A night after the Reds and Brewers combined for 26 runs, pitching stole the show Wednesday night at Miller Park. Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson showed again why the Brewers felt so confident trading away Yovani Gallardo and moving him into the rotation. Nelson methodically worked his way through 8 innings, striking out 5 and walking 2. A night after the Reds clobbered 5 home runs, Nelson allowed just 3 hits and 1 earned run, while lowering his ERA to 1.35, but earning a no-decision.
Equally impressive, Reds starter Johnny Cueto also pitched 8 innings; scattering 5 hits and walking 2. He struck out 8 Brewers batters and gave up just one earned run. Cueto seemed to be in control of all of his pitches throwing 125 of them on the night, and earning his first victory of the year.
Early on it looked as though we could be in for another wild game, as both teams got on the board in the first inning. Billy Hamilton led off the top of the 1st with a single, and promptly stole 2nd base, his 9th stolen base of the season. The next batter up, Joey Votto, singled to left scoring Hamilton and giving the Reds a 1-0 lead just two batters into the game.
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In the Brewers half of the 1st inning, last nights offensive star, Elian Herrera (who had 5 RBI including a grand slam) walked with one out. He was balked to 2nd base, 1 of 2 balks called against Cueto. Adam Lind came up with two outs and knocked a single to center field, scoring Herrera and tying the score 1-1.
There would be no further scoring until the 9th inning. Francisco Rodriguez was brought on to pitch the top of the 9th and gave up a walk and single to put runners on the corners with one out. After getting the next batter to pop out, Rodriguez spiked a pitch in the dirt, allowing Hamilton to cross the plate, giving the Reds a 2-1 advantage.
Aroldis Chapman came on for a save situation in the bottom of the 9th. A night after striking out the side in order, he struck out two of the three batters he faced, earning his 4th save of the season. The Brewers drop to 2-13 on the season and drop their 8th straight game.
The final game of the series will begin at 12:40 pm Thursday with the Brewers sending Kyle Lohse (0-3, 10.34 ERA) to square off against Homer Bailey (0-1, 7.94 ERA).