Milwaukee 5, Cincinnati 4
When: 1:10 PM ET, Sunday, May 8, 2016
Where: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
Sean Barber, 1B -
Adrian Johnson, 2B -
Gary Cederstrom, 3B -
CINCINNATI -- When Cincinnati Reds starter John Lamb left Sunday's game in the fifth inning with a sprained thumb injury after throwing only 60 pitches, the Milwaukee Brewers figured they could rally against the Reds' beleagured bullpen. And, for the second straight day, they did just that.
Jonathan Lucroy hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning, one of three homers hit by Milwaukee, as the Brewers came from behind to win 5-4 in the finale of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.
"That's what this game is about, taking advantage of mistakes," said Lucroy. "We had some good at-bats and took advantage of some mistakes their guys made."
Ryan Braun and Hernan Perez also homered for Milwaukee (13-18), which rallied from a 6-2 deficit on Saturday to win in extra innings.
"We got down those last two games early, but the offense kept battling back," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell.
Adam Duvall homered for Cincinnati (13-19), which endured yet another bullpen meltdown and settled for a split in the series.
The Reds were leading 4-1 on Sunday when Lamb exited the game, forcing their struggling bullpen to cover the remaining four innings.
On Friday, the Reds bullpen ended a streak of 23 straight games in which they had allowed a run, a major-league record.
"We have to be a way better pitching staff or this is what you get," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "The starters aren't going deep enough into games and the bullpen has to be more effective or we'll have to go to an eight-man bullpen. We are going to wear the bullpen out by June if we don't get better."
Lucroy's homer, his third, came off Ross Ohlendorf (3-3) and was the eventual game-winner.
"I got a changeup from Ohlendorf that kind of hung there, up in the zone, and I was able to barrel it up," Lucroy said. "I'm just trying to have good ABs. Just trying to hit the ball hard. I had a couple hits go my way today."
Sunday's game was delayed one hour and 55 minutes by rain.
Moments after getting underway, Braun lined his seventh homer over the left-field wall to put Milwaukee ahead 1-0 in the first.
It was Braun's 20th career homer at Great American Ball Park, tying Albert Pujols for second-most by a Reds opponent.
Cincinnati tied the score 1-1 in the third when Ramon Cabrera walked and scored on Tyler Holt's triple, the first of his career. Ivan De Jesus Jr. followed with an RBI double, and Joey Votto singled home another run.
Duvall belted his sixth home run with one out in the fourth. And, after retiring the first seven batters he faced on Sunday, Brewers starter Junior Guerra found himself trailing 4-1 despite matching a career high with six innings and a career-high six strikeouts.
"He pitched well," said Counsell of Guerra. "Three hitters got his fastball. He made some mistakes with his fastball but did a nice job in the fifth and sixth."
Sunday's game turned when Lamb was visited by trainers after throwing a 1-2 pitch to Perez leading off the fifth inning.
He threw one warmup pitch, then was replaced by right-hander Steve Delabar. Two pitches later, Perez hit his third homer to make the score 4-2.
"I will have an MRI tomorrow," said Lamb. "I'm staying positive. They gave me this brace to wear but I won't wear it because it makes me feel hurt. We all get jammed every once in a while. I am hoping it doesn't keep me from my next start."
Back to back doubles by Braun and Lucroy cut the deficit to one in the sixth. Lucroy went 3-for-4 with a homer, double and two RBIs.
Guerra struck out the final three batters he faced in the sixth, finishing with four runs allowed on four hits.
Chris Capuano (1-0) got the win.
In the ninth, Ramon Flores made a diving catch in center and pinch-runner Billy Hamilton was thrown out attempting to steal preserving Jeremy Jeffress' third save.
A 58-second review of Hamilton's caught-stealing delayed the celebration on the field, but the call was confirmed.
"I knew he was going to steal sooner or later," Lucroy said. "J.J. throws 95-plus. He's really quick to the plate. He gave me a chance there to throw the guy out."
NOTES: Brewers RHP Ryan Goforth was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs after Sunday's game to make room for RHP Wily Peralta who is being activated to start Monday's game. Peralta has been on the paternity list. ... The Reds recalled OF Kyle Waldrop from Triple-A Louisville on Sunday to take the place of OF Scott Schebler, who was optioned following Saturday night's game. ... Brewers 2B Scooter Gennett, on the disabled list with a strained oblique, will travel with the team to Miami, then on Tuesday will begin a minor-league rehab assignment. ... Sunday's rain delay was the first of the season at Great American Ball Park, where there were 18 delays totaling more than 26 hours last season.
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