CINCINNATI (AP) — Scooter Gennett’s two-run homer got the Reds going. His clutch tag completed a win against the team that decided he no longer fit its rebuilding plans.
Gennett hit a two-run homer on Wednesday night, Billy Hamilton scored the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning, and Cincinnati’s defense finished off a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
“Everything went right for us,” manager Bryan Price said .
It did, from start to finish.
The Brewers lost starter Chase Anderson to a strained oblique in the second inning. Anderson hurt his left side while striking out, a notable setback to the NL Central leaders. He’s second on the club with six wins.
“It takes time,” Anderson said . “It’s one of those injuries where you can’t really pinpoint a time. It could be a month, it could be two months, hopefully nothing longer than that.”
After Travis Shaw tied it 3-3 in the top of the eighth with a solo homer off Drew Storen (2-2), Hamilton led off the bottom of the inning with a walk and two steals off Corey Knebel (0-1). Hamilton scored on Adam Duvall’s infield single.
The game ended on an unusual play culminating in Gennett’s tag.
With runners at first and third, Raisel Iglesias fanned Jesus Aguilar for the second out. Orlando Arcacia broke for second base on the pitch, hoping to get caught in a rundown that would allow Jonathan Villar to score from third base.
Instead, Gennett took Tucker Barnhart’s throw at second and tagged Arcacia to end the game .
“They were going to get in a rundown and let the tying run score,” Barnhart said. “As soon as I let the ball go, I thought, ‘Oh no.’ But Scooter ran him down.”
The botched play allowed Iglesias to get his 14th save in 15 chances.
“The play is Orlando stops,” manager Craig Counsell said . “It was going to work, and Orlando didn’t stop in time and they got the tag.”
Gennett connected off Paolo Espino. Gennett, who was waived by the Brewers late in spring training, has 12 homers this season, two shy of his career high set last year. Duvall also connected for the Reds, who have taken the first two games in the series.
Luis Castillo fanned nine and gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings of his second major league start, including Ryan Braun’s homer.
Braun was activated for the start of the series after missing 31 games with a strained left calf. His solo shot gave him 23 homers at Great American Ball Park, tying Lance Berkman for most by a visiting player.
With his 914th career walk, Joey Votto passed Larry Walker for most by a Canadian player in major league history.
THERE IT GOES
The Reds have given up homers in 21 straight games since June 6, a club record that’s five shy of the major league record. The teams have combined for 11 homers in the first two games of the series.
Reds right fielder Scott Schebler reached over the top of the wall in right field to catch Stephen Vogt’s fly ball in the second, robbing him of a three-run homer. Vogt had to settle for a sacrifice fly on the play.
Knebel fanned Gennett in the eighth. The reliever has struck out at least one batter in 39 consecutive appearances this season, tying Bruce Sutter’s major league record from 1977 with the Cubs.
The Reds recalled reliever Austin Brice and put left-handed starter Brandon Finnegan on the 10-day DL with a strained left triceps. Finnegan missed the first two months of the season with a strained shoulder and hurt his triceps on Monday in St. Louis during his first start of the season.
Brewers: RHP Brandon Woodruff, on the 10-day DL recovering from a tight right hamstring, is expected to pitch in rehab games over the All-Star break.
Reds: SS Zack Cozart is a day or two away from returning from a strained right thigh, which has sidelined him since June 19.
Brewers: Jimmy Nelson (5-4) beat the Reds 5-1 on April 13 at Great American Ball Park, giving up one run and five hits in seven innings.
Reds: Homer Bailey (0-1) looks for major improvement in his second start of the season. He had bone spurs removed from his elbow before the start of spring training. Bailey lasted only 1 2/3 innings on Saturday at Washington, giving up eight runs and six hits in an 18-3 loss.
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