CINCINNATI -- After playing three seasons in Korea, Milwaukee first baseman Eric Thames is impressed by how hard many young major league pitchers are throwing these days. "Whatever they're feeding these kids," Thames said. "they're are all throwing 95-plus." Cincinnati's bullpen has several hard throwers. On Friday night, Thames got a 96 mph fastball to his liking from Reds left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta and helped the red-hot Brewers break open a close game. Thames hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning and Manny Pina had a career-high four hits, including two doubles, to lift the Brewers to their fourth straight win, a 10-4 victory at Great American Ball Park. Thames has grown accustomed to being matched up with lefties in the late innings. With two outs, he stayed patient with Peralta and rifled a 1-2 pitch out to right-center. "It was a good pitch," Thames said. "I knew he throws hard. Big lefty with a big fastball. I just reacted." The 10-run, 12-hit outburst helped the Brewers (6-5) move above .500 for the first time since finishing the 2014 season with an 82-80 record. Milwaukee ran wild with rookie Stuart Turner behind the plate for the Reds. The Brewers had five stolen bases in five attempts, including three by Jonathan Villar, and also went 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Tommy Milone (1-0) allowed three earned runs in five innings with three strikeouts for Milwaukee. Milone didn't walk a batter. "Another zero in the walk column," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That's how you keep the damage down." Blake Wood (0-1) gave up three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning to take the loss for Cincinnati. Joey Votto and Zack Cozart homered for Cincinnati (7-4). Cozart has hit safely in nine straight games to begin the season. He missed two games with injury. Milwaukee was trailing 3-2 in the sixth when it pounced on the Cincinnati bullpen after starter Scott Feldman exited. Feldman gave up two earned runs in five innings but needed 104 pitches. "Feldman got his pitch count up, but he battled," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We had a hit batter, a two-strike hit, another two-strike hit and a two-strike home run and they took the momentum right away from us." After getting off to a positive start to this season, the Reds' bullpen reverted back to its 2016 struggles. Villar doubled off right fielder Patrick Kivlehan's glove to drive in the go-ahead run. Thames then broke the game open with his bomb off Peralta to make the score 6-3. It was Thames' third home run this season. Pinch-hitter Nick Franklin's two-run triple gave Milwaukee a 9-3 lead in the seventh. Cozart's two-run homer in the second was a majestic shot that sailed into the left-field seats to put Cincinnati ahead 2-0. Cozart, who belted his first homer of the season, was leading the National League in hitting coming into the game. While Cozart's homer was lofted to left, Votto's solo shot in the third was crushed off the batter's eye in center, making the score 3-0. Votto's third home run of the season came on a first-pitch fastball from Milone. Milwaukee got on the board in the fourth when Pina doubled to right, driving home two runs to make the score 3-2. Pina finished 4-for-5, grounding out in the ninth to end his perfect night. "I looked up and he's batting .500," Counsell said. "So he's doing alright. He hit the ball hard in his fifth at-bat, too." The Brewers made a bid to take the lead in the fifth, but Feldman pitched out of a bases-loaded jam when he induced Domingo Santana to ground into an inning-ending double play. "Feldman was tough," Counsell said. "We did a nice job against their bullpen, mostly. Our right-handers have done a nice job using the opposite field." NOTES: Cincinnati recalled OF Jesse Winker from Triple-A Louisville and optioned RHP Barrett Astin. Winker struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning in his major league debut. ... RHP Sal Romano will start Sunday's series finale for the Reds. He's currently at Triple-A Louisville. ... Milwaukee made two trades with the Baltimore Orioles late Thursday, acquiring international signing bonus slot No. 15 in exchange for RHP Damien Magnifico and RHP Oliver Drake for a player to be named or cash. Drake struck out four in two innings Friday.
Thames, Pina help Brewers hammer Reds
The Sports Xchange | Apr 15