Lorenzo Cain led off the 11th inning with a first-pitch home run that pushed the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-1 victory over the host Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon in the getaway contest of a three-game National League Central series at Great American Ball Park.
Cain’s line-drive homer to left-center off Austin Brice was the Brewers’ first hit since the fifth inning and allowed Milwaukee to maintain possession of one of the two NL wild-card spots.
Joakim Soria (1-3) earned the win after allowing one hit while pitching the 10th inning. Josh Hader threw a perfect 11th for his 11th save as the Brewers won for the seventh time in 10 games.
Brice (2-3), the sixth of seven Cincinnati pitchers, was shackled with the loss. The Reds have dropped seven of their past eight games.
After the teams combined for 41 runs and split the first two games of this series, scoring was at a premium in the finale.
Christian Yelich, who was 6-for-6 and hit for the cycle on Wednesday in a 13-12, 10-inning win for the Brewers, walked off Reds starter Cody Reed with the bases loaded in the fifth to force home Mike Moustakas with the game’s first run.
That lead held up for Milwaukee until the seventh, when Dilson Herrera doubled home Phillip Ervin with the tying run. The play was challenged by the Brewers but was upheld as Herrera beat the tag at second base.
Reed allowed one run on four hits in 4 2/3 innings in his second start of the season for the Reds and his first since April but was not involved in the decision. He rejoined the Reds earlier this month after making 17 starts at Triple-A Louisville and had seven relief appearances in his return stint until his start on Thursday.
Reed was followed to the mound by Michael Lorenzen (who pitched out trouble in the fifth), Sal Romano, Jared Hughes and David Hernandez, who combined to allow no hits and strike out eight in 5 1/3 innings from the fifth through the 10th innings.
Wade Miley hurled the first 7 1/3 innings for Milwaukee, allowing one run on five hits while striking out six and walking one. Relievers Dan Jennings, Jordan Lyles and Corbin Burnes did not allow a baserunner through the ninth inning. Soria surrendered a two-out single in the 10th.
—Field Level Media