CINCINNATI -- For the first time in over two weeks, the Milwaukee Brewers find themselves on a losing streak.
After rallying to tie the game in the seventh inning, the Brewers allowed Cincinnati to regain control in the eighth on a pinch-hit, two-run home run by Brayan Pena off Jim Henderson in the Reds' 8-3 victory Thursday night at Great American Ball Park.
Milwaukee, which lost, 9-3, Wednesday in St. Louis, has dropped consecutive games for the first time since losing two straight to the Cardinals at Miller Park April 14-15.
Carlos Gomez's two-out, two-RBI double in the seventh off Homer Bailey rallied the Brewers from a 3-1 deficit, and Brandon Kintzler got himself out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the frame.
After the Brewers failed to score in the eighth, Henderson came on and surrendered a leadoff single to Zack Cozart. After Tucker Barnhart bunted him up to second, Pena belted the first pitch he saw -- an 85-mph slider -- over the wall in right to put the Reds back in front, 5-3.
"That was a right-in-the-wheelhouse slider for him there," said Henderson, who took the loss to drop to 2-1. "The scouting report, you can throw it out the window when you throw a bad pitch like that."
Henderson got the second out but not before loading the bases, and newly recalled Rob Wooten forced in a run by walking Todd Frazier. A two-run single by Ryan Ludwick off the glove of Aramis Ramirez followed, and before long Cincinnati had opened up a five-run lead.
It was an uncharacteristic night all around by Brewer pitchers, who combined to issue a season-high eight walks and hitting a batter. Starter Marco Estrada was responsible for four of those free passes, but nevertheless kept his team in the game with his fifth consecutive quality start.
"I made a lot of bad pitches today," said Estrada, who in six innings allowed six hits and three earned runs to go along with six strikeouts. "I walked four guys, which is something that I don't normally do. So I knew that it was going to be a battle. Just didn't make the pitches today."
The first inning saw Gomez robbed of extra bases by Billy Hamilton, only to turn around and rob Joey Votto in the bottom half.
Gomez led off the game with a drive to right-center that the speedster Hamilton tracked down and hauled in with a diving stab. Hamilton sprained the third and fourth knuckles on his left hand on the play, however, and had to be lifted in favor of Chris Heisey between innings.
After Heisey struck out to open for the Reds, Votto followed with a towering drive to center. Gomez got turned around initially but made it back to the wall, leaped and brought the ball back for the second out.
Gomez also robbed Votto at Miller Park last year -- one of a major-league-leading five homers he pulled back.
"Most of the time he hits perfect ones -- really high and I have time to time it and get into the right position," said Gomez. "I'm really lucky to catch two balls like that and be in the right position."
Three consecutive singles by Khris Davis, Mark Reynolds and Jean Segura gave the Brewers a lead at 1-0 in the second.
The score remained that way until the fifth, when Estrada surrendered a leadoff homer to No. 8 hitter Barnhart, the first of his career, making it 1-1.
In the sixth, Estrada walked Bruce to start, and Frazier followed by yanking a changeup to left-center that looked to be a routine fly ball off the bat only to carry into the seats. That put Cincinnati ahead, 3-1.
"Both of them changeups, both of them out front," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "The ball carries very well and they got it up there. I didn't think either one was going to be a home run. They squared them up; they were just out in front."
Homer Bailey, who entered the night with a 1-2 record and 6.15 earned-run average, retired 10 of 11 Brewers batters entering the seventh. He got Davis and Reynolds to ground out before Segura singled to right and Rickie Weeks pinch hit for Estrada, singling off Bailey's foot to put two on for Gomez.
Gomez, first-pitch swinging, doubled into left-center on a 96-mph fastball to knot the score at 3-3.
"We didn't do much until the end there where we scored the runs," said Roenicke. "(Bailey) had a real nice fastball, split-finger, slider was pretty good. When he's on, he's tough, and early on I thought he threw a nice ball game."
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