Somehow, after having back-to-back losing streaks of nine and four games, the Brewers had a chance to extend their winning streak to four games tonight against the Cincinnati Reds.
Gallardo was good, but both pitchers exited after six innings of work, with Cincinnati holding a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately for the Brewers the Reds bullpen was better and evened the series at a game a piece with a 5-1 win.
Neither team scored in the first three innings; in fact the Reds only had one base runner, thanks to a throwing error by fill-in shortstop Hector Gomez. It was a disappointing first inning for the Brewer offense Holmberg hit Carlos Gomez to lead off the Brewer half of the first inning. Ryan Braun followed with a four-pitch walk before Jonathan Lucroy grounded into a double play. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, it was Gomez and Braun that were erased.
Lucroy grounded to short and Zack Cozart went second for the first out, but Gomez must have forgotten than Braun was on base behind him because he didn’t run to third, thinking it was a tag play, and was tagged out in a run down.
Holmberg hit Aramis Ramirez to put two on for Khris Davis who flew out to Jay Bruce in right to end the inning. The Brewers had two hit batters and a walk and they didn’t even manage to get a batter to third base.
Gallardo walked Brandon Phillips to bring in a Pena and Jay Bruce flew out to left to bring in Frazier and give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
Aramis Ramirez cut the lead in half with a lead-off home run (15) in the bottom half of the inning.
Both teams went back to not-scoring in the fifth inning. Holmberg had only pitched 12 innings this season coming into tonight’s game and in those innings he allowed 17 hits and 11 runs. The Brewers had just one run on two hits off him through five innings tonight.
The sixth inning was another scoreless affair and Gallardo’s night was over. He went six and allowed two runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out four. Holmberg also went six innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks. He struck out four, and also hit two batters.
Zach Duke took over on the hill for the Brewers in the seventh inning. He struck out Bruce to open the inning, ahead of a Ryan Ludwick single. A Cozart ground out moved Ludwick to second and Jason Bourgeois pinch-hit for Holmberg.
He singled on a dribbler to second that nobody could make a play on to put men at the corners and Billy Hamilton tripped to right-center to bring in both runners and give Cincinnati a 4-1 lead. Duke gave up two runs on three hits in his lone inning of work.
Sam LeCure came on to toss the bottom of the seventh for the Reds and put the Brewers down in order. Hitting coach Johnny Narron was ejected after the inning for barking at the home plate umpire, because the Brewers anemic offense over the last 20 days is clearly an umpiring issue.
Jimmy Nelson came on in the eighth for his first relief appearance. Todd Frazier knocked a lead-off double and came around to score on a Devin Mesoraco single. Brandon Phillips followed with a single of his own to put two on for Bruce.
Bruce flew out to center for the first out of the inning and Nelson struck out Ludwick for the second before Cozart flew out to end the inning. Nelson allowed a run on three hits in his lone inning of work.
LeCure came back out for the eighth inning for the Reds, after only throwing seven pitches to retire the side in the sixth. His first opponent was pinch hitter Scooter Gennett, who flew out.
Carlos Gomez followed with a four pitch walk but Braun grounded into an inning-ending double play to send it to the ninth.
Tom Gorzelanny came on to pitch the top half of the final inning for the Brewers. He struck out Chris Heisey to open the inning. He struck out Hamilton for the second out of the inning. Pena flew out to Braun for the final out.
The Brewers came up down four in the ninth and faced Jumbo Diaz, last night’s losing pitcher. Diaz struck out Lucroy for the first out of the inning. Ramirez flew out to center for the second out and Khris Davis struck out looking to end the game.
Gallardo took the loss for Milwaukee, despite pitching well. Holmberg earned the win for the Reds.