Miley solid in debut as Crew closes out sweep
Veteran left-hander holds Reds to three hits, one run in six innings
CINCINNATI -- A groin injury late in Spring Training gave Wade Miley more time to refine some mechanical adjustments he needed to make to improve his command. On Wednesday night, he finally got the chance to put them to use on a Major League mound.
Miley allowed one run on three hits in six solid innings in his season debut, and Christian Yelich homered, lifting the Brewers to a 3-1 victory over the Reds and a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park.
"It was Day One, and we won," Miley said. "Any time we win, I'm happy. I'd called it effectively wild. I'd like to be sharper, but I made the pitches when I needed to."
Miley, who started the season on the disabled list and made three rehab starts at Double-A Biloxi before being activated, retired the last eight batters he faced. He walked three and fanned four over 97 pitches to earn his first victory since Aug. 27. Miley also collected an infield single in the fourth inning, his first hit since May 10.
"He pitched extremely well tonight," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "He fell behind some hitters, but he kept them off balance. Length was important for us tonight. His six innings were needed, for sure."
The Reds managed only four hits on the night.
"Miley was really good," said Reds manager Jim Riggleman. "I've seen him a few times, and that's the best I've seen him."
As they had in the previous two games of the series, Milwaukee scored first, with Jesus Aguilar reaching on a single and scoring on Orlando Arcia's two-out single off Reds first baseman Joey Votto's glove in the second.
Miley walked Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez to begin the fourth, and Suarez later scored on Devin Mesoraco's one-out double to tie the score at 1.
"That was one of the only balls that was stung [off Miley]," said Counsell.
The Brewers regained the lead when Yelich launched a 3-1 changeup off Reds starter Luis Castillo deep into the right-field seats to lead off the fifth. It was Yelich's third home run of the season and first since April 22.
Milwaukee added an insurance run in the eighth, with Hernan Perez scoring on a potential double-play ball off the bat of Manny Pina, who was safe at first on second baseman Alex Blandino's throwing error.
Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw left the game in the second inning after sustaining a right foot contusion on a foul ball while batting in the top of the inning. Perez took over at third base. Ryan Braun also left in the sixth due to a right calf problem that has been bothering him. Both are expected to be fine for Friday's series opener against the Pirates at Miller Park following an off-day on Thursday.
Jeremy Jeffress pitched two innings to earn his second save of the season and extend his scoreless streak to 12 1/3 innings, capping off the Brewers' first sweep of the Reds since April 24-26, 2017, at Miller Park.
"I live for those moments," said Jeffress. "I didn't expect to go two, but until they tell me I'm not pitching, I'm focused on going back out there. To get a series sweep picks up everybody's spirits."
HE SAID IT
"You saw, I wasn't worried. We scored some runs, pitchers did their thing. A 5-4 road trip, I'll take it any time." -- Shaw, who tried to calm Brewers fans Sunday with a tweet to "chill" after a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs
The Brewers open a five-game homestand Friday night against the Pirates, with right-hander Junior Guerra making his fifth start of the season. Guerra allowed one run on three hits in six innings Saturday at Wrigley Field in a Brewers loss to the Cubs, but the Brewers have won his other three starts. He is 1-0 with a 2.56 ERA in seven career appearances (five starts) vs. the Pirates, who will counter with the impressive Nick Kingham.