Jonathan Lucroy Belts Two Home Runs as Brewers Walk Off
Jul 22, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) high fives left fielder Khris Davis (18) after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers were the better team Monday night against Cincinnati in the first game of their three-game series. They looked to continue that run on Tuesday when Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 5.40 ERA) took on Homer Bailey (8-5, 4.12 ERA).
Nelson had only made two starts for Milwaukee this season, in his first he didn’t allow a run in 5 2/3 innings. His second didn’t go as well, allowing six runs in just 4 1/3 innings.
Bailey had faced Milwaukee three times already this season. On May 1 he allowed three runs in eight innings, picking up a win. On June 8 he didn’t have a decision after allowing four runs in 6 1/3 innings. On July 5 he earned a loss, giving up one run in 8 innings.
Nelson was great for six innings, but he stumbled in the seventh. Thankfully for the Crew, Lucroy was on his game, belting two home runs including a walk off to take a 4-3 win.
Nelson had an easy first inning, putting the Reds down in order with a strike out and two bounce outs to short.
Milwaukee got the early lead when, for the third time this season, they hit back-to-back home runs. It was with two outs in the first that Ryan Braun (13) and Aramis Ramirez (12) knocked them out.
Nelson had another scoreless inning in the second. He opened with a strike out of Jay Bruce followed by two fly outs to end the frame. Bailey also worked a one-two-three inning in the bottom half of the frame.
Nelson put the bottom of the Reds lineup down in order in the third with two line outs and a strike out. Bailey put the Brewers down in order in the bottom of the frame.
Billy Hamilton broke up Nelson’s perfect game with a single up the middle to lead off the top of the fourth. Hamilton stole second on the first pitch to Skip Schumaker.
Hamilton moved to third on a ground out by Schumaker. Frazier took first after Nelson hit him with a curve ball to put runners at the corners. Bruce doubled up the line in right to bring in Hamilton. But that was it for the Reds.
Bailey set Braun, Ramirez and Jonathan Lucroy down in order in the bottom of the frame. Scooter Gennett left the game between innings with an apparent leg injury and was replaced by Rickie Weeks.
Nelson returned to form in the top of the fifth, allowing just a walk to Ramon Santiago.
The Brewers threatened in the bottom of the fifth with some help from Bailey. With one out in the inning Bailey walked Lyle Overbay and followed by hitting Segura with a pitch.
Nelson bunted them each up a base with a nice sacrifice for the second out, putting two in scoring position for Carlos Gomez. Gomez worked the count full, and drew a walk on a check-swing to load the bases.
That brought up Rickie Weeks, who was a career.519 hitter against Bailey in 27 career at bats. But Bailey got out of the inning as Rickie grounded out to short for the final out.
Nelson cruised through the sixth inning as if the Reds weren’t even there, notching two ground outs and another strike out.
Braun led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to center but he was erased when Ramirez grounded into a double play. Lucroy followed by belting a home run (10) to left center to put Milwaukee up 3-1.
Ryan Ludwick led off the seventh with a single to left for just the third hit off Nelson. Catcher Brayan Pena singled to right to put two on. Nelson hit Zack Cozart on a 3-1 pitch, but Ron Roenicke challenged the ruling as the replay showed the bat hit the ball first.
The replay review went against Roenicke and they ruled it was a hit-by-pitch, even though the replay clearly showed it was a foul ball. The play loaded the bases.
Nelson hit Santiago on a 1-2 count to bring in a run and Ron Roenicke called for Brandon Kintzler.
Kintzler’s first hitter, Chris Heisey, knocked a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Pena and tie the game at three. Hamilton lined out to Weeks at second who doubled off Cozart to end the inning.
The final line on Nelson was six plus innings. He allowed three runs on four hits and one walk. He hit two batters and struck out five.
Jumbo Diaz came on to pitch for the Reds in the bottom of the seventh. Zach Cozart also left the game after getting hit in the hand the previous inning.
The final line on Bailey was six innings pitched, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out three. Diaz didn’t allow a base runner in the inning. He struck out Overbay and Segura ahead of a Logan Schafer line out to third.
Zach Duke came on to pitch the eighth for Milwaukee and struck out the side, going through Schumaker, Frazier and Bruce.
Jonathan Broxton came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth for Cincinnati. After striking out Gomez he gave up a single to center to Weeks. Broxton struck out Braun looking for the second out.
With Ramirez batting Weeks stole second base but Ramirez flew out to center to end the inning.
Francisco Rodriguez came on to pitch the ninth for Milwaukee. After a Ludwick ground out, Pena singled to center. Kristopher Negron followed with a high chopper up the middle.
Segura fielded it and stepped on second to get the lead runner but there was no chance for a double play. K-Rod struck out Santiago to end the inning.
Sam LeCure came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Reds. He didn’t keep the tie intact for Cincinnati though as Lucroy belted his second home run (11) of the night on LeCure’s third pitch of the inning to walk off with a 4-3 win.
K-Rod picked up the win for Milwaukee; LeCure the loss for Cincinatti.
The teams will meet again on Wednesday in the series finale Mike Leake (7-8, 3.63 ERA) takes on Kyle Lohse (10-4, 3.16 ERA).