Reds hold off Brewers, 2-1
Zack Greinke surrendered just two hits over eight shutout innings, but it wasn’t enough as Cincinnati capitalized on a strong performance by Johnny Cueto to capture a 2-1 win over Milwaukee on Wednesday in the rubber game of the series.
The Brewers (13-18), who have struggled of late, had their chances early against Cueto. However, they couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities and the Reds’ starter got better as the game went on.
Aramis Ramirez led off the Milwaukee second with a double and the Brewers had runners on the corners following a one-out single by Jonathan LuCroy. However, Cueto got Taylor Green to ground into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play.
With two outs in the third, Nyjer Morgan reached via a single. Cueto walked Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun loaded the bases with an infield single, but Aramis Ramirez grounded out to strand three.
Cincinnati (16-14) didn’t manage a hit against Greinke until Drew Stubbs doubled with one out in the fourth and wouldn’t get another Brandon Phillips’ single with two down in the seventh.
After getting just two hits off Greinke, the Reds were glad to see someone else on the bump in the ninth. John Axford struck out the first two batters he faced, but Drew Stubbs kept the inning alive with a single. Then, Joey Votto came through with a run-scoring double to right field that broke the ice. Cincy proceeded to add an insurance run on Brandon Phillips’ single.
That insurance proved beneficial as the Brewers rallied in the bottom of the frame.
Braun led off with a solo shot that sliced the lead in half.
With two outs, Jonathan LuCroy and Norichika Aoki produced back-to-back singles and Sean Marshall walked pinched hitter George Kottaras to load the bases.
However, Logan Ondrusek got pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa to fly out to left to end the game.
Aroldis Chapman, who worked a hitless eighth, earned the victory in relief and improved to 3-0. Ondrusek, who recorded the final out, registered his first save.
Stubbs and Phillips went 2-for-4 to lead Cincinnati.
Braun and LuCroy finished with two-hit games for Milwaukee, who outhit the Reds, 8-5. Braun’s homer was his tenth.
By: Thomas "Bubba" Rosenbaum