Banged up Brewers suffer another loss, another big injury
On this Marathon Monday celebrated by many across the country, the old saying that a baseball season is \"a marathon, not a sprint\" rings especially true. Although if the Milwaukee Brewers continue on the pace they have been running the first few weeks of this season, it may be a long summer inside Miller Park. The bats went cold again on this April night, continuing the Brewers franchise-worst start by dropping their 6th straight in a 6-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Compounding the frustration, the Brewers learned after the game that catcher Jonathan Lucroy fractured a toe during the game and will have to be placed on the disabled list. No timetable has been set for his return.
The Brewers (2-11) managed just three hits, wasting five scoreless innings from Wily Peralta (0-2, 5.68), who held the Reds at bay for much of the night before struggling in the 6th and 7th. Peralta ended up giving up 6 runs on 8 hits through 7 innings, striking out 5 and walking 3. Youngster Anthony DeSclafani (2-0, 0.86) continued his impressive start to the season, shutting down the Milwaukee hitters in 8 strong innings, allowing two hits, walking just one, and striking out 5. In three starts this season, DeSclafani has allowed just 2 runs and 9 hits in 20 innings of work, all against NL Central foes.
Both teams struggled to score in the early frames, with both committing an error and looking shaky defensively in the 1st. Cincinnati threatened in the 2nd, when Peralta lost his control and walked two batters. The Reds (6-7) appeared to score the game's first run on a roller by DeSclafani into center field. Gerardo Parra picked it up and fired a high bullet to the plate. Brayan Pena did his best to avoid Lucroy's sweeping tag and home plate umpire Scott Barry called him safe. However, replays showed that Pena missed the plate on his initial reach, and after a booth review, the call was overturned.
The game moved on rather uneventfully until the bottom of the 5th, when the Brewers had their most promising chance for a big inning. Gerardo Parra reached on a throwing error and Hector Gomez singled to put two men on with one away. Pitcher Wily Peralta was up next and failed to put the bunt down twice. Sensing opportunity with offense at a premium, manager Ron Roenicke sent his two runners, only to have Peralta pop up weakly to the catcher in foul territory and allow for the easy double play at 1st base.
The Reds finally broke things open in the 6th, with the first three men reaching base on singles by Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and walk by Todd Frazier. Peralta was able to get Marlon Byrd to hit a grounder and get the lead runner at home, leaving the bags packed with one out. Brayan Pena (1 for 1, 2 walks, 1 RBI) hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to plate the game's first run. And the inning would unravel from there. Zack Cozart then drilled a ball into the left field seats for a three-run home run to put the Reds up 4-0.
Cincinnati would continue their attack in the 7th against Peralta. After DeSclafani grounded out to start the frame, Billy Hamilton launched a deep fly ball to right and raced to third base, beating a close throw for his first triple of the season. Votto followed him with a long home run to left center, his National League leading 5th of the season, giving the Reds a 6-0 advantage.
The Brewers finally got on the board in the bottom of the 9th, when Ryan Braun, who had been 0 for 3 until that point, hit a solo shot off of reliever Burke Badenhop to right center. It was the 231st home run for Braun as a member of the Brewers, allowing him to move past Prince Fielder into sole possession of 2nd place in the club's all-time long ball leaders list. He's now just 20 behind Robin Yount, who leads with 251.
Milwaukee will continue their four game series with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. Mike Fiers (0-2, 5.91) takes the ball against Cincinnati's Jason Marquis (0-1, 6.30). First pitch at Miller Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.