MILWAUKEE (AP) — For the slumping Milwaukee Brewers, winning on a wild pitch felt just as good as a home run.
Eric Sogard scampered home with the winning run on Tim Adleman’s pitch that got away in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Brewers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night.
Sogard started the rally with a one-out double off Adleman (5-10). After Manny Pina flew out to center field, Jesus Aguilar and Eric Thames drew walks to load the bases.
An 0-2 curveball then bounced away from Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart, allowing Sogard to slide in just ahead of Adleman’s tag attempt.
“I was looking for a curveball in the dirt there 0-2,” Sogard said. “It was able to get just outside the dirt there. That’s kind of what I was looking for. Anything close to the grass I was going to give a shot. I was able to get in there. That was great. We needed that win.”
The Brewers have won three times in their last at-bat this season, twice on wild pitches.
“As much as we love walkoff hits, that was walkoff base running because that was great base running,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It was not an obvious ball to go on and it was because he got a great read and two outs, two strikes that he scored.”
Barnhart entered the game for the bottom of the 10th after Devin Mesoraco was ejected in the top of the frame for arguing a foul tip strikeout from the dugout.
“I pulled it off of the outside corner a little too far so that’s a real tough pitch for Tucker to block,” Adleman said. “He did pretty well. It didn’t get too far but Sogard got a good jump on it.”
Josh Hader pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the Brewers before giving way to Corey Knebel (1-2) for the ninth and 10th.
Cincinnati took a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run homer by Adam Duvall. Travis Shaw connected for a three-run blast in the bottom half to put Milwaukee on top 3-2.
The Reds jumped back in front in the fourth on a two-run shot by Patrick Kivlehan and increased their lead to 5-3 on a homer by Zack Cozart in the fifth.
Ryan Braun homered off Kevin Shackelford in the fifth and Eric Thames launched another solo shot off the Reds reliever in the sixth to tie the game at 5-all.
Thames’ home run was his 11th against the Reds this season, the most by any Brewers player against an opponent in a single season.
Brewers starter Brent Suter allowed just four hits in his five innings, but three were home runs that resulted in five earned runs.
Making his first start since July 17, Scott Feldman gave up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over four innings.
BREWERS ADD WALKER
In an effort to improve offensive production at second base, the Brewers acquired veteran Neil Walker and cash from the Mets in exchange for a player to be named later following Saturday’s game.
The Brewers have received the National League’s worst OPS at the second base this season.
“I’m excited to be back in a playoff race,” Walker said. “It’s a place I’m very familiar with, the NL Central and Milwaukee. I’m looking forward to it, to get there, meet the team and hopefully help them as much as I can.”
Walker was scratched from the Mets’ lineup Saturday and returned to New York from Philadelphia via a car service. He is scheduled to take an early flight to Milwaukee on Sunday to arrive in time for the series finale with the Reds.
The 31-year-old is hitting .264 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs. He missed 36 games due to a torn left hamstring and was 4 for 34 in his first 11 games back before going 6 for 9 in his final two games with the Mets.
“It took him a little while to get his timing back, but he seems to be back to his normal state right now,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said. “We think he will be able to add a little different element to our lineup.”
Reds: RHP Robert Stephenson (right shoulder contusion) will likely throw one more bullpen session before Cincinnati considers slotting him back into its starting rotation, according to manager Bryan Price. Stephenson threw 25-pitch sessions Wednesday and Friday.
Brewers: C Stephen Vogt (left knee strain) caught five innings for Class A Wisconsin on Saturday in his second game of a rehab assignment. It was his first time behind the plate since being injured in a home plate collision July 17 in Pittsburgh.
Reds: RHP Sal Romano (2-4, 5.35 ERA) makes his sixth start since joining Cincinnati’s rotation following the All-Star break. He made his big league debut against the Brewers on April 16, allowing two earned runs over three innings.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (5-6, 4.34) will look to bounce back from his worst start of the season, in which he allowed eight earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander has a 4.71 ERA in 15 career starts against the Reds.