Bailey falters against Brewers' heavy hitters

Bailey falters against Brewers' heavy hitters

Bailey falters against Brewers' heavy hitters
MILWAUKEE -- In a game that's perpetuated on the bedrock concept of three strikes and three outs, Reds pitcher Homer Bailey spent much of his Tuesday outing vs. the Brewers stuck on two strikes and two outs.

That was a major reason why the Reds were stuck with an 8-3 loss to the Brewers to fall to 3-2 on their road trip with Wednesday's finale remaining.

All of Milwaukee's runs, including a season-high six against Bailey, came with two outs.

"It was probably more frustrating knowing the fact I've been pitching pretty well as of late, and today I didn't pitch at all -- I threw," said Bailey, who came in with a streak of four straight quality starts. "That was more nerve racking than anything."

Bailey lasted a season-low 3 2/3 innings and had six hits, three walks, one hit batsman and four strikeouts. Seemingly one pitch from escape, seven batters that had two strikes and two outs reached safely over his first two innings. Three of them were down 0-2 when they reached.

"They were getting the clutch hits all night long," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Bailey notched his first two outs in the first inning, but they didn't come very fast. He needed 17 pitches to get a Nyjer Morgan strikeout and Rickie Weeks groundout.

Then the grind really began.

"They were fouling off a lot of stuff," Bailey said. "For the most part, we were actually in good counts with those guys. Then it was foul ball, ball, ball, foul ball, foul ball. Whether they got out or not, 17 pitches after two hitters and neither of them got on. It's what happens when you're not pitching."

Ryan Braun worked a full count before he hit a two-out single up the middle. On a 0-2 pitch, Bailey plunked Aramis Ramirez with a fastball on the elbow and loaded the bases by walking Corey Hart after having him in a 2-2 count.

Jonathan Lucroy was down 0-2 when he lined a two-run single into center field to put Milwaukee up 2-0. When Bailey finally closed the inning with a Travis Ishikawa strikeout, he had thrown a total of 42 pitches.

"Man, he was nasty tonight, too," Lucroy said. "You have to get those guys deep in pitch counts because they start getting tired and making mistakes, and you take advantage. He was nasty, throwing 95 [mph]. He was almost too nasty, where he was in and out of the zone quick and you didn't swing at it."

The scenario repeated itself after Bailey got two brisk outs in the bottom of the second. Morgan took a 0-2 pitch and rolled it into left field for a single and Weeks worked a full-count walk. Braun fouled off back-to-back 1-2 pitches and then drove a ground-rule RBI double to left field. By that end of the second, Bailey had 67 pitches.

"He couldn't put them away. He made some mistakes with location," Baker said.

Bailey managed a 1-2-3 third inning but did not finish the fourth inning. He was lifted after a two-out walk to Braun loaded the bases. Ramirez blew it open when everyone came home on his triple to the right-field corner off J.J. Hoover that made it a 6-0 game.

"We were trying to get through that fourth inning without tearing up my whole bullpen," Baker said. "Aramis Ramirez is a dangerous hitter, I had him. He's a dangerous man in the clutch. At that time, Homer had enough. [Ramirez] had never seen Hoover before. It was a good piece of hitting. We didn't think he would catch up with his fastball. He got one down to that right-field corner. After that, they were off to the races."

An impressive streak by the Reds bullpen of 24 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings and eight games ended with a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning by pitcher Yovani Gallardo off Sam LeCure. In the seventh, Cesar Izturis took Jose Arredondo deep to right field for a solo homer.

Although his pitch count hit 103 through his six innings, Gallardo kept the Reds off of the scoreboard until the top of the sixth when he owned a 7-0 lead. Brandon Phillips hit a one-out double to left-center field before Jay Bruce's 10th homer of the season landed in the left-field bullpen to make it a five-run game. The long ball extended Bruce's hitting streak to 11 games, which has included seven homers.

In the eighth, Scott Rolen added a two-out RBI double that scored Phillips. It gave Rolen 506 career doubles, tying him with Babe Ruth for 48th all time.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.