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Jimmy Nelson Struggles; Reds Beat Brewers 9-6

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The Milwaukee Brewers had their 4th attempt of the season at starting their first winning streak, but come up short once again as the Reds beat them 9-6 Monday night.  Jason Marquis (2-1) picked up the win, his second in consecutive starts against the Brewers, and Jimmy Nelson (1-2) picked up the loss.

Nelson had his worst start of the season, as he struggled to throw strikes for the duration of his start.  He pitched just 2 1/3 innings, giving up 7 runs, 6 earned.  He faced just 17 batters on the evening, surrendering 6 hits and walking 5, while recording just 1 strikeout. Coming into the start tonight, Nelson had given up just 10 hits and 4 walks in 20 innings pitched.

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Marquis pitched 8 solid innings, giving up just 2 runs, both earned, while striking out three batters. The Brewers got him for 7 hits and two walks, but were unable to push across more runs as they hit into a couple double plays on the night.

The Reds got the scoring started in the bottom of the 2nd inning, pushing across 4 runs.  After a walk to start the inning, Jay Bruce hit a towering home run to right field, making it 2-0. Later in the inning, the Reds put runners on 1st and 2nd with Marquis coming up. Marquis hit a high chopper that bounced off the glove of third baseman Aramis Ramirez and scooted into left field, scoring a run, and making it 3-0. Zack Cozart came up later with the bases loaded, and drew another walk from Nelson, making it 4-0.

The Brewers answered back in the top of the 3rd with a run of their own. With Martin Maldonado on 2nd base, Jean Segura squeezed a single down the right field line, scoring Maldonado and bringing the Brewers to within 3. But the Reds would get 2 more in the bottom half of the inning.

Nelson walked the first two batters of the inning, and they would both advance with one out. Nelson then spiked a pitch into the dirt, past Maldonado, and allowing a run to score. Later in the same at-bat, Marlon Byrd singled to right, scoring another run and making the score 6-1. Later in the inning, with Rob Wooten pitching, another ball got by Maldonado, allowing a run to score, and making it 7-1 after 3 innings.

Each team would score again in their halves of the 6th inning. Adam Lind stayed hot for the Brewers as he singled in Gerardo Parra, cutting the lead to 7-2.  Parra had another good game, finishing 2-4 with 2 doubles. In the bottom half of the inning, the Reds added 2 more as Bruce hit a sacrifice fly to center and Brandon Phillips doubled in a run. Heading into the 9th inning, the Reds were ahead 9-2, and then things got interesting.

The Brewers loaded the bases with nobody out as Lind walked, Jason Rogers reached on an infield single, and Ramirez singled to right. With one out, Maldonado hit his own single to right, scoring Lind. With the bases still loaded, the Reds brought in their closer, Aroldis Chapman. He promptly hit pinch hitter Hector Gomez, pushing across another run, making it 9-4. Up next, Segura squeezed a chopper through the middle, scoring 2 more runs, and making the lead just 3, bringing the tying run to the plate with one out. Chapman bore down to strike out the final two hitters of the game, however, preserving the win for the Reds.

For the second game in a row, Ryan Braun was held out of the starting lineup, and for the second game in a row, Logan Schafer got the starting nod. Schafer finished 2-4 with a double, and we will have to wait and see if Braun is in the starting lineup Tuesday night.

Game 2 of the series will pit Kyle Lohse (1-3, 7.94 ERA) against the Reds’ Johnny Cueto (1-2, 1.86 ERA). First pitch is at 6:10 pm.

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