MILWAUKEE -- The Reds finally kept Eric Thames in the yard, but the Brewers enjoyed another big day at the plate anyway, completing a three-game sweep with a 9-4 win on Wednesday at Miller Park.Thames singled, walked twice and scored two runs -- extending to 27 his club record for
MILWAUKEE -- The Reds finally kept Eric Thames in the yard, but the Brewers enjoyed another big day at the plate anyway, completing a three-game sweep with a 9-4 win on Wednesday at Miller Park.
Thames singled, walked twice and scored two runs -- extending to 27 his club record for runs scored in April -- before making an early exit in the eighth inning due to a tight left hamstring. He did not hit a home run for the first time in the Brewers' seven games against the Reds this season, but Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia did, a two-run shot in the third inning as part of a three-RBI afternoon. Catcher Jett Bandy had three hits and two RBIs.
By the fourth inning, the Brewers had a season-high 13 hits. They finished with 14 hits, and outscored the Reds in the three-game sweep, 29-12.
"Everybody is kind of getting hot right now," said Thames. "That's good, because I've said it a thousand times, our team doesn't depend on one, three-run home run to win a game. Everybody strings together hits, and I think that's what makes us dangerous."
The Reds hit, too, launching four solo home runs off Brewers starter Wily Peralta, including Joey Votto's -- which came off his bat at 111 mph -- in the first inning and two long balls from right fielder Scott Schebler. Most of those came in a deficit, after the Brewers struck for five runs in the first inning, one unearned run in the second and two more runs in the third against Reds right-hander Rookie Davis, who was out of the game with two outs in the third inning after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits. It was Davis' first start since April 11, before he went on the disabled list with a right forearm bruise.
"Anytime you take the mound, you want to have a good outing, regardless of coming off the DL or not," said Davis, who walked one and struck out two batters. "I have to do a better job of making pitches, getting ahead in the count and the swing counts -- the 1-1 and 0-0 as well. It's one of those days. I'm going to learn from it."
Reds starters endured a rough series, combining to surrender 23 runs (20 earned) on 24 hits and 10 walks in 11 innings. In 22 games, the Reds' rotation has already provided six starts of three innings or less and nine of four innings or less. They entered the day 28th out of 30 Major Leagues clubs in innings pitched and last in ERA.
"We've got to find ways to make sure these guys are getting better and competing deeper into the ballgame," Reds manager Bryan Price said of his younger starters. "These guys have to be able to roll through that lineup three times and give us a chance to take the lead and give us a chance to turn the ballgame over to the bullpen with a chance to win instead of just trying to finish off a game that's out of control early."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Quick strike:Ryan Braun's two-run double to the wall in right-center field started the Brewers' scoring in their five-run first inning, which continued with Hernan Perez's sacrifice fly and run-scoring hits for Bandy and Arcia. The Brewers have outscored opponents 27-8 in the first inning this season while batting .363 (37-for-102) with 12 doubles, a triple, seven homers, 27 RBIs and 14 walks. The Rays, who were scheduled to play later Wednesday, were second in the Majors with 25 first-inning runs entering their game at Baltimore. More >
Breathing room: One by one on the Brewers' homestand, some of their slumping hitters have broken out. On Wednesday it was Arcia, who entered the day with a .299 slugging percentage but delivered extra-base hits each of his first two times up, including a two-run home run that extended the Brewers' lead to 8-1 in the third and allowed Peralta some room to grind through five innings without his best stuff.
"We scored a bunch of runs," Peralta said. "That is always a good way to pitch, when you have the lead early."
"I think the guys are looking forward to an off-day tomorrow, for sure. They deserve it. We'll be cheering on the Bucks tomorrow, that's for sure." -- Counsell, who was among a significant contingent of Brewers coaches and players planning to attend the Bucks' playoff game against the Raptors in Milwaukee on Thursday.
"It's a long season, and you're going to have those [stretches]. I think we're more worried about how we're going to respond to it this year. Last year, I don't think we responded very well early on. With the off-day, we can come back and get back into a groove like we did early on. I think it's more important to respond to a thing like this than worry about why we're in it. Let's figure out how to respond." -- Schebler, after Reds lost for seventh time in last eight games.
Reds: A break comes Thursday with a scheduled off-day. The road trip continues on Friday with a three-game series opener vs. the Cardinals at 8:15 p.m. ET. Tim Adleman will make the start while catcher Devin Mesoraco is expected to be activated from the disabled list.
Brewers: After enjoying their first off-day in two and a half weeks, the Brewers are back in action Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT against the Braves, with Chase Anderson matching up against Atlanta's Bartolo Colon. The three-game series gives Thames a chance to chase the Major League record for home runs in April, which is 14. He has 11 homers so far.
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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.