The Cincinnati Reds wrapped up their two-city, six-game road trip on Wednesday afternoon with a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Now having lost six consecutive games and having been swept in back-to-back series, a club that sat at seven games over .500 when the All-Star break began, now sits just a game over a week from the Trade Deadline.
Befallen by their lack of timely hitting offensively, the Reds could not get much of anything going against Brewers’ starter Kyle Lohse. Manager Bryan Price reacted to his sluggers Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco’s slumps by shifting them down in the order, in favor of Brayan Pena and Ryan Ludwick, who made one of the more unlikely duos for a team’s third and fourth hitters all season long.
While Pena would line out in his first at-bat and Ludwick would come about 15 feet short of a home run in the sixth inning, the duo would combine to go 0-for-8.
The lone run Cincinnati would push across during the afternoon tilt would come via the sacrifice fly. Skip Schumaker and Ramon Santiago reached to begin the fifth before being moved over by pitcher Mike Leake. For an offense that is severely scuffling, more than one run is needed in these types of situations, but just a single run is all they would get. Billy Hamilton knocked in his 40th run of the season (and stole his 40th base) to put the Reds ahead 1-0 through the first half of the game.
All game long, Mike Leake walked the proverbial tightrope. He would allow a hit in each of his six innings, ending the day giving up four runs on 11 hits, a season-high.
Leake ducked and weaved around trouble in the front three innings, but was bailed out by two crucial double plays turned behind him. As the pre-game starter report indicated, Leake begins to get into trouble once entering the middle innings of the game—this time, the third time through the order. Arguably, the biggest hit of the game was a simple, non-run scoring single off the bat of the opposing pitcher Kyle Lohse.
Immediately following the flare single off the bat of Lohse, Carlos Gomez dropped an RBI triple down the right field line that just narrowly slid under the glove of right fielder Jay Bruce. Before the inning could end, Ryan Braun would bring home Gomez, giving Milwaukee a 2-1 lead they would never relinquish.
Reds killer Rickie Weeks struck again to lead off the sixth inning, jumping all over a first-pitch fastball. Just two batters later, Mark Reynolds connected with an upper deck blast off Leake that would allow the Brewers to jump out to a 4-1 lead with the outcome looking all but certain.
As Jumbo Diaz would find out during his inning of work in the bottom of the eighth, Reynolds would have a three-hit day in store. Clubbing a blast into the Milwaukee bullpen, Reynolds’ multi-home run game gave him co-player of the game honors with Brewers starter Kyle Lohse.
Early on, the defense seemed to be coming unglued yet again. On the very first play of the game, Todd Frazier booted a ball right at him off the bat of Carlos Gomez, but disaster was averted.
The rest of the contest was an impressive clinic from the men at the corners with backup first baseman Brayan Pena have three stellar picks in the dirt over at first. Frazier would make multiple diving stops throughout the rest of the contest. Although, the play of the game would come from shortstop Ramon Santiago. In the bottom of the second inning, Santiago ranged into left field to snare Khris Davis’ smash, and in one motion sprung up and threw to a sprawling Pena who managed to keep his foot on the bag. The play will be lost amongst the tailspin the club is currently in, but it matches up with any play made all season long.
A road trip of horrors finally concludes for the Redlegs. They will now receive a day off on their trip from Milwaukee back to Cincinnati before resuming play on Friday night.
In come the first place Washington Nationals, who will send Tanner Roark to the hill against Alfredo Simon for a 7:10 p.m. start on Friday. Looking to avoid falling back to the .500 mark, the Redlegs will hope the “Big Pasta” gives the home crowd some good cooking.
Tags: Cincinnati Reds