Wabash Valley Sports
Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Jonathan Lucroy belted a pair of homers, including a lead-off shot against Sam LeCure in the bottom of the ninth inning, to boost the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Lucroy also hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez clubbed back-to-back homers in the opening frame for the NL Central leaders, who will go for the three-game sweep Wednesday afternoon.
Lucroy took LeCure's (1-2) 1-1 pitch over the wall in left field.
"The last two weeks have been kind of tough making solid contact," Lucroy said. "I'm glad to help the team out and contribute, and get it done tonight."
The Reds, who fell to 0-5 after the All-Star break, had five hits, one less than the Brewers. Cincinnati has lost a season-high eight straight road games.
"They are already disappointed," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "They don't need a lecture from me about it. We are all disappointed. Nobody likes it."
Cincinnati's Homer Bailey, who retired 11 in a row at one point, was charged with four hits and three runs in six innings. Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson had a similar line, but pitched to four batters into the seventh.
Braun smacked a 2-2 offering over the wall in right with two outs in the opening inning. Two pitches later, Ramirez hit a liner to left.
Jay Bruce's double, a bouncer past first baseman Lyle Overbay, brought in Billy Hamilton in the fourth to get the Reds within 2-1. That snapped an 0-for-16 stretch for Bruce.
Rickie Weeks grounded out with the bases full to end the fifth inning, but Lucroy expanded the lead to 3-1 in the sixth by smacking a full-count pitch to left center.
The Reds tied the game in the seventh, thanks in part to a wild Nelson. Ryan Ludwick and Brayan Pena singled before Zack Cozart was hit by a pitch on his right hand while squaring to bunt. Replays showed the ball likely hit the bat first before caroming off his hand, and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke challenged, but the call remained and the bases were full with nobody out.
Ramon Santiago was then hit on his foot and Brandon Kintzler replaced Nelson on the hill. Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey lifted a sacrifice fly to left to tie the game, but Hamilton then lined out to second and Cozart was inexplicably not on the base and doubled off to end the inning.
Kristopher Negron, who came into the game when Cozart exited in the seventh, was hit in the helmet by a Francisco Rodriguez (4-3) pick-off throw in the ninth. Negron received medical attention, but remained in the game. Rodriguez fanned Santiago to end the frame.
Braun has a 10-game hitting streak ... Weeks replaced Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett (tight right quad) after the fourth inning ... The Reds placed relief pitcher Logan Ondrusek on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right shoulder. The team recalled pitcher Curtis Partch from Triple-A Louisville to fill the vacated roster spot ... This is the first time the Reds are 0-5 after the All-Star Game since they went 0-8 following the 1991 break ... Cincinnati went 1-for-6 with men in scoring position and is 2-for-34 with RISP during this road trip.