Brewers' Lohse shuts down Reds
Kyle Lohse enjoyed playing spoiler on Friday night.
He retired 23 consecutive batters at one point and finished with a four-hitter, and Carlos Gomez went 3 for 4 with 5 RBIs, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
Cincinnati had three consecutive hits to open the second, but then had 23 batters in a row retired before Jay Bruce walked with two outs in the ninth. The Reds have dropped three of four.
''Pitching a game like this as a spoiler - it feels good,'' Lohse said. ''You've got to look at it as your playoff situation.
''These guys are more than likely going to be in the playoffs,'' he said. ''We're not going to knock them out or anything. But to be able to go out there and pitch against a playoff-caliber team, it makes you feel good. That lineup can swing it quite a bit.''
Lohse (10-9) started the season 1-6 after missing most of spring training, signing with the Brewers as a free agent on March 25. Since the slow start, he has gone 9-3.
''We made some hard outs, but you've got to give him a little bit of credit,'' Ryan Ludwick said. ''He missed a lot of bats tonight. He had a lot of balls off the end of the bat.''
The Reds' wild-card lead dropped to 4 1/2 games over the surging Washington Nationals, who have won seven straight games.
Cincinnati has lost three of four, but has only 14 games left. Washington has 15 games remaining.
''It seems like kind of a recurring theme,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ''We're lucky to get one (run). The big inning is eluding us.''
Despite being fourth in the NL by averaging 4.3 runs per game, it was the third time in four games the Reds had scored one or fewer runs.
''It's just one of those days where you just have to hit the reset button and go after them again the next time you go out,'' Cincinnati starter Mat Latos said.
Latos (14-6) allowed five runs - the most he has given up since the All-Star break - and seven hits and three walks while striking out four in 6 2/3 innings.
Gomez had a two-run single in the first, an RBI single in the third and a two-RBI single in the seventh to account for all of Milwaukee's runs. Two of the singles were bloop hits.
''I guess that was his night when things like that happen over and over,'' Baker said.
The Brewers' center fielder was coming off a tough road trip, batting .150, and had hit only .116 against the Reds this season coming into the game.
Norichika Aoki led off the first with a four-pitch walk. One out later, Ludwick appeared to lose sight of Jonathan Lucroy's sharp liner to left field, and it went by him to the wall for a double.
Aramis Ramirez was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Gomez hit a bloop single to right, scoring Aoki and Lucroy to make it 2-0.
Ludwick, Jack Hannahan and Zack Cozart had consecutive singles to open the second, and Mesoraco grounded into a fielder's choice to third that scored Ludwick.
Latos hit a sacrifice bunt to move Mesoraco to second, but Shin-Soo Choo struck out to end the inning. The Reds were retired in order in each inning until Bruce's walk in the ninth.
Milwaukee loaded the bases in the seventh, and Gomez hit a two-run single off reliever J.J. Hoover to make it 5-1.
Notes: Gomez also had five RBIs on July 12, 2009, while with Minnesota against the Chicago White Sox. ... Ramirez was removed after the first inning after being hit by a pitch from Latos. The team said he suffered a contusion on his left wrist and was day to day.