runners to second and third with just one out against Graham Ashcraft, but Ashcraft was able to strike out both Jahmai Jones and Wiemer to escape without allowing any more runs.

Cincinnati got on the board in the top of the third, as Tyler Stephenson reached on an infield single and De La Cruz homered, this time hitting it where Wiemer had no chance of catching it — 456 feet out of the park to right-center field, per Curt Hogg.

The Brewers had plenty more chances offensively against Ashcraft, getting runners at the corners in the third with one out and another runner at third with one out in the fourth. However, both opportunities came up short as Milwaukee remained behind 2-1.

Rea did his job on the mound, holding the Reds to just two runs on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts across six strong innings.

With Milwaukee’s struggles to drive runners in scoring position in, Frelick helped the offense with his first-career home run off Ashcraft in the bottom of the sixth, golfing a pitch into right field to tie it up at 2-2.

The Brewers had another chance to score after Frelick’s homer, as Andruw Monasterio walked, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Once again, the Brewers failed to score as Buck Farmer escaped the inning.

The script continued in the same fashion in the seventh, as Blake Perkins walked to start the inning and stole second, but was then stranded after consecutive flyouts by Wiemer, Yelich, and Contreras.

In the eighth, Frelick and Monasterio both reached via walks and advanced to second and third with one out thanks to another wild pitch. Owen Miller then hit a hard grounder to third base, which Spencer Steer threw home for an easy out on Frelick. With runners at the corners and two outs, Brice Turang hit a liner to right to allow the Reds to get out of the inning unscathed.

Despite all of the missed opportunities, the bullpen arms of Hoby Milner, Joel Payamps, and Devin Williams pitched a strong final three innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Reds brought on closer Alexis Diaz to try and send the game to extras. Instead, Diaz failed to retire a batter, allowing a walk to Perkins, a single to Jesse Winker, and a walk-off single to Yelich to send Milwaukee home with a 3-2 win.

The Brewers went just 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position, with both of the hits sandwiching 14 consecutive at-bats without a hit. The team also left 10 runners on base on the night.

Monasterio led the way offensively for the Crew, going 2-for-2 with a single, a double, and two walks, although he was stranded at third base all four times. Frelick, Yelich, Contreras, and Perkins each reached base at least twice as well, as the Brewers finished with seven hits and eight walks on the evening.

The Brewers will look to capitalize on the comeback win Tuesday night as Corbin Burnes takes the mound opposite Andrew Abbott. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.