Brewers sweep Reds
It took an eighth inning rally, but the Brewers defeated the Cincinnati Reds and completed their second consecutive home series sweep. The Brewers swept the Houston Astros at the end of July before being swept on the road by the St Louis Cardinals. A sweep of the first place Reds gives the Brewers a 32-26 record at Miller Park this season. More importantly, the Brewers played very well in all three games of the series.
In the opening game, Yovani Gallardo allowed one run in seven innings. For their part, the offense scored five runs and Gallardo exited the game with a 5-1 lead. However, Francisco Rodriguez did his best to make things interesting in the eighth. The Brewer reliever loaded the bases and only managed to record one out before being pulled from the game. It was just another in a string of horrible outings for once rock solid reliever. John Axford then entered the game and gave up an RBI single to Xavier Paul before allowing a run to score on a sacrifice fly by Dioner Navarro. The Brewers added a run in the bottom of the eighth on ground rule double by catcher Martin Maldonado. With the Brewers now leading 6-3, John Axford retired the Reds in order in the ninth to record his 18 th save of the season.
Mike Fiers continued his impressive rookie season with another dominating performance in game two. Fiers took a perfect game into the 7 th inning and allowed one run through eight innings of work. Aramis Ramirez continued his torrid hitting with a two-run home run off of Reds’ starter Johnny Cueto. The Brewers added another run in the seventh on an RBI groundout by newly acquired Jean Segura. Jim Henderson pitched the ninth and struck out two of the three batters that he faced to get the save. Henderson, who was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in 2003 and spent 10 seasons in the minors, has been a pleasant surprise for the Brewers during the second half of the season. Albeit in limited action, the rookie right hander has allowed a single run in six innings while striking out eight.
The series finale saw the Reds jump out to an early 2-0 lead as Dioner Navarro hit a two-run home run in the third inning off of Brewer starter Randy Wolf. That lead would hold up as Mat Latos handcuffed the Brewer lineup for the first seven innings as the former San Diego Padre gave up one run and only three hits. The Brewers would rally against Jonathon Broxton in the eighth. With two outs, Norichika Aoki reached on an infield single. After Aoki stole second and subsequently went to third on Navarro’s throwing error, Carlos Gomez’s single to left center tied the score at two. After Gomez stole second, Ryan Braun broke out of his series long slump in a big way. The reigning MVP doubled to drive in Gomez and give the Brewers a 3-2 lead. Despite walking a batter, Jim Henderson retired the Reds in the ninth to record his second career save and lock down the 3-2 victory.
By: Scott Kasten
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