EditorsNote: Edit 2: Adds new 3rd graf with Brewers’ position in NL Central. Edit 1: Updated wild-card race with Cubs result; Deleted 9th graf
Ryan Braun belted a solo homer among his two hits as the visiting Milwaukee Brewers inched closer to a postseason berth with a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.
Yasmani Grandal ripped an RBI double and rookie Keston Hiura added a sacrifice fly in a two-run third inning for the Brewers (87-70), who won for the 16th time in their past 18 contests and moved five games ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the final National League wild-card spot. The Cubs lost 9-2 at Pittsburgh later on Tuesday.
The Brewers are also 2 1/2 games back in the National League Central after the St. Louis Cardinals lost 3-2 in 19 innings to the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night.
Milwaukee’s Brent Suter (4-0) relieved starter Adrian Houser and allowed three hits and struck out as many batters in three scoreless innings to pick up the win.
Drew Pomeranz fanned two batters in one scoreless inning to bridge the gap to Josh Hader, who struck out Kyle Farmer with runners on second and third base in the ninth to secure his 36th save of the season. The Brewers posted their fifth consecutive victory.
Rookie Aristides Aquino had an RBI double and scored on Tucker Barnhart’s single in the first inning for the Reds (73-84), who have lost three of their last four games.
Braun answered Cincinnati’s two-run first inning in the second by depositing an 0-2 slider from Sonny Gray (11-8) over the wall in center field for his 21st homer of the season. The homer was the 27th of Braun’s career at Great American Ball Park, the most by a visiting player.
Milwaukee kept the heat on in the third inning, with Grandal’s double to right field plating Orlando Arcia before Hiura’s sacrifice fly scored Trent Grisham to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
Milwaukee gained insurance in the ninth inning as Eric Thames worked a leadoff walk, advanced to second on Lorenzo Cain’s single and came home on catcher Curt Casali’s throwing error following a bunt by Arcia.
Gray wasted little time recording his 200th strikeout of the season, as he fanned Grishman on four pitches to lead off the game. He wound up allowing three runs on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings.
—Field Level Media