Keston Hiura’s seventh-inning solo homer led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, before 21,147 at Great American Ball Park.
|Milwaukee Brewers (36-30)||5||7||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (23-41)
|W: Lauer (6-2) L: Detwiler (0-1) SV: Boxberger (1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
For a split second, Cincinnati Reds fans thought they might see their team’s first walk-off victory of the season.
With a 2-2 count, two out and two men on in the bottom of the ninth, Joey Votto — pinch-hitting for Albert Almora Jr. — blasted a long fly ball to right-center off Brad Boxberger. But about six or seven feet from the wall, Brewers centerfielder Tyrone Taylor glided under the ball and made the catch to dash the home team fans’ hopes.
It was an intriguing tactical moment of the game, because Votto represented the Reds’ last legitimate chance to do damage with the bat. With Votto inserted as a pinch-hitter, the only position player remaining on the bench was Chris Okey. Had the Brewers intentionally walked Votto to load the bases, it would have been either Aramis Garcia or Okey batting with the game on the line — no other non-pitcher options remained for Reds Manager David Bell. Milwaukee Manager Craig Counsell decided to pitch to Votto instead of intentionally walk him and load the bases for a sub-.200 hitter. That interesting move worked out for Milwaukee.
Cincinnati erased a four-run deficit after four and a half innings on homers by Albert Almora, Brandon Drury and Tommy Pham (all spring-training signees who have taken advantage of their opportunities). But in the next half-inning, Hiura’s solo shot gave the Brewers what became the margin of victory.
The Reds fell to 18 games under .500, only one game off their low point of the season. A Cubs win put the Chicago team one game ahead of Cincinnati in fourth place.
With Cincinnati trailing 4-0 after four and a half innings, the commenters here at Redleg Nation were not optimistic about their team’s chances. Milwaukee lefty Eric Lauer had had his way with the Reds up to that point. But in the bottom of the fourth, Mike Moustakas singled and Almora did some damage:
Bert says bye bye. pic.twitter.com/kwWg9YBFqD
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 18, 2022
With the Reds trailing 4-2 headed to the bottom of the sixth, Lauer’s first two pitches ended up places he did not want them to:
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 18, 2022
That brought the home team all the way back from the earlier four-run deficit.
The only Red with more than one hit was Kyle Farmer, who started tonight as the designated hitter. He batted 2-for-3, raising his slash line to .289/.350/.438/.788.
Starter Hunter Greene held the Brewers hitless for the first three innings, but the first three hitters in the fourth all reached him for hits, the finale being Hunter Renfroe’s three-run homer. Greene’s fortunes unraveling in the fourth was the repeat of a trend that has occurred throughout the season to date:
Hunter Greene ERA by inning, 2022 (including today)
- First: 4.15
- Second: 3.46
- Third: 1.42
- Fourth: 9.82
- Fifth: 7.56
- Sixth: 9.82
- Seventh: 0.00 (2 innings)
- Eighth: 27.00 (1/3 inning)
- Ninth: none pitched
Things typically take a turn for the worse after Greene’s first time through the order. But the very large leap in ERA from the first three innings to the following frames may be related to the fact that Greene is essentially a two-pitch pitcher (fastball and slider). Today, Greene threw only five changeups among his 97 pitches. Most two-pitch pitchers are relievers, at least partially due to the fact that in a relief capacity, they typically have to face each batter only once. Once hitters see what a pitcher will throw, it’s a lot easier to adjust in their next trip to the plate to two pitches than three.
.@Reds' manager David Bell acknowledges that Hunter Greene was not completely comfortable on the mound in his outing today, but he is excited to get him back on the field for his next start. pic.twitter.com/RbWbYpUPmS
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) June 18, 2022
Jeff Hoffman pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 to keep his team close, followed by Ross Detwiler. With two out in the top of the seventh, the lefty surrendered what became the game-winner to Hiura. It’s the only run Detwiler has surrendered in six innings of work this year with the Reds.
Joel Kuhnel pitched a scoreless eighth, and Hunter Strickland duplicated that feat in the ninth to keep it a one-run game.
News and Notes
It was a fun pre-game show for Chris and Annie Sabo …
3x all-star Chris Sabo visits his daughter, @anniesabo_, and @mrLeCure on Reds Live pregame to reminisce about playing with the @Reds, as well as what he is up to now and his thoughts on how analytics changed the game of baseball. pic.twitter.com/zbFCQJ16uC
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) June 17, 2022
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds
Saturday, June 18, 4:10 p.m. ET
Jason Alexander (0-0, 2.16 ERA) vs. Graham Ashcraft (3-0, 2.22 ERA)