When the Cincinnati Reds started to surge, they might have glanced at the scoreboard to see the Milwaukee Brewers post one win after another.
This weekend, the Reds are getting a chance to inch closer to first place in the National League Central. They’ve taken two of three from the division-leading Brewers and will conclude the four-game series Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee. The Reds enter the game in second place, five games back.
The Reds were 39-40 after a 7-5 home loss to the San Diego Padres on June 30 that dropped them eight games out of first place.
Since that point, the Reds are 8-2 in their past 10 games and have picked up three games in the standings. The most recent win occurred Saturday night when the Reds posted a 4-3 victory in a game that featured three ejections. The Reds also survived blowing a two-run lead in the eighth inning.
Eugenio Suarez hit a tie-breaking homer to open the ninth against closer Josh Hader after Nick Castellanos hit a three-run homer off Freddy Peralta three innings earlier.
“It was a big moment for me and for the team,” Suarez said. “Big win, man, before the All-Star break. Everybody knows that Hader has a really good fastball. He’s one of the best closers in the game. In my mind, I was like, ‘Don’t let him beat you.'”
Milwaukee sounded frustrated with the umpiring after Friday’s 2-0 loss, and that manifested into Saturday. Manager Craig Counsell was ejected by plate umpire Gabe Morales for arguing a 2-2 pitch to Castellanos that was called a ball and was the pitch before Castellanos connected.
Christian Yelich, who had his first multi-hit game since June 26, was ejected by first base umpire John Libka in the sixth after reaching on an errant throw by Vladimir Gutierrez. He was called out after slightly turning toward second, allowing second baseman Jonathan India to tag him and was tossed after flinging his helmet.
“It’s part of the game,” Yelich said. “I don’t want to really speak on it too much. You guys have seen the frustrations on both sides. It’s a product of the series and emotions running high.”
The Reds are 5-1 in Milwaukee and hope right-hander Luis Castillo (3-10, 4.81 ERA) can end a disappointing first half on a positive note.
Castillo was 1-8 with a 7.22 ERA through his first 11 starts. Since then he is 2-2 with a 2.00 ERA in his past seven outings.
Castillo is 1-2 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against the Brewers this season and pitched seven scoreless innings June 15 in Milwaukee. He is 4-7 with a 3.59 ERA in 14 career starts against Milwaukee.
Milwaukee right-hander Brandon Woodruff (7-4, 2.10) looks to avoid consecutive losses for the first time this season after allowing four runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings Monday in a 4-2 loss to the New York Mets.
Since losing a pair of 2-0 games in May, he is 6-2.
Woodruff is 3-3 with a 4.08 ERA in eight career appearances against Cincinnati.
–Field Level Media
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