Baseball / Sports

Lucroy's homer gives Brewers walk-off win vs. Reds

MILWAUKEE -- They hit four solo home runs, two of which came from Jonathan Lucroy, to power a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park.

Lucroy's second was the biggest, as he led off the bottom of the ninth with a shot into the seats in left field off Sam LeCure to break a 3-3 tie. Lucroy also homered in the sixth to give Milwaukee a 3-1 lead.

It was the first walk-off victory via homer this season for the Brewers and the second walk-off homer of Lucroy's career. His first also came against the Reds, when he took closer Aroldis Chapman deep for a victory last Aug. 16.

Cincinnati scored twice in the seventh against Milwaukee to tie the game at 3-3, taking advantage of some wildness by starter Jimmy Nelson.

Francisco Rodriguez then pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to set the stage for Lucroy's heroics.

Milwaukee struck quickly against Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey.

With two outs in the first, Ryan Braun homered to right on a 96-mph fastball to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. It was his 13th of the season, and it just happened to come on the one-year anniversary of his 65-game, season-ending suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

Two pitches later, Aramis Ramirez reached down and pulled a slider out to left for his 12th homer and doubled Milwaukee's lead to 2-0.

Nelson, meanwhile, sailed through his first three innings on only 33 pitches, registering a strikeout in each. It was a far cry from his last outing July 12 -- his first as a full-time member of the rotation -- when he gave up eight hits and eight runs (six earned) in 4 1/3 innings to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Speedster Billy Hamilton was the first to reach base, singling to center to lead off the fourth. He quickly stole second and went to third on a groundout before Nelson hit Todd Frazier to put runners on the corner for Jay Bruce.

Known as a Brewers killer throughout his career, Bruce was given Monday off after going 0-for-11 over the weekend against the Yankees in New York. After striking out looking in the second against Nelson, he doubled down the first-base line to drive in Hamilton to halve Milwaukee's lead.

Nelson limited the damage to that lone run, however.

Following those first-inning homers, Bailey retired 11 straight until walking Lyle Overbay in the fifth. He then hit Jean Segura and with two outs walked Carlos Gomez to load the bases, but Rickie Weeks -- inserted an inning earlier when Scooter Gennett went out with a sore right thigh -- grounded out to shortstop.

Lucroy hit a two-out homer into the Brewers' bullpen in left-center on a full count against Bailey to stretch the Brewers' lead to 3-1 in the sixth.

Nelson, who'd allowed only one base-runner over the fifth and sixth, was then quickly challenged in the seventh when Ryan Ludwick and Brayan Pena each singled to start.

Zack Cozart, next up, was knocked down as he attempted a bunt. Home-plate umpire Brian Gorman ruled he was hit by the pitch. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke challenged, only to see the call confirmed in 1 minute 18 seconds despite replays showing the ball clearly hit the bat.

Nelson followed that by hitting No. 8 hitter Ramon Santiago in the foot, driving in Ludwick and ending his night. Pinch hitter Chris Heisey then drove in Pena with a fly ball to left off Brandon Kintzler, making it 3-3.

Hamilton lined into a 4-6 double play to end the inning and at least preserve the tie for the Brewers.

Jumbo Diaz and Zach Duke exchanged 1-2-3 innings -- with Duke striking out the side swinging in the eighth -- before the Brewers put some heat on Jonathan Broxton in the bottom of the frame.

With one out, Weeks singled to center. Braun then worked the count to 3-0 before taking three consecutive strikes and flipping his bat into the air in frustration as he voiced his displeasure to Gorman.

Weeks stole second with Ramirez at the plate to get into scoring position, but Ramirez flied out to center to send the game to the ninth.

(c)2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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