The Cincinnati Reds scored as many runs in the sixth inning as they did in their last four games (4), to snap their losing streak with a 6-1 win over the Brewers at Miller Park on Monday.
That Reds (6-7) offense wasn’t the only to go off on Monday as manager Bryan Price went on a profanity laced tirade aimed at reporters. Part of his frustration stemmed from the Devin Mesoraco saga as the All-Star catcher was not in Milwaukee to deal with a family matter. Brayan Pena took the place of Mesoraco, who has not played since April 12.
It didn’t matter who was behind the plate for Anthony DeSclafani (2-0), as the young pitcher was brilliant once again, tossing eight innings of two hit baseball while holding the hapless Brewers (2-11) scoreless. Wily Peralta (0-2) struggled for the second straight start as he yielded all six runs in seven innings and was tagged for eight hits while walking three.
The first five innings of play featured some unsightly play as the teams combined for three errors. DeSclafani tried to help his own cause in the second with a single up the middle with Pena trying to score from second and initially he was ruled safe at home to give Cincinnati the lead. However, the Brewers challenged and the video confirmed that Pena was indeed tagged before he touched home.
Milwaukee had a chance with two on and one out in the fourth, but Peralta popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt in the air and Pena was able to double off Hector Gomez at first to end the inning. Gomez got the start at second base because regular second baseman Scooter Gennett required stitches after cutting his hand in the shower at PNC Park on Sunday.
Cincinnati loaded the bases in the sixth on two singles and a walk, but Marlon Byrd was unable to score a run when he bounced into a fielder’s choice that erased Joey Votto at home. Pena followed with a sac fly to score Todd Frazier and it looked as though the Reds may muster only one run. Zack Cozart instead drove in three with a home run that gave the Reds a 4-0 lead. During that at bat, All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy took a foul tip of his foot and stuck around for the final two at bats of the inning and made one plate appearance before giving way to Martin Maldonado. After the game it was announced that Lucroy broke his toe and will be placed on the disabled list.
With a new catcher behind the plate, Peralta still suffered the same issues as the last inning, allowing Billy Hamilton to show that his legs are fine with a one out triple. Hamilton walked home as Votto hit his fifth home run of the season to give Cincinnati a 6-0 advantage.
Will Smith and Francisco Rodriguez worked scoreless innings for relief to keep the game from getting out of hand. Burke Badenhop took over for DeSclafani in the ninth and quickly gave up a home run to Ryan Braun to miss a chance at the shut out. He retired the next two hitters to end the Reds woes and extend the Brewers losing streak to six.
Cincinnati moves back into a tie with the Pirates (6-7) who were introduced to Kris Bryant and the Cubs (7-5) while the idle Cardinals (8-3) still sit atop the division. The Reds will have a chance to creep closer to the top when Jason Marquis (0-1, 6.30 ERA) squares off against Mike Fiers (0-2, 5.91 ERA) on Tuesday with first pitch set for 8:10 p.m.