After rough road trip, Brewers' catcher drives in three, including seventh homer
By Curt Hogg
MILWAUKEE -- After a rough road trip at the plate, Miller Park was a welcome sight for Jonathan Lucroy.
Following a 2-for-22 performance on the team's recent road trip, the Brewers' catcher went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs with a homer, double and sacrifice fly in Milwaukee's 9-5 win over the Reds on Friday.
"I'm just happy to go out there, have good at-bats and contribute and hit some balls hard somewhere -- keep it simple," Lucroy said.
With two outs and the bases empty in the third inning, Lucroy belted his seventh homer of the season to draw the Brewers within one run at 3-2. Behind, 1-0, in the count, Reds starting pitcher John Lamb grooved Lucroy a cutter, which he launched 107 mph off the bat and 427 feet from home plate into left field, according to Statcast™.
"It was a cutter, he tried to throw it in and threw it down the middle," Lucroy said. "I was able to hit it hard."
One inning later, Lucroy capped off a four-run fourth with a ground-rule double that scored third baseman Hernan Perez. His ninth two-bagger of the season and first since May 17 gave the Brewers a 6-3 lead. It would have driven in left fielder Ryan Braun, as well, had the ball not bounced over the fence in left field.
"After we gave up [Adam Duvall's three-run homer in the first inning], we were able to get some runners on, had some big hits there," Lucroy said. "Obviously, it's always good to answer back in a big inning."
After the Reds took a 3-0 lead, Lucroy's sacrifice fly, scoring shortstop Jonathan Villar in the bottom half of the first, was the tip of the offensive spear in Milwaukee's 14-hit barrage.
Lucroy snapped a forgettable trend of poor hitting with a runner on third and fewer than two outs. Despite being the Brewers' regular cleanup hitter, he came into the game 0-for-13 with five strikeouts and no RBIs in such situations. With the first-inning sacrifice fly, he was able to break a spell of which he was well aware.
"I've got to be better at driving runners in with less than two outs from third," Lucroy said. "I haven't really done that all year. Hopefully, I can make up for lost time. I had a lot of opportunities earlier in the year that I didn't get the job done, so I'm going to do my best to get better at it."
It marked the 12th multi-hit game this year for Lucroy, and his three RBIs were a season high. Lucroy is now batting .280 with a .343 OBP, .819 OPS, seven home runs and 20 RBIs in 45 games.
Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based
in Milwaukee.. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.