Grandal, Hader lift Brewers over Reds 5-4 to avoid sweep
Yasmani Grandal hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the fifth inning, Ryan Braun and Keston Hiura hit home runs, and the Milwaukee Brewers held off the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 on Wednesday.
Grandal grounded a single to left on a 3-2 fastball with two out and the bases loaded against Reds left-hander Amir Garrett. That gave the Brewers a 5-4 lead and the bullpen shut down the Reds.
Josh Hader struck out five over two scoreless innings and Freddy Peralta pitched the ninth for his first save as Milwaukee avoided a three-game sweep. Peralta has not allowed a run in his last five games, striking out 12 over 6 1/3 innings.
The win snapped the Brewers' five-game losing streak to Cincinnati. Milwaukee hosts the Chicago Cubs in a three-game series starting Friday.
"There are still 60 games left, we're not down to the wire," said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell. "But it's an important series, for sure. It's against a team that's ahead of us, so we want to keep ourselves right there."
Josh VanMeter hit his second homer and Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett had RBI hits to help Cincinnati build a 4-2 lead against starter Jhoulys Chacin. Braun kept Milwaukee close with a two-run shot in the first, his 15th homer of the season.
Chacin hasn't won since April 30. He was pulled after three innings with right ribcage discomfort. Matt Albers (5-3) got one out for the win.
Reds right-hander Lucas Sims (1-1), making his second start of the season and his first since May 28, gave up five runs on three hits in 4 2/3 innings, including the homers by Braun and Hiura. He retired 10 straight batters between the two home runs.
Reds center fielder Nick Senzel led off the game with a single but was replaced by Phillip Ervin. Senzel appeared woozy and the team said he left due to illness. Senzel missed games this season and last season because of migraines or vertigo.
The Brewers received a respite when Eugenio Suarez was given a planned day off, but he entered the game in the eighth and struck out against Hader. Suarez has homered eight times in 16 games against Milwaukee this season, including two-run home runs in three consecutive at-bats over the first two games of the series.
Sims made a flashy defensive play in the fifth, diving across the third base line to catch Tyler Saladino's foul bunt attempt.
Reds: C Juan Graterol was replaced during the third inning after a foul tip knocked his mask off. A trainer appeared to be examining Graterol's jaw. Bell said the team is still evaluating Graterol.
Brewers: RHP Taylor Williams was recalled from Triple-A San Antonio, and RHP Burch Smith was optioned.
Hiura's homer and a single by Yelich extended their hitting streaks to 13 games each ...Yelich entered Wednesday leading the majors in home runs (35), slugging, OPS and total bases.
KINGS OF Ks
Brewers batters entered Tuesday leading the NL in strikeouts. They struck out seven times on Wednesday, pushing the team total to 987... Hader entered Wednesday with 88 strikeouts in 47 ? innings, most among major league relievers.
VanMeter recorded a career-high three hits, with two RBIs. He is 6 for 12 since being recalled from Triple-A Louisville last Thursday, with two home runs and four RBIs.
Reds: Luis Castillo (9-3, 2.36 ERA) faces Colorado in Cincinnati on Friday. His ERA is 1.69 over his last four starts. The Rockies hadn't named a starter.
Brewers: The Brewers had not announced a starter to face the Cubs' Jose Quintana (8-7, 4.42 ERA) on Friday in Milwaukee.