Jonathan Lucroy stood in the batters box to start off the bottom of the ninth inning with the game tied at 3-3 hoping to get something started. Well he got something started, the postgame celebration as he hit a walk-off solo home run to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Tuesday.
With the win and loss by the Cardinals the Brewers now lead the NL-Central by 1 1/2 games and look for a series sweep Wednesday.
All four runs scored by Milwaukee came off solo home runs and gave the phrase "solo home runs don't win ball games," a brand new meaning. Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez went back-to-back in the bottom of the first inning giving the Brewers an early 2-0. It was the fifth time all year the team has gone back-to-back. What was special about this one is that it came on back-to-back pitches off Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey.
The Reds would cut the lead in half in the fourth inning scoring a run off Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson.
The Brewers would get some much needed insurance runs in the sixth inning when Lucroy hit his first home run and the teams third of the game to make the score 3-1.
After pitching the first six innings without any real threats, Nelson struggled in the seventh inning with his command and control allowing the game to get tied at 3-3.. The Reds would get two singles and two hit by batters to score their second run. That was the time when manager Ron Roenicke pulled his starter to make way for Brandon Kintzler. Kintzler would allow a sacrifice fly to the next batter in Chris Heisey tying the game. The run was charged to Nelson.
Kintzler and Zach Duke both pitched well to keep the Reds off the scoreboard before Francisco Rodriguez could pitch a scoreless ninth allowing Lucroy to hit his walk-off and the fourth Brewers' home run.
Bailey and Nelson each take no-decisions pitching into the sixth inning. Both gave up four hits, but Bailey gave up more runs with four. Nelson did lead all pitchers in strikeouts with five. Duke pitched a perfect eighth with three strikeouts.
Lucroy and Braun each had two hits out of the six total tallied by the team.
Game three Wednesday could result in a series sweep for the Brewers. Kyle Lohse (10-4, 3.16 ERA) will pitch for Milwaukee. Lohse pitched the first game back after the break picking up the win against the Nationals, the lone win of the series. Mike Leake (7-8, 3.63 ERA) will start for the Reds who are now 4 1/2 games back in the standings.