The Cincinnati Reds thrilling comeback victory in the tenth inning against Milwaukee on Sunday at Great American Ballpark came with some bad news as Jay Bruce will be the latest Red to the disabled list.
Bruce becomes the third player in the last week, joining Devin Mesoraco and Tony Cingrani, to be placed on the disabled list. He was out of Sunday's lineup, but did come on for one at bat in the seventh, striking out to strand the go-ahead run. That's the last that fans will see of the left-handed slugger as he will miss 3-4 weeks with a partially torn meniscus. Cincinnati did activate Skip Schumaker on Saturday and could bring back Roger Bernadina, who was optioned to make room for Schumaker.
On Star Wars day, aka May the fourth be with you, the Brewers (21-11) played the role of the dark side very well as they scored three runs off Alfredo Simon through the first four innings. Simon recovered to toss seven innings, giving all four Reds' (15-16) pitchers a quality start in the series. They tossed 31 innings with a 2.90 ERA and 19 strikeouts while the bullpen tossed six innings of scoreless relief to help capture the series against the top team in the National League.
Scooter Gennett started the scoring in the first inning with a solo homer to right field. The Brewers added another in the third when Jonathan Lucroy singled in Carlos Gomez, but that was matched by Brayan Pena's third home run of the season to make it 2-1. All three of Pena's homers have come in this week's homestand. The two teams traded runs in the fourth when Khris Davis homered and then Todd Fraizer scored Brandon Phillips on a sacrifice fly.
The Reds were able to chase Kyle Lohse in the seventh with back-to-back singles by Pena and Zack Cozart. Pena was lifted for a pinch runner after being checked on by the trainer on the previous pitch and also to give the Reds a better chance at scoring on a sacrifice fly by pinch running Billy Hamilton. Hamilton has been kept out of the lineup after bruising his fingers making a diving catch on Thursday.
That brought Bruce to the plate and lefty Will Smith out of the bullpen. Smith made Bruce look bad on just three pitches easily retiring the hobbled hitter. Schumaker was unable to capitalize in his first start since being activated from the DL as he lined out to left to end the inning. Manny Parra retired the side in the eighth, including back-to-back strikeouts to finish the inning. That set up Phillips for a game-tying solo home run on just the second offering from new reliever Brandon Kintzler.
Jonathan Broxton worked a scoreless ninth to set the Reds up for a walk-off win. Schumaker was set up to be the hero once again, but Zach Duke, in for Kintzler, struck him out looking to send it into extras. The Brewers had a golden opportunity against Sam LeCure (1-1) in the tenth when Davis led off with a double and ended up on third after a wild pitch, but LeCure was able to shake it off and strike out Gomez to end the inning.
Tyler Thornburg (3-1) quickly retired Joey Votto and Phillips, but walked Chris Heisey on four pitches to set up Frazier. The Reds' third baseman sent a line drive into the corner and third base coach Steve Smith aggressively sent Heisey home, where he was able to beat the throw and send the Reds away winners.
Cincinnati will get a much needed off day before heading to Boston (15-17) for a brief two game series. The Reds will have another off day on Thursday before returning home for a six game homestand against the Rockies and Padres. Homer Bailey (2-2, 5.50 ERA) will face Felix Doubront (1-3, 5.70 ERA) in Tuesday's match-up at Fenway Park.