By: Ed Cahill
Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce both belted two-run homers as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the visiting Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 to salvage the final game of a three-game series on Sunday.
The Reds (56-79) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a single by Bruce, driving in first baseman Joey Votto, who had walked with two outs and advanced to third on a single by Phillips.
A two-run homer by Phillips with two outs in the third inning and a two-run blast by Bruce with one out in the fifth inning – both off of Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson – extended Cincinnati’s lead to 5-0.
The Brewers (60-76) answered with two runs in the sixth inning, on a run-scoring groundout by first baseman Adam Lind and a RBI-single by Shane Peterson, and pulled to within 5-3 when right fielder Ryan Braun led off the eighth inning with a solo home run off of Reds reliever J.J. Hoover.
Cincinnati added another run to its lead when catcher Ramon Cabrera scored on a double play grounder by third baseman Todd Frazier in the home half of the eighth inning.
Reds’ reliever Aroldis Chapman retired the Brewers in order in the ninth inning to pick up his 28th save of the season. Starter Michael Lorenzen picked up the win to improve to 4-8.
Nelson (11-11) took the loss for Milwaukee.
Bruce, whose fifth-inning homer was his 999th major league hit, went 3-for-5, scored one run and drove in three, while Phillips went 3-for-4, scored twice and drove in a pair of runs while walking once.
Phillips, since seeing his batting average fall to .270 after going 0-for-4 on July 30, has collected 51 hits in 142 at-bats since – a .359 batting average – to raise his batting average to .296. During that span, Phillips has hit six home runs and driven in 23 runs, walked eight times, struck out eight times and stolen nine bases in 10 attempts.
Cincinnati return to action on Monday, when they will host Pittsburgh. The Reds will start Anthony DeSclafani (7-10, 3.87 ERA) while the Pirates will send Jeff Locke (7-9, 4.66 ERA) to the hill for the 1:10 p.m. contest.