Brewers 8, Reds 7
Mark Kotsay capped Milwaukee’s first rally with a big home run.
His encore was even more dramatic.
Kotsay hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth off Reds
closer Francisco Cordero after he previously homered in the sixth
and the Brewers rallied twice to beat Cincinnati 8-7 on Friday
night for their third straight victory.
”I’m looking for a fastball, but he’s got a great split,”
Kotsay said. ”I know he has a good fastball, and at that point, he
could have thrown it, could have thrown a split. I was just trying
to battle and stay in the at-bat and not chase anything out of the
Kotsay is in the lineup while Ryan Braun recovers from a
strained left hamstring and got a second chance, too, after going
from hero to zero.
He homered to start the sixth, giving Milwaukee a 5-4 lead, but
bumbled a play in left field in the seventh and the Reds went on to
score three times to take a 7-5 lead.
”I had a chance to redeem myself,” Kotsay said.
Did he ever.
In the ninth, Cordero began the inning by walking George
Kottaras before Nyjer Morgan hit a one-out triple. Corey Hart hit a
chopper in the draw-in infield and Zack Cozart, the rookie
shortstop, threw out Morgan at the plate after Morgan collided hard
with catcher Ryan Hanigan.
Cordero walked Prince Fielder to bring up Casey McGehee, who
grounded to third, reaching on an infield hit. Fielder was replaced
with the speedy Carlos Gomez at second and with the bases loaded,
Kotsay hit a hard single to right.
It appeared a play at the plate was coming and Gomez slid home,
but Jay Bruce’s throw was well over Hanigan’s head and the
celebration was on.
”We have good character here,” said Kotsay, who improved to 6
for 13 against Cordero. ”We talk about it a lot – we play the game
to the final out. That’s what the manager expects, what the fans
expect, and that’s what we’re here to do. I don’t know if every
club has that demeanor. We’ve showed our character a few times this
year. Every team wants to have that ability, but I think this club
has had it in the past and we continue the tradition.”
It was Cincinnati’s sixth loss in the last eight games and
Cordero blew his second straight save after failing on Wednesday in
”I think I threw him a good pitch, but he got the best part of
it,” Cordero said. ”I don’t know if I made a mistake or if he
just hit a good pitch.”
The win gives Milwaukee sole possession of first place in the NL
Central, a game ahead of St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The Reds are
four games back and season-worst two games under .500 for the first
time in more than a year.
”It’s a devastating loss,” Cordero said. ”We’re chasing the
Brewers and the Pirates and St. Louis. We could’ve been a game
closer, but now we’re a game further back.”
Marco Estrada (2-5) earned the win by pitching the ninth, but
the rest of Milwaukee’s bullpen struggled.
”I knew that if I went out there and gave them a clean inning,
that we would come back,” Estrada said. ”That’s how good our
Leading 5-4, Zach Braddock gave up three runs in the seventh.
Cozart singled and Joey Votto doubled down the left-field line,
which Kotsay misplayed, allowing Votto to reach third.
Brandon Phillips followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly and
Bruce hit his 20th homer of the year to give the Reds a 7-5
Cincinnati earlier built a 2-0 lead on Votto’s 13th homer of the
season and Bruce’s RBI single in the first. Mat Gamel booted Scott
Rolen’s grounder to third, allowing two more runs to score in the
third inning to make it 4-0.
Rickie Weeks, a first-time All-Star, hit an inside-the-park
homer when his deep fly ball in the bottom of the third caromed
oddly off the angled wall in right-center field. He scored without
a throw home for his 17th homer of the season and second in as many
days to cut it to 4-1.
Milwaukee added three runs in the fifth off a double by Weeks, a
single by Morgan and a sacrifice fly by Fielder tied it before
Kotsay drove in three of Milwaukee’s final four runs including his
”I wanted that opportunity,” Kotsay said. ”I knew it could
get around to me. Not that it was going to turn out great – I still
could have been the goat, you know? But fortunately the line drive
goes somewhere that they’re not, and we win.”
NOTES: Brewers starter Zack Greinke struck out 10 and scored a
run. … Weeks’ inside-the-park homer was the second of his career.
… The last time the Reds were two games under .500 was April 27,
2010. … The Brewers have hit 103 homers so far this season, the
sixth straight year they’ll have at least 100 homers by the
All-Star break. … Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who
played college football at Wisconsin, took batting practice before
the game and hit seven home runs.