Slugger hits two of team's four homers; Cincy rookie Lorenzen has solid debut
By Mark Sheldon and Andy Call
CINCINNATI -- The Brewers won the finale of their three-game set by spoiling the big league debut of Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen, who gave up three of their four home runs in Milwaukee's 8-3 victory on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.
Homers in the top of the second inning by Adam Lind and Khris Davis gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead. Ryan Braun made it a two-run game when he homered deep to right field with one out in the fifth. Capping a five-run eighth inning against reliever Jumbo Diaz, Braun hit his second homer of the afternoon, a grand slam to left-center field off a 97-mph fastball.
"It's nice to get a win," Braun said. "We've been playing terribly in all phases of the game. We have underperformed. It's nice to see some results. Now the key is to sustain it."
Matt Garza pitched 6 2/3 innings for the victory, logging the first quality start on the road for Milwaukee's rotation this season. Garza allowed two earned runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. In five innings, Lorenzen gave up three earned runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
"It's a process of learning how to pitch up here and be successful," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Lorenzen. "I was happy with his stuff and how he composed himself in some tough spots."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Braun, as in Brawn: After Diaz hit Logan Schafer in the foot with the bases loaded to force in a run, Braun demolished Diaz's 2-2 pitch for a 418-foot grand slam that landed on top of the netting over the bullpen in left-center. Braun now has four career grand slams -- Wednesday's was his first since 2010 -- and 21 multi-homer games. He has three home runs in two games since being left out of the starting lineup Sunday and Monday.
Frazier goes deep: With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Frazier gave Cincinnati an early lead when he hit a 2-1 fastball for a solo homer into the first row of seats in left-center field. It was Frazier's sixth homer of the season, which ranks second on the club to Joey Votto's seven.
A Lift from Lind: Milwaukee opened the scoring with Lind's home run to lead off the second inning. It was his fourth homer this season and the 150th of his career, and it extended his current hitting streak to eight games.
Rough eighth for reliever: Diaz took over in the eighth with his team trailing by one run, and the game got away from him. After a leadoff hit by Martin Maldonado, Diaz made a bad throw to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Hector Gomez. On Gerardo Parra's bunt between the mound and third base, no one fielded the ball, loading the bases. And with a 1-2 count on Schafer, Diaz hit him with a pitch to force home a run and keep the bases loaded for Braun.
"That to me, as much as the grand slam, was the finishing blow -- having Schafer with two strikes and a chance to put him away is probably what hurt more than everything," Price said. "It set up everything for Braun to hit that grand slam."
"I thought he pitched great. I thought he had energy. He threw really hard; we like to see that. Maybe some pitches got away, I don't know. Him throwing 95 is tough to hit. I don't know how they hit it, to be honest. He's a flamethrower. From where I was, he looked good." -- Frazier, on Lorenzen's debut
"It wasn't even a windy day. It was just an interesting day." -- Garza, on the teams' combined seven home runs
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers: Milwaukee is idle Thursday, then begins a three-game series against the Cubs on Friday at 1:20 p.m. CT. Cubs left-hander Jon Lester is looking for his first win after signing a big free-agent contract with Chicago. The Brewers start Wily Peralta, also seeking his first win.
Reds: After starting the season with 21 straight games against National League Central opponents, the Reds will play the NL East's Braves to start an 11-day, 10-game road trip. A four-game series in Atlanta begins on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET with Mike Leake pitching against Shelby Miller.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.