CINCINNATI (AP) — Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer during his latest big game against Milwaukee, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Brewers 9-5 on Thursday night even though their bullpen extended its historically bad streak of allowing runs.
Alfredo Simon (1-3) made it easy on the major leagues’ worst bullpen, becoming only the second Reds starter to last seven innings. He allowed three runs in 7 2/3 innings, including Alex Presley’s two-run homer. The Reds turned three double plays behind him.
The bullpen couldn’t close it out smoothly. J.J. Hoover gave up Chris Carter’s 10th homer leading off the ninth inning, extending the bullpen’s major league record to 23 consecutive games allowing at least one run. It was the 23rd homer allowed by Reds relievers in 29 games. Colin Walsh drove in another run.
The Reds got the better of a matchup between the NL Central’s two bottom teams, winning for only the fourth time in their last 14 games.
Bruce homered during a five-run first inning off Chase Anderson (1-4). His 34 career homers against the Brewers are by far his highest total against any team. By comparison, he’s hit 20 against the Cardinals and the Pirates.
Anderson has been in a rut, and he couldn’t get out of it against a Reds team he has dominated. He beat the Reds twice last season and had allowed only one run in three career starts against Cincinnati.
The Reds sent nine batters to the plate for five runs in the first. Phillips hit a sacrifice fly, and Bruce’s fifth homer of the season made it 4-0 after only 13 pitches. Tucker Barnhart completed the rally with a run-scoring single.
Phillips added a two-run shot in the second off Anderson, his second homer in two games. Adam Duvall hit a two-run shot in the eighth.
The Brewers claimed LH Michael Kirkman off waivers from San Diego. He’s expected to join the team on Saturday.
Brewers: RF Domingo Santana was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a sore right shoulder.
Reds: CF Billy Hamilton returned after being out of the starting lineup the last three games because of a sore left thumb.
Brewers: RH Tyler Cravy is expected to start in place of Wily Peralta, who will go on paternity leave.
Reds: RH Tim Adelman makes his second career start. He gave up two runs and three hits in six innings of a 6-5, 11-inning win in Pittsburgh on Sunday.