CINCINNATI -- If Stefon from Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" enjoyed baseball, he might have felt that the hottest place to be on Wednesday was Great American Ball Park for a wild tilt between the Reds and Brewers.
This game had everything: Five lead changes, four tie scores, Christian Yelich hitting for the cycle and getting six hits, Eugenio Suarez's 30th home run, four hits for Billy Hamilton, including a leadoff homer and scoring a game-tying run on a wild pitch, and relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen's bunt strike three that wasn't a bunt strike three before he hit a thrilling home run of his own. There was even a 27-minute rain delay before first pitch and extra innings.
But even after Cincinnati gave Milwaukee all it had and then some, the Reds came away short in the end during a 13-12 defeat in 10 innings.
"Sure would like to win that game, but you know, that's a good team over there. We battled. They battled," said catcher Tucker Barnhart, who hit a homer in the fourth inning. "It wasn't necessarily a well-played game on either side, defensively or pitching, but I think the hitting was pretty darn good. It's a fun game to be a part of. Just a shame we couldn't come out with the win."
The Brewers' game-winning run came on Jesus Aguilar's leadoff homer to center field off Raisel Iglesias in the 10th. A second Milwaukee run scored that inning on Erik Kratz's two-out RBI hit off Jackson Stephens. The Brewers' 22 hits were a season high allowed by the Reds pitching staff.
The Reds didn't go away quietly, as Brandon Dixon, who entered in the top of the 10th in a double switch, led off the bottom half with a home run to center field off All-Star reliever Jeremy Jeffress. It was the game's ninth homer. Jeffress was able to retire the rest of the side in order to conclude one of the crazier Major League games of the season, which lasted four hours and 16 minutes.
"It was a tough loss," said Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett, who hit a game-tying two-run double to make it 5-5 in the fifth. "On both sides, I feel like it was a fight. We came back, got the lead, tied it up, got the lead again, they tied it up. Just a team like that, it's important to get some extra runs across and make some plays when we can. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that late."
No Brewers player hurt the Reds as often as Yelich, who tied a franchise record for Milwaukee with six hits and became the second player to hit for the cycle in the Majors this season. His two-run homer in the top of the fifth gave the Brewers a 4-3 lead, and his RBI triple that secured his cycle in the seventh made it a 10-10 game.
"I was thinking throughout the game, 'This game's crazy.' We were talking about it on the bench," Yelich said. "All the plays that happened during it, it was one of those games where you just never knew what was going to happen. It felt like no lead was safe. We needed all the runs that we got tonight."
Leading off the top of the eighth inning for the Brewers, Mike Moustakas snapped that tie with a home run to right field against Reds reliever David Hernandez, but Cincinnati came back again against Brewers reliever Joakim Soria in the bottom of the frame. Hamilton's fourth hit of the night was an infield single to the shortstop before Soria hit Jose Peraza with a pitch. Hamilton reached third base on a Gennett fielder's choice.
In a 2-2 count, Soria's wild pitch in the dirt had Hamilton headed home with a headfirst slide. He was initially called out by home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo when it appeared he missed the plate, but the call was overturned upon replay review when it was clear that Hamilton's hand touched between catcher Kratz's legs.
"It's one of the craziest games I've ever been a part of," said Hamilton, who delivered a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first. "It doesn't matter how far out of it we are or how many games out we are, we want to win. We want to show them that we're not going to just come out there and be a pushover. It was a crazy game all around."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Suarez hits 30th homer: Suarez reached the 30-home run plateau for the first time in his career when his two-run opposite field drive to right field against All-Star reliever Josh Hader in the fifth inning put Cincinnati ahead, 7-5. Suarez became the fourth player in Reds history to hit 30 home runs in a season while primarily playing third base. He joins Todd Frazier, Deron Johnson and Tony Perez (twice). Suarez also has 95 RBIs for the season, two behind National League-leader Javier Baez of the Cubs. More >
This was the sixth game the Reds have lost since 1908 while scoring at least 12 runs and the first time it's happened to them since dropping a 17-12 game to the White Sox on June 6, 2000.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Lorenzen slugs homer after controversy: Nothing in the game was more unique than in the sixth when Hader put the first two batters on base as the Reds held a one-run lead. Milwaukee summoned right-hander Taylor Williams to face Lorenzen, batting for himself. It appeared that Lorenzen bunted a foul ball for strike three as a Williams pitch came up near his head, but Randazzo ruled that he was pulling the bat back as he recoiled backwards to avoid the ball.
"I didn't foul it off as a bunt. I fouled it off as a hitter," Lorenzen said. "I pulled the bat back trying to get out of the way. It didn't count as a bunt attempt exactly. That's why it was just a foul ball. I've never seen that before, never had that rule come up before."
Given the chance to continue the plate appearance, Lorenzen slugged the very next pitch for a three-run home run into the left-field seats for a 10-6 Cincinnati lead.
• Lorenzen's three-run homer follows bunt controversy
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Hamilton limped off the field after scoring on the wild pitch in the eighth and was replaced by Mason Williams in center field for the ninth inning. After the game, Hamilton had a large cut on the back of his left calf from being inadvertently spiked by Kratz as both converged at the plate.
The initial out call was reviewed by replay officials and the call was overturned when it was clear that Hamilton had touched home.
"It's like every time I step, there's a big cramp popping up," Hamilton said. "When you hit that nerve, it goes all the way down your leg and you can't do too much about it. "We'll see how I feel tomorrow. [The trainer] said it could take 30 minutes, days, weeks, it's something we just have to keep an eye on. With that nerve, you never know."
Hamilton hoped he could play the series finale Thursday, but Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman expected to give him the day off.
HE SAID IT
"I'm very proud of our guys, the way we kept coming at it. It can be frustrating at times with long innings. Our guys would come in, put a rally together. Milwaukee was doing the same thing. All you can do is ask them to give you 100 percent. That's what our guys do. We're just coming up short." -- Riggleman
Cody Reed will step back into the Reds' rotation and make his first big league start since April 9 when Cincinnati wraps its three-game series against the Brewers at 12:35 p.m. ET on Thursday. In seven relief appearances spanning 9 2/3 innings since his recall from Triple-A Louisville, Reed has a 2.79 ERA. Over his final four starts for Louisville before his promotion, the lefty was 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA. Milwaukee will counter with southpaw Wade Miley.