Herrera keeps it up as Crew wins 6th straight
CINCINNATI -- The Brewers had to wait a full day to play this game, originally scheduled for Friday night. They sat through another rain delay on Saturday night, this one about 90 minutes, but by the time it was over, they had extended their winning streak to six games with a 7-3 victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
With a pair of wins Saturday, the Brewers swept their second straight doubleheader, achieving the feat for the first time since July 30, 2013. They put up three runs in the third inning, just before a booming thunderclap signaled the start of the delay, and tacked on four more with Shane Peterson's first career home run in the sixth inning and Elian Herrera's second homer of the day in the ninth.
"Yeah, it was a long day. It was a good day," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, whose club took the opening game, 8-6. "We played well. I think everybody in the bullpen contributed today, and we played great defense in that second game."
The Reds, meanwhile, were dealt their first doubleheader sweep since Aug. 28, 2007, in Pittsburgh. It was Cincinnati's first doubleheader sweep at home since Aug. 17, 1990, when the Reds dropped two games to the Pirates at Riverfront Stadium.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Herrera homers again: Herrera hit more home runs in one day than he hit in his first three Major League seasons combined. The utility man hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning of Game 1 and a three-run insurance shot in Game 2 that extended a 4-2 Brewers lead to 7-2 and freed Counsell from having to pitch closer Francisco Rodriguez for the second time in six hours. More >
Reliever rakes: Reds right-hander Pedro Villarreal checked off a number of career firsts -- double, RBI -- with his fourth-inning knock to left field, only his second hit in the Majors. Villarreal's line drive off Milwaukee's Ariel Pena drove in a pair of runs and brought Cincinnati within one of Milwaukee, but that margin would return to two after Villarreal served up Peterson's homer.
"He was our offensive juggernaut today," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Major League firsts: Pena made his big league debut in relief of Brewers starter Wily Peralta following the rain delay and allowed two runs in three innings for his first win. Pena got a boost from Peterson, who has seen his playing time slip since the Brewers promoted slugging prospect Domingo Santana but made the most of an increasingly rare start on Saturday night with a pair of run-scoring hits, including his maiden home run.
"'Petey' has been looking for a home run, that's for sure," Counsell said. "He's hit plenty of home runs in his [Minor League] career, so you start getting to a certain number of at-bats, I think he was wondering if it was ever going to come. I don't know if you saw the dugout, but everybody was thrilled for him today." More >
Thunderstruck: The game was already in a delay in the middle of the third inning because home-plate umpire Will Little had been abruptly called away from Great American Ball Park for a family medical issue. While a handful of Brewers players, including starter Wily Peralta and catcher Martin Maldonado, stayed loose on the infield, a bolt of lightning struck one of the light poles in left field and caused everybody to scatter for cover. Immediately, members of the grounds crew covered the field and initiated a rain delay.
When play resumed, Phil Cuzzi, who'd begun the game at second base, took over calling balls and strikes. Gerry Davis took over at third base, and Toby Basner moved from third to second. Also absent were the game's starting pitchers, Peralta and Keyvius Sampson, as the long delay forced both managers to turn to relief. Sampson, making the eighth start of his young career, struggled with his command, walking three and allowing three runs on five hits in three innings. More >
"I'm not the hydration engineer on the club. There is a hydration engineer, his name is [strength-and-conditioning specialist] Josh Seligman, and he will handle those duties today." -- Counsell, asked whether he would stress hydration before his team played two on a hot day in Cincinnati
"We're trying to play as much baseball as possible when it's not in the middle of a downpour. We probably take a few more risks than other teams that haven't lost 23 hours to rain delays." -- Price, on the weather and rain delays
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With Saturday night's one-hour, 33-minute delay, the Reds have spent 29 hours and 18 minutes waiting out 22 separate rain delays this season. The vast majority of that time -- 23 hours and 19 minutes -- has come at Great American Ball Park.
Brewers: Jimmy Nelson will try to make it two straight quality starts when he pitches Sunday's series finale against the Reds, which starts at 12:10 p.m. CT. The right-hander's last outing was a bounce-back effort; Nelson worked seven one-run innings against the Pirates without issuing a walk, six days after he set a career high with eight free passes in a loss at Cleveland. He has allowed 10 earned runs in eight innings over two starts this season at Great American Ball Park.
Reds: Right-hander Michael Lorenzen will start for the Reds as they wrap up their three-game series against the Brewers. Lorenzen rejoined Cincinnati's rotation on Monday, and he allowed five runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings against the Cubs.
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