Brewers slug 3 homers en route to 6th straight win
By Mark Sheldon and Robert Bondy
MLB.com |@m_sheldon |
CINCINNATI -- The Brewers continued a recent trend of beating up opposing pitching when they roughed up the Reds on Friday night at Great American Ball Park. A 12-1 victory extended Milwaukee's season-high winning streak to six games.
On the heels of scoring 28 runs during a four-game sweep at Philadelphia, the Brewers jumped on Reds rookie starter Michael Lorenzen quickly. Gerardo Parra led off the top of the first inning with a home run to right field. Following two more hits in the first, Adam Lind's RBI groundout made it 2-0. Aramis Ramirez led off the second inning with a first-pitch homer to left and Milwaukee added two more runs in the fifth off of reliever Nate Adcock. The rout was on when Carlos Gomez added a grand slam in the seventh against Carlos Contreras.
"It was a good night and it's been contagious," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Guys have gotten going, bunch of guys have gotten going so it's good to see. It's fun to watch."
Lorenzen was done after giving up three earned runs and five hits over four innings and 90 pitches with two walks and three strikeouts. Brewers starter Mike Fiers complemented his offense by working his third-straight quality start, going seven scoreless innings and giving up just three hits -- all singles -- with two walks and two strikeouts. Only one Reds batter reached second base against him -- Marlon Byrd on Fiers' own throwing error in the seventh. Byrd was later thrown out in a double play.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gomez hits grand slam: Gomez put an exclamation mark on Friday's blowout victory with his first career grand slam in the seventh inning. The homer came on a 94-mph fastball from Contreras and pushed the Brewers lead to 9-0.
"I wanted just to drive the ball and bring in more runs," Gomez said. "The at-bat before that I hit it good, line drive to the middle, so I wanted to continue to follow that approach so he threw me some changeup, left it right there on the plate and I can pull it. I [didn't] hit it that good, but I pull it perfectly to left field." More >
Tuckered out: The Brewers' first-inning rally was cut short, thanks to good plays by Reds third baseman Todd Frazier (see below) and catcher Tucker Barnhart. Before Gomez tried to steal second base, Barnhart called for a pitch out and made a perfect strike to nail him for the third out that held Milwaukee to two runs, temporarily.
One up, one gone: Parra started the game off on the right foot for the Brewers, sending a 2-2 pitch from Lorenzen into the right-field seats. It was the seventh time in Parra's career he led the game off with a home run, and second time this season. The leadoff home run was the first of two runs scored in the first inning by the Brewers.
Lorenzen getting his hits: Lorenzen fared a little better at the plate than he did on the mound. His single to right field to lead off the bottom of the third inning was the Reds' first hit of the game. Lorenzen is 6-for-21 (.287) as a hitter this season. More >
"It was just a game where they took advantage of the early mistakes, got themselves up, got [Lorenzen] out of the game after four [innings] due to pitch count and kind of took it to our bullpen a little bit." -- Reds manager Bryan Price, on Lorenzen's performance.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Friday marked the Reds' fifth sellout of the season, and 108th in the history of Great American Ball Park, when 40,760 fans were in attendance. The club is 1-4 before a sellout crowd in 2015, and 55-53 overall.
Ryan Braun was on third base with one out in the first inning and Milwaukee had a prime chance to build on a 2-0 lead when a play was reviewed. On Gomez's grounder to third base, Frazier lunged to tag Braun after he drifted from the bag. Braun was ruled safe by third-base umpire James Hoye. The Reds challenged and the replay official overturned the call when it was determined that Frazier tagged Braun on the backside before he touched third base.
Brewers: Right-hander Jimmy Nelson will take the mound against the Reds at 6:15 p.m. CT on Independence Day, looking for his third straight win. Nelson is 5-8 with a 4.48 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 16 starts this season.
Reds: During the 7:15 p.m. ET game on Saturday, the Reds will send out rookie Josh Smith to make his third big league start. Smith has yet to gain traction in throwing strikes, as he has 10 walks over eight innings in his first two outings.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.