MILWAUKEE (AP) — A rare offensive burst, solid starting pitching and stellar defense provided the Cincinnati Reds needed relief from their early-season woes.
Billy Hamilton drove in three runs and the Reds ended an eight-game losing streak with a 10-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
“A win is salve regardless of how early or late you are in the season,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “A win makes everyone feel better.”
The Reds won for just the third time in 16 games. Cincinnati is tied with Kansas City for the fewest wins in the majors.
Price praised the Reds’ defense, specifically the play of infielders Phil Gosselin and Scooter Gennett, which he said “never really allowed Milwaukee to get too excited about what was going on.”
The Reds also got a strong outing from starter Luis Castillo (1-2), who entered having allowed 13 earned runs in 16 innings over three starts this season. He shut out the Brewers for six innings before allowing four runs in the seventh.
Castillo went 6 2/3 innings, giving up five hits while striking out eight and walking three.
“I was focused on going after the hitters and I was trying to make my pitches on the corners,” Castillo said through a translator.
The Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning on Tucker Barnhart’s RBI single and Hamilton’s two-run single.
Cincinnati broke the game open in the sixth, scoring six runs and hitting four doubles off reliever Oliver Drake. The Reds sent 10 batters to the plate.
The first run scored on back-to-back doubles by Adam Duvall and Gennett. Castillo had a run-scoring single. Hamilton followed with his second RBI single of the game.
Jose Peraza had a two-run double, and Joey Votto’s RBI double finished the scoring in the inning. The double was Votto’s first extra-base hit of the season.
“It’s been a battle for us to start the season but I feel like the last couple games we’ve been getting better,” Hamilton said. “Today, we broke out and got a few runs and got up early.”
Milwaukee starter Brent Suter (1-2) allowed three runs and six hits over five innings and struck out four.
“It was a frustrating outing,” Suter said.
Milwaukee scored four runs in the seventh. Reliever Jorge Lopez had a two-run double for his first career hit.
RHP J.J. Hoover, who was designated for assignment by the Brewers on April 11, has elected free agency. … The Reds traded minor league C Tony Sanchez to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named or cash.
DOME SWEET DOME
The retractable roof at Miller Park provided a break from the inclement weather that has led to a rash of postponements.
“We definitely feel fortunate from that end,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Monday night’s game was played after a major snow storm hit the Milwaukee area over the weekend. The Reds waited through a rain delay of 2 hours, 36 minutes at home Sunday.
“It’s nice knowing that it’s freezing cold outside but we are going to be able to play in a relatively comfortable environment,” Price said. “Playing baseball when it’s 25 or 35 degrees isn’t fun for anybody.”
Reds: OF Jesse Winker, who missed three games with shoulder soreness, entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. … OF Scott Schebler made a rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Sunday and another on Monday for Double-A Pensacola. He’s been out with a bruised nerve in his right elbow after being hit by a pitch on April 8. … RHP Kevin Shackelford (right forearm strain) made a second rehab appearance for Pensacola on Monday.
Brewers: Placed C Manny Pina on the 10-day DL, retroactive to April 13, with a right calf strain and recalled C Jacob Nottingham from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Nottingham made his major league debut when he entered the game in the seventh. … 1B Eric Thames, who aggravated a muscle injury in his left leg and was removed in the third inning of Sunday’s game, was out of the lineup.
Reds: Sal Romano (0-1, 5.87 ERA) is 0-3 with a 7.24 ERA in three starts against the Brewers, all coming as a rookie last season.
Brewers: Junior Guerra (1-0, 1.69) will make his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs. He is 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Reds.