Matt Clark Three-Run Homer Caps Brewers Win
By Bill Berg
Sep 11, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Matt Clark (60) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers had a chance to have a winning week today with a win in the final game of their three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Brewers came into today 3-3 on the week, after splitting a four-game series with the Miami Marlins, and splitting the first two games of the series with the Reds. Today saw Matt Garza (7-8, 3.83 ERA) taking on Mike Leake (11-11, 3.62 ERA).
Garza and Leake both pitched well, but Milwaukee worked a 3-1 lead against Leake, stranding runner after runner on base through the first six innings of the game. They broke it wide open in the seventh however, as the Reds bullpen completely lost control of the game, and Milwaukee rolled to a 9-2 win, and a 2-1 series win.
After a relatively clean inning in the first for Garza (Bill Hamilton had an infield single and stole second), the Brewers loaded the bases four batters into the bottom of the first inning.
Carlos Gomez walked to lead off, and moved to third on a Jonathan Lucroy single with one out in the inning. Ryan Braun followed with a walk to load the bases for Khris Davis, who popped out to Brandon Phillips for the second out. Matt Clark came up with the bases full of Brewers but he flew out to right to end the inning with the game still scoreless.
The Brewers threatened again in the second after an easy top half for Garza. Leake picked up his third walk of the game, putting Mark Reynolds on first. Jean Segura followed with a single, and Garza moved them up a base with a sacrifice bunt.
Gomez flew out to Jay Bruce in right, and Bruce dropped the ball trying to get it out of the glove for the throw, and Reynolds trotted to the plate to give Milwaukee the lead.
Milwaukee had five base runners in the first two innings, and were only able to bring one of them home.
The Marlins threatened in the third, sort of. With two outs in the inning Hamilton and Kristopher Negron walked to put two on for Reds home run leader Todd Frazier, but he popped out to first to end the threat.
In the Brewer half of the third inning, Segura and Davis singled around a Braun line out to put two on for Matt Clark with one out, but he lined out to left for the second out and Reynolds lined out to left as well to end the inning with runners five and six stranded on base.
Garza ran into two-out trouble again the fourth inning as Bruce and Ryan Ludwick both singled with two outs for the Reds but Gomez made a sliding catch on a potential double off the bat off Zack Cozart to save the lead and end the inning.
Segura led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, but he was erased at second on Garza’s bunt attempt, leaving Garza safe at first. After a line out by Gomez, Gennett singled up the middle and Garza took third. Hamilton tried to get Garza at third, allowing Gennett to get to second on the throw, which had no chance at Garza.
With two on and two outs Lucroy cleared the runners off the bases with a single back up the middle to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead. It was Lucroy’s third hit of the game, one to left, one to right, and one up the middle. Braun flew out to center to end the inning.
This is Lucroy’s spray chart on the season, courtesy of FanGraphs.
Jonathan Lucroy’s Spray Chart
After a perfect fifth for Garza, Leake continued to have control issues, hitting Davis to lead off the bottom half of the inning. Clark followed with a grounder to short, erasing Davis but the Reds couldn’t turn the double play. Reynolds struck out for the second out and Segura bounced out back to the mound to end the inning with the Brewers still up 3-0.
Frazier led off the sixth inning with a solo home run (26) to put the Reds on the board. Garza came back and struck out Devin Mesoraco for the first out. Phillips grounded out for the second out and Garza struck out Bruce to end the inning.
After Garza whiffed to lead off the bottom of the sixth, Gomez singled to right for yet another Brewers base runner on Leak. He stole second base with Gennett at the plate. He moved to third on a Gennett ground out to second for the second out. Lucroy flew out to the warning track in center to end the inning.
Garza walked Ludwick to open the seventh inning, his third walk of the game. That would end the day for Garza and Ron Roenicke called for Jeremy Jeffress to take over on the hill.
Jeffress got Cozart to ground to Gennett at second for a double play. Gennett tagged Ludwick out and fired to first for the second out. The Reds argued that Gennett never actually tagged Ludwick, who jumped well out of the baseline to avoid the tag.
The play wasn’t reviewed, and Reds third-base coach Steve Smith started barking at second base umpire Dan Iassogna, leading to his ejection. Jack Hannahan came on to pinch-hit for Leake and struck out on three pitches.
Garza went six-plus innings, and allowed just one run on four hits and three walks. He struck out six batters. Leake also went six innings, and allowed three runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out three.
Logan Ondrusek came on to toss the bottom of the seventh for the Reds and promptly gave up a lead-off single to Braun. Davis singled to put two on with nobody out for Clark.
Clark absolutely launched a three-run home run (3) to right field to put Milwaukee on top 6-1. After ground outs by Reynolds and Segura, Gerardo Parra pinch-hit for Jeffress and popped a single to center.
Gomez followed with a single through the hole on the left side of the infield to put two on for Gennett with two outs. That was it for Ondrusek as Bryan Price called for Carlos Contreras to take over. Gennett scooted a grounder past a diving Phillips at second to bring in Parra and make it 7-1.
Lucroy followed with a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Braun. Braun, who singled to open the inning, walked to bring in Gomez and make it 8-1. That closed the book on Ondrusek, who gave up five hits and five runs in just 2/3 of an inning. Davis flew out to end the inning.
Parra stayed in the game to play left field, and Marco Estrada came in to pitch the eighth inning for the Brewers and set the Reds down in order.
J.J. Hoover came in to toss the bottom of the eighth for the Reds. He got Clark for the first out of the inning, but Reynolds belted one out to left (22) to make it 9-1 Milwaukee. Segura struck out and Parra flew out to end the inning.
Rob Wooten came on to pitch the ninth for the Brewers. He gave up a lead off single to Yorman Rodriguez (pinch hitting for Devin Mesoraco). Jake Elmore, who took over for Phillips at second flew out to Logan Schafer, who took over for Braun in right. Donald Lutz singled to a diving Reynolds at first, pinch hitting for Bruce, to put two on with one out.
Reynolds made a diving stop on the ball and tossed to Wooten at first, but the umpire said Wooten was off the bag. Roenicke challenged the ruling at first and Lutz was ruled out at first on review.
Ludwick singled to left and Rodriguez came around to score. Parra made a great throw from left to the plate but Rodriguez got in under the tag to make it 9-2. Ramon Santiago came in to pinch hit for Cozart. Santiago doubled down the line in right, moving Ludwick over to third. Jason Bourgeois came in to hit for Hoover and ended the game with a ground out back to Wooten.
Garza got the win for Milwaukee in a great start. Leake took the loss for the Reds. He did pretty well himself but the Cincinnati bullpen hung him out to dry. The Brewers have Monday off before a hitting the road for three games against St. Louis and Pittsburgh this week.