MILWAUKEE - The Cincinnati Reds entered their single most vital July series in a decade as the road team on Thursday, and immediately loaded the bases in the Top of the 1st.
Then, they loaded them again. And again.
Despite the early clogging of the bases against Milwaukee Brewers starter Adrian Houser, however, they simply couldn’t find a way to push a run across the plate. Further exacerbating things was Milwaukee’s own loading of the bags against Tyler Mahle in the Bottom of the 1st - and the pair of runs that scored off him to put them in an early hole despite their constant near-successes.
The Reds eventually found a way to claw their way back, though, something that’s become something of their calling card over the last few weeks. A pair of wild pitches by reliever Jake Cousins allowed the Reds to level the score in the Top of the 5th while Tucker Barnhart’s single put them ahead 3-2.
Milwaukee found a way to punch back in the Bottom of the 6th off Mahle, however, with their second of a pair of doubles being bungled by Jesse Winker in LF as he approached the wall, as Keston Hiura’s knock plated Omar Narvaez to level things and turn this into a bullpen game, one that Tyler Naquin kept even by nailing Luis Urias at the plate to end the Bottom of the 7th.
Did I say bullpen game? Oh, brother.
Brad Brach was on the bump for the Bottom of the 8th, and after Omar Narvaez reached on a well-placed single up the gut, Avisail Garcia swatted a mammoth 2-run dinger off the batter’s eye in CF that put Milwaukee ahead 5-3, a lead they would not relinquish.
These two clubs will go back at it tomorrow with a pair of lefties slated to start - Wade Miley for the Reds, Eric Lauer for the Beers. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET once again.