CINCINNATI (AP) — Daniel Robertson hit his first home run in more than two years, a tiebreaking, seventh-inning drive in his second game back from a concussion, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Saturday.
Robertson was hurt when hit by a pitch from the Chicago Cubs’ Jason Ada on April 25 and returned Friday, when he entered as a seventh-inning defensive replacement and grounded out.
He came into Saturday’s game in the sixth inning as part of a double switch, led off the seventh and homered on a first-pitch slider from Heath Hembree (0-1), driving the ball just over the leap of center fielder Scott Heineman. It was the 17th home run for Robertson but first since April 28, 2019, for Tampa Bay off Boston’s Chris Sale.
“It’s been a while,” Robertson said. “To be able to do something to help the team win felt good. He hung a slider and I put a good swing on it.”
Robertson, batting just .103 before the homer, got his first RBI since Sept. 8, 2019.
Brent Suter (3-2) won after allowing Tyler Stephenson’s sixth-inning RBI single that tied the score 3-3.
Devin Williams struck out the side in the eighth and Josh Hader struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 10 chances, giving Milwaukee a split of the first two games of the three-game series.
Cincinnati’s Sonny Gray remained winless in seven starts. He allowed three runs, five hits and a season-high four walks in six innings with eight strikeouts.
“It was just average,” Gray said. “There were too many walks.”
A day after homering three times, Jesse Winker hit his 12th of the season for the Reds off Brett Anderson.
“He’s tough,” Anderson said.. “That pitch 2-0 was where I wanted to throw it, but he beat me to the spot.”
Heineman, acquired from Texas during the offseason, made his first start for the Reds and hit his first home run for Cincinnati, when he led off the third against Anderson.
Anderson gave up two runs and four hits in five innings.
Home runs by Heineman and Winker in the bottom of the third overcame Luis Urías’ home run in the top half. Gray had struck five straight before Urías’ drive.
Gray took a 2-1 lead into the sixth when the game was delayed for 12 minutes after plate umpire Ron Kulpa was hit in the face by a passed ball by Stephenson on a cross-up with Gray. Kulpa left the game and was replaced by Nic Lentz, who had been umpiring at second.
“I’m glad Ron is going to be OK,” Gray said. “I tried to get a fastball up and in. It just didn’t work out for us.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. who was batting .094 with runners in scoring position, followed the delay with a two-run single.
“That’s what you need, different heroes every night,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “The offense was a little something from lot of guys. That was good to see.”
Winker became the first Reds player to hit a home run following a three-homer game since Greg Vaughn in 1999.
Brewers utilityman Billy McKinney who stepped in when Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich were injured, was designated for assignment. Counsell doesn’t expect McKinney to clear waivers. “He’s going to be tough to keep,” Counsell said. “He played an important role. We ran out of space, frankly.” The Brewers optioned infielder/outfielder Pablo Reyes to Triple-A Nashville, sent outfielder Derek Fisher to Nashville on a rehab assignment and recalled from Triple-A right-hander Alec Bettinger.
Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong who left Friday’s game after being hit on the right elbow by a Lucas Sims pitch in the seventh, was out of the lineup Saturday. “He was having a hard time gripping the baseball,” said manager Craig Counsell. “He should be back tomorrow if we can get a little swelling out of there.” X-rays taken on Friday were negative.
RHP Freddy Peralta (4-1, 2.40) starts Sunday’s series finale for Milwaukee and RHP Luis Castillo (1-6, 7.44) for the Reds.
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