Christian Yelich homered, tripled and drew a bases-loaded walk as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-3 on Sunday for their first home victory.
The Brewers avoided falling to 0-5 at home for the first time since 1970, the franchise’s inaugural season in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee entered the game hitting .210, but its lineup delivered a smashing performance in the late innings.
Justin Smoak broke out of a slump and delivered hits from each side of the plate during a six-run rally in the sixth that put the Brewers ahead for good. Milwaukee poured it on in the seventh with back-to-back homers from Keston Hiura and Yelich.
Hiura went 3 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs.
Cincinnati’s Jesse Winker was 3 for 4 with a homer, double and two RBIs.
The Reds were seeking their first sweep at Milwaukee since August 2009 and led 2-1 when starter Sonny Gray (3-1) remained in the game to open the sixth inning with his pitch count at 92.
Gray gave up three hits to the Brewers’ first four batters of the inning and left with the score tied and runners on the corners with one out. Michael Lorenzen replaced Gray and didn’t retire any of the four hitters he faced as the Brewers eventually built a 7-2 lead.
Eric Sogard walked to load the bases and Hiura singled home Mark Mathias to put the Brewers ahead. Lorenzen then walked Yelich with the bases loaded to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 4-2.
Lorenzen received a mound visit after Yelich walked, but remained in the game. Lorenzen then walked Logan Morrison to bring in one more run before exiting with the Brewers ahead 5-2. Smoak capped the rally with a two-run single off Cody Reed.
Smoak struck out in his first at-bat, but followed that up with three straight hits to end stretches of 0 for 14 and 1 for 25 stretch. He ended up going 3 for 5 with a double.
Brent Suter (2-0) earned the win with two innings of shutout relief after starter Brandon Woodruff allowed two runs in four innings.
GRAY (BARELY) EXTENDS STREAK
Gray gave up six hits or fewer for a major league-record 37th consecutive start. He allowed six hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven.
The last time Gray gave up more than six hits in a start was Aug. 1, 2018, when he was pitching for the New York Yankees and yielded seven runs in 2 2/3 innings to absorb the loss in a 7-5 setback against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Reds placed infielder Mike Moustakas on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Thursday, with a bruised left quadriceps.
Reds reliever Pedro Strop and center fielder Nick Senzel have groin injuries. Cincinnati manager David Bell said Strop “is trending toward some time off here” but Senzel should be ready to return by Tuesday.
The Reds have Monday off before beginning a two-game home series with the Kansas City Royals. Luis Castillo is the likely starter when the Reds open that series Tuesday.
The Brewers stay home to begin a three-game home series with the Minnesota Twins on Monday. The probable starter is Adrian Houser, who has allowed just one earned run over 12 innings through his first two starts. The Twins will start Randy Dobnak.