Reds 6, Brewers 3
Ryan Ludwick hit a line drive that carried into the seats in
left field for his first homer since last October. The next time
up, he hit the ball as hard as he can, right at the shortstop.
Maybe his swing is starting to come around.
Ludwick hit the most noteworthy of Cincinnati’s four homers on
Saturday night during a 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers that
left their cleanup hitter with a better feeling.
”Amazing,” Ludwick said. ”And my next at-bat, I was even more
thrilled. I hit that ball harder than the home run. The swing was
more pure, the ball had no sink. That ball I hit to the shortstop
was the hardest ball I’ve hit since I’ve been here. That was my
best swing since I’ve been here.”
Zack Cozart added a tie-breaking two-run homer as the Reds piled
up 14 hits, their highest total against an NL Central opponent
since June 11. They evened their series at a game apiece with their
13th victory in their last 18 games overall.
Bronson Arroyo (13-9) won his fourth straight start by allowing
three runs, including Caleb Gindl’s pinch-hit homer leading off the
eighth. The right-hander hasn’t walked a batter in his last 29 2-3
Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 33rd save in 38
chances. The left-hander hit a batter and fanned three with a
fastball that repeatedly registered 102 mph.
”It was a good win for us as a whole,” Arroyo said. ”The
bullpen got some rest. We’ve been playing good baseball. After you
take three out of four from Arizona, you don’t want to lose two in
Ludwick and Cozart connected in the sixth inning off John Axford
(6-7), who failed to hold a 2-1 lead. Joey Votto added his 19th
homer an inning later off Michael Gonzalez, and Cozart singled for
his third RBI.
Axford had a rough start to the season, giving up runs in each
of his first four appearances. He didn’t give up any runs in 31 of
his 32 appearances from May 15 to July 24. His inconsistency has
been a mystery.
”It’s hard to know,” manager Ron Roenicke said. ”When he’s
right, I want him in there. But he’s got to be more consistent.
”He’s got to get back to that guy he was for 30 outings in a
row. He was really good for a while.”
Chris Heisey started it with a solo homer off Wily Peralta, who
lasted only five innings. The right-hander is 1-3 in five starts
against the Reds this season. Last Sunday in Milwaukee, he gave up
seven runs in only 4 1-3 innings of a 9-1 loss to the Reds.
Ludwick tore cartilage in his right shoulder while sliding
headfirst into base on opening day, sidelining him for more than
three months. His homer was his first since a solo shot off San
Francisco’s Matt Cain during Game 5 of the Giants’ playoff victory
in Cincinnati last season.
”It’s a work in progress,” Ludwick said. ”I’m not where I
want to be. Did I expect to be in midseason form? Yeah, probably. I
was probably asking too much.”
Arroyo overcome a tough early inning.
Khris Davis drove in the Brewers’ first run with a double in the
second, extending his impressive series. He had a pair of two-run
homers in consecutive at-bats for a 6-4 win on Friday night.
Davis was called up for his third stint with Milwaukee when Ryan
Braun accepted a 65-game suspension on July 22 for using
performance-enhancing drugs. The rookie has batted .383 with eight
homers since then, earning regular playing time in the outfield.
He’s got a 10-game hitting streak.
Scooter Gennett followed Davis’ double with a sacrifice fly for
a 2-0 lead.
Milwaukee’s defense cut down a rally in the fourth. Ludwick led
off with a broken-bat single and tried to score from first base on
Jack Hannahan’s double off the wall in left-center field. Carlos
Gomez got to the ball quickly and shortstop Jean Segura made a
perfect relay to get Ludwick sliding into the plate.
Notes: RH Greg Reynolds joined the Reds and will start on Sunday
in place of LH Tony Cingrani, who has a strained lower back. The
Brewers will start Marco Estrada. … RF Jay Bruce got a day off.
He has played in all but two of Cincinnati’s games this season. …
Heisey extended his hitting streak to seven games.
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