MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds failed to capitalize on a late opportunity to earn a rare road win.
Now they may be without second baseman Brandon Phillips for a while.
Cincinnati scored twice with two outs in the ninth, but pinch hitter Jordan Pacheco struck out looking to end it in a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Phillips crashed awkwardly into the wall in foul territory in the first inning. He stayed in the game, but clearly looked hobbled the rest of the way with a left leg injury.
“We’ll see how he comes out of it,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He wrenched his ankle pretty good there. He wanted to stay in and be out there competing with his teammates. I knew it was painful.”
The Reds appeared poised to cap an improbable two-out rally, before falling just short against Brewers reliever Blaine Boyer.
Tyler Holt singled, reached second on defensive indifference and scored on Ivan De Jesus Jr.’s single. De Jesus advanced to second on defensive indifference and scored on Tucker Barnhart’s single before Boyer struck out Pacheco looking for his first save of the season.
“We were able to get some guys on base and do some things with really good two-out at-bats. We just weren’t able to finish it off,” Price said. “Good to see that there’s still a lot of fight there at the end.”
Jay Bruce homered for Cincinnati, which is 4-19 away from Great American Ball Park. The Reds have yet to win a road series this year and have lost 12 of their past 13 overall.
Cincinnati hasn’t won a series on the road since taking two of three in Milwaukee on Sept. 18-20, 2015.
Brandon Finnegan (1-4) lost his fourth straight decision, allowing four runs in 6 1-3 innings.
“It is easy to get frustrated,” Finnegan said. “We want to win. It doesn’t matter if we are rebuilding or not. We have the talent on this team to win. I think we can.”
BIG SERIES FOR LUCROY
Jonathan Lucroy drove in three runs and finished with nine RBIs in the series. Leadoff hitter Jonathan Villar added three runs and drove in another and Milwaukee won for the fifth time in six games.
“I’ve been swinging at bad pitches. I’m just trying to have good approaches. It’s a mental thing, really,” Lucroy said.
Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson (5-3) struggled early, but settled down to allow two runs and six hits and two walks in 7 1-3 innings.
Villar has been a pleasant surprise for the Brewers.
Acquired in an offseason trade from Houston for a pitching prospect, Villar is hitting .307 with a .409 on-base percentage and holding down the shortstop position before top prospect Orlando Arcia takes over.
“That’s the kind of guy you want in the leadoff spot. He’s got speed, he’s hitting for average, he’s walking and he’s making good decisions,” Lucroy said. “It’s nice to get up there and have a guy on base every time you get up to hit.”
Reds: LHP Jon Moscot is scheduled to come off the disabled list and start Tuesday in Colorado.
Brewers: LF Ryan Braun (neck) was out of the starting lineup for the eighth time in the past 14 games. Braun has had wrist, back and neck issues over the past two weeks. … RHP Corey Knebel (oblique) is headed to Class A Brevard County on Monday to begin a rehab assignment.
Reds: Cincinnati will begin a four-game series in Colorado on Monday.
Brewers: Milwaukee looks to improve to 6-0 in games when RHP Junior Guerra (3-0, 3.30 ERA) starts when the Brewers open a three-game series against the Cardinals on Monday.