CINCINNATI -- The Reds missed an opportunity for a three-game series sweep Wednesday afternoon when they were handed a 5-4 loss by the Brewers. Cincinnati also lost leadoff hitter Nick Senzel to illness and catcher Juan Graterol exited after taking a hard foul ball off his mask.
Filling in for rested third baseman Eugenio Suarez, rookie Josh VanMeter went 3-for-4 and finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. VanMeter gave the Reds their first lead with a two-out RBI single in the first inning, then he made it a 4-2 game when he led off the third by hitting a 2-2 pitch from Jhoulys Chacin for a booming home run to right field.
According to Statcast, the home run distance was 463 feet, which is the second-longest homer hit at Miller Park this season, and the longest by a visiting player since Marcell Ozuna hit a 479-foot homer for the Cardinals on April 3, 2018. VanMeter added a double to center field in the fifth inning.
Reds starter Lucas Sims gave up only one hit through his first four innings, but the lone hit was a two-out, two-run homer to center field by Ryan Braun on a 3-2 pitch in the first. Sims retired the next 10 batters in order, before Keston Hiura led off Milwaukee's fifth inning with a homer to center field. Sims gave up a two-out single to Lorenzo Cain later in the frame, which ended his afternoon. Amir Garrett took over, but the lefty walked Christian Yelich and surrendered a two-run single to Yasmani Grandal that put the Brewers in the lead for good.
Senzel led off the game with a single to right field and appeared to struggle after reaching first base. He was taken out of the game and replaced by Phillip Ervin, who scored on VanMeter’s first hit. In the third inning, with Cain batting for Milwaukee, a foul ball knocked Graterol’s mask off his face and he could not continue. Ryan Lavarnway replaced Graterol, who is the fourth Reds catcher to be injured in less than a month.