MILWAUKEE -- Three was a magic number on Friday night at Miller Park.
The Brewers rode a three-run rally in the seventh to a 5-4 win over the Reds in the opener of the final series of the season at Miller Park -- a game that featured the eighth triple play in Brewers history and a three-run homer courtesy of Reds shortstop Jose Peraza.
In the decisive seventh, Scooter Gennett took a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded from Reds reliever Tony Cingrani to tie the game at -- you guessed it -- 3-3. Ryan Braun then greeted Blake Wood with a two-run single that put Milwaukee on top for good.
The Brewers won for the sixth time in nine games and improved to 13-8 in September.
"We've been on a roll. It's fun to watch, fun to see," said Brewers starter Zach Davies, who took a no-decision in what was deemed his final start of a fine season. "We're always in ballgames. We're at that point of the year when one, guys are trying to prove themselves; two, we want to finish strong."
Cincinnati scored in the ninth against Brewers closer Tyler Thornburg to make it a one-run game, but dropped its four straight and eighth of the last nine.
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani was charged with all five earned runs with six hits over six-plus innings to take the loss. He walked three and struck out four.
"He kind of lost his way there for a couple of hitters," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The wheels fell off collectively there from a command standpoint. He was so good, so efficient and very few mistakes those first six innings. He was the right guy to be out there."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Triple play: The Brewers have turned two triple plays in a season for the first time in franchise history, and both came with Davies on the mound on a Friday night at Miller Park. On April 29, Davies induced a 5-4-3 triple play against the Marlins, a more traditional play than the 3-6 triple play off Joey Votto's bat on Friday. With runners at first and second after two grounders got past third baseman Jonathan Villar, Votto lined out to Chris Carter at first base. Carter stepped on the bag for the second out of the inning, then tossed to shortstop Orlando Arcia covering second to complete the play.
"We got three outs on a play when Joey Votto was at bat. That was the biggest thing for me," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That had a chance to be a big inning, for sure." More >
Four-pitch walk ties it: When DeSclafani got into a bases-loaded jam with no one out and a 3-2 lead in the seventh, Price summoned the left-handed Cingrani to face the left-handed-hitting Gennett. Cingrani, often used as Cincinnati's closer, did not get the job done, walking Gennett on four pitches to force home the tying run. Cingrani has retired the first batter about half the time this season at 32-for-63. His 36 walks tie him for second place among National League relievers. Fittingly, Gennett is tied for fifth on the Brewers by drawing 36 walks in 2016.
"It's extremely tough, and it's certainly tough for the guys that go out there and perform and don't get the job done," Price said. "As much as we get frustrated as coaches, managers, fans, etc., these guys are busting their tail, and when it doesn't get done, these guys wear it. It was a tough way to lose, for sure."
Career highs for Carter: The Brewers' first baseman had a big night. After doing most of the work on the first-inning triple play, he led off the bottom of the second with a home run for a 1-0 Brewers lead. With that one swing, Carter set career highs for home runs (38) and RBIs (89) with eight games left to play.
"The biggest thing after being nontendered [by the Astros] last year was bouncing back and having a good year and being consistent," Carter said. "That's what I've been trying to do all year."
Rare homer for Peraza: When Peraza cleared the left-field fence against Davies in the fifth for a 3-1 lead, it provided him with a rare home run. It was his third of the season, and his big league career, but it was also the first homer for the 22-year-old Peraza since Aug. 20 vs. the Dodgers, the day he was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. In his last 31 games since, he is batting .383 (46-for-120) with 11 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs.
"As soon as I hit the ball, I knew it was going to be out, because I felt it was a really, really good swing," Peraza said through translator Julio Morillo. "I try to use the middle of the field and be on top of the ball. Today, I just hit the ball, and I knew I put a really good swing on that ball and you could see it jumping off my bat."
"When I was walking back, because I'm not going to get there and saw him throw to second and thought, 'Oh, wow. There were no outs on that.' I did the math as I was walking back. You don't see that very often. It stinks to be on that end of it, especially with a hard-hit ball like that." -- Reds center fielder Scott Schebler, who was out at first base on the triple play
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Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez doubled leading off the ninth inning to snap Thornburg's long run of dominance against right-handed hitters. Righties were hitless in their last 38 at-bats against Thornburg since Rickie Weeks Jr.'s single on July 28, the longest such streak in the Majors until Suarez ended it.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: Reds right-hander Dan Straily starts for the Reds at 7:10 p.m. ET Saturday when the series continues. Straily is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts against Milwaukee this season. He is also Cincinnati's leader in wins, quality starts and strikeouts this season.
Brewers:Taylor Jungmann makes his first Major League start since April when the series continues Saturday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Jungmann opened the season as Milwaukee's No. 3 starter but was demoted to the Minors after starting the season 0-4 with a 9.15 ERA. He worked his way back as a September callup and has been pitching in relief.