MILWAUKEE (AP) — Yasmani Grandal homered during a big rally, then started a bizarre double play on a pitch that got past him and bounced to the backstop, helping the Milwaukee Brewers outlast the Cincinnati Reds 11-9 on Wednesday.
Trailing 6-1 in the third inning, Grandal hit a two-run homer as the Brewers scored five times in the sixth for an 11-8 lead.
The Reds scored once in the seventh and had the bases loaded with one out. Reliever Jeremy Jeffress struck out Phillip Ervin swinging, but the ball zipped past Grandal. Fortunately for the Brewers catcher, the ball caromed off the back wall and right back to him.
Grandal threw down to first when Curt Casali strayed off the bag, assuming the runners would advance. But Derek Dietrich stayed at third, seeing the ball ricochet to Grandal, and Casali was tagged out after an extended rundown.
What had been set up as a pitching duel between the Brewers’ Zach Davies and Luis Castillo turned into a wild affair. They entered with the second-lowest (Davies, 1.54) and third-lowest (Castillo, 1.90) ERAs in the National League.
It turned out to be the shortest outing of the season for both, as Davies gave up six runs in three innings and Castillo allowed four in 2 ?.
In all, Cincinnati and Milwaukee both used six pitchers. Josh Hader finished it, earning his 12th save in 12 chances.
The Brewers, shut out for the first time this season in a 3-0 loss to the Reds on Tuesday, played their second straight game without Christian Yelich. The 2018 NL MVP was out with back spasms, and it isn’t known yet when he’ll return.
Tyler Barnhart’s fourth homer, a second-deck drive to right field, capped a five-run second that put the Reds up, 5-0. Dietrich hit his 12th in the third for a 6-1 lead.
The Brewers made it 6-all in the fourth on a two-run single by Eric Thames. Keston Hiura and Mike Moustakas also homered for Milwaukee.
Milwaukee reliever Junior Guerra (2-0) earned the win. Wandy Peralta (0-1) took the loss.
Brewers: Yelich will “go through a bunch of treatments today and see how he his,” manager Craig Counsell said before the game, which preceded a day off Thursday. “He’s had some muscle issues in his back but they’ve been short-term, five-day injuries. That’s not a chronic characterization, for me.”
Reds: OF Yasiel Puig, who suffered a sprained right shoulder after making a catch in right field and crashing into the padded wall in Cincinnati on Sunday, didn’t play Wednesday for the second straight game. Manager David Bell said he expects Puig to return to the lineup Friday after an off-day for the team on Thursday.
Reds: The Reds head to Chicago to open a three-game series against the Cubs on Friday. Anthony DeSclafini (2-2, 4.60 ERA) faces Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.21).
Brewers: Open a three-game series at home against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. The Brewers will put RHP Chase Anderson (2-0, 2.66) against RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-2, 3.23).
ABOVE PHOTO: Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart tags out Milwaukee Brewers’ Ben Gamel at home during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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