Lucroy contributes big homer and big out in Brewers win over Reds
CINCINNATI -- Jonathan Lucroy drove in the go-ahead run and then preserved the lead with his arm.
Lucroy greeted Ross Ohlendorf with a tiebreaking home run leading off the eighth inning, then caught pinch-runner Billy Hamilton stealing for the final out as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 Sunday for their second straight come-from-behind win.
Lucroy lined the second pitch from Ohlendorf (3-3) over the left-field fence to cap a comeback from a 4-1 deficit and salvage a four-game split.
"I'm just trying to have good at-bats," Lucroy said. "I got a pitch up from Ohlendorf and was able to get the barrel on it."
Ryan Braun homered the second straight game and is 15 for 35 (.429) during an eight-game hitting streak.
Milwaukee won 13-7 in 10 innings on Saturday after trailing 4-0 and 6-2.
"We got down early the last two games, but the offense just kept battling back and inching us closer," manager Craig Counsell said. "The bullpen's done a nice job."
Chris Capuano (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh and Jeremy Jeffress, Saturday's winning pitcher, got his eighth save in eight chances -- after a 58-second video review upheld that Hamilton was tagged out by second baseman Aaron Hill.
"We knew if a guy got on that they were going to pinch run Hamilton and he would try to steal," Lucroy said. "Hill did a nice job getting the tag down, and (Jeffress) did a good job keeping him close."
Reds manager Bryan Price almost had no choice but to send Hamilton.
"I gave Billy the green light to go," Price said. "We couldn't wait for Zack (Cozart) to hit one in the gap. We had to give ourselves more avenues to score. We have to take our shot. We knew Jeffress was quick to the plate. Everything has to go right for them Jeffress has to be quick to the plate and Lucroy put his throw right on the bag. Our replays weren't conclusive either, but we had to have him look at it."
After rain delayed the start for 1 hour, 55 minutes, Braun homered in the first.
Reds' starter John Lamb left with a sprained left thumb while facing Hernan Perez leading off the fifth. Perez homered on Steve Delabar's third pitch; Cincinnati's bullpen has allowed at least one run in 25 of the team's last 26 games, including a major league record 23 straight.
Cincinnati took a 3-1 lead with three, two-out RBI hits in the third off Junior Guerra. Tyler Holt hit a tying triple off the right-field wall, Ivan De Jesus Jr. doubled and Joey Votto singled ina run.
Adam Duvall extended the lead to 4-1 in the fourth with his sixth homer, his fourth in six games.
Lucroy's RBI double cut the deficit to one run in the sixth, and Jonathan Villar tied the score with a RBI groundout in the seventh.
The rain delay was the Reds' first at home this season and came in their 20th home game. By that point last season, they already had gone through six delays, including one game that was later postponed.
The Brewers leapfrogged over the Reds back into fourth place in the NL Central.
Milwaukee optioned RHP David Goforth to Triple-A Colorado Springs after Sunday's game to make room on the roster for RHP Wily Peralta, who was on paternity due to the birth of his daughter, Ciara.
Brewers: INF Scooter Gennett, on the disabled list since April 28 with a strained right oblique, is to start a rehab assignment with Class A Brevard County on Tuesday if he has no setbacks before then, manager Craig Counsell said on Sunday.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey is playing catch every other day as he resumes his comeback from Tommy John surgery last May. Bailey was shut down until Thursday after experiencing soreness in his elbow during a rehab start on April 26. He reported feeling good after Saturday's session.
Brewers: Milwaukee is scheduled to open a three-game series at Miami on Monday with RHP Wily Peralta (2-3) starting for the Brewers. Peralta allowed a career-high 13 hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings during his last start, a 14-5 win over the Marlins on May 1.
Reds: RHP Dan Straily (1-1) is Cincinnati's scheduled starter on Monday in the opener of a three-game series against the Pirates, who will be making their last visit to Great American Ball Park until Sept. 16-18. Straily allowed two runs and five hits in six innings of the Reds' 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh on April 29.