Milwaukee at Cincinnati

W: T. Coffey (1-0) L: B. Arroyo (15-11)
HR: MIL - P. Fielder (33)   CIN - None

Brewers 8, Reds 1 wire reports

CINCINNATI -- The clubhouse sound system pulsated with music. Smiling Milwaukee Brewers players huddled around big-screen television sets, choosing sides and cheering the outcome of plays in NFL game.

So, this is what it's like to win a game.

Prince Fielder homered and drove in three runs Sunday, helping the Brewers end one of the most bizarre weeks in their history with an 8-1 victory against the Cincinnati Reds that provided one day's solace for a fading team.

The Brewers won for only the fifth time in 20 games, a September self-destruct that has made them a long shot for the playoffs. They're 1½ games behind the Mets -- two in the loss column -- for the NL wild card, a big gap with only one week to go.

"We're not eliminated, so it has to be good," Fielder said. "This is baseball. You never know what could happen. The (teams) in front of us could do what we did -- play good baseball and kaplowie. As long as we just play our game and see what happens, we'll be all right. At least we'll be able to sleep at night."

For the most part, they've been sleepless in September.

Fielder has been Milwaukee's only consistent threat at the plate in the last two weeks, but played a starring role in their most recent meltdown. He had a fielding error that set up Cincinnati's comeback on Saturday, and struck out with the bases loaded to end a demoralizing 4-3 loss.

He got the Brewers going on Sunday with a solo home run in the second inning off Bronson Arroyo (15-11), who had won his previous five decisions. It was Fielder's fifth home run during a 12-game hitting streak.

Fielder also had a two-run double in the fourth as the Brewers pulled away to their most lopsided victory in September.

"Once we got behind, we couldn't dig ourselves out of it," Arroyo said.

A former Reds pitcher had a lot to do with it.

Reliever Todd Coffey (1-0) escaped a bases-loaded threat in the fourth by getting a pair of strikeouts, then had a look-at-me-now moment as he walked off the field. Coffey stared toward the booths behind home plate so intently and so long that he went off course and had to backtrack to reach the dugout steps.

Coffey was booed by fans and harshly criticized by a broadcaster when he pitched for the Reds, who let him go earlier this month.

"I spent 10 years here with this organization," Coffey said. "I wanted to keep my head up and let them know that hey, you don't want me anymore, you made your decision, I understand it. But I'm going to plug along. I come back in here, I'm going to have a motive to pitch even better."

The Brewers went 2-8 on their final road trip and headed home. After a day off Monday, they'll play three against Pittsburgh and three against the Chicago Cubs, who have clinched the NL Central title. The Brewers are 44-31 at home, with no margin for error.

"It's the biggest homestand that any of us has gone through, obviously," interim manager Dale Sveum said. "As well as we used to play at home, it's time to have one of those series where we win all of them. There's no doubt about it."

If they don't make the playoffs, they'll remember this week as the one that did them in.

Milwaukee started September with a 5½-game lead in the wild-card race, then collapsed. The Brewers fired manager Ned Yost on Monday, an unusual move to try to relax the team and stop the self-destruction. It only got worse.

Right-hander Ben Sheets had to leave a game after two innings because of a sore elbow, leaving his status uncertain for as long as the season lasts. Sveum had to repeatedly juggle the lineup and the rotation because of injuries.

The toughest blow came on Thursday, when the Brewers took a 6-2 lead into the ninth at Wrigley Field and got two outs before closer Solomon Torres let it slip away. A day later, the Reds hit seven home runs off a dispirited pitching staff, leaving the Brewers in deep trouble.


The Brewers finished 41-40 on the road. ... 3B Craig Counsell snapped an 0-for-14 streak. He went 4-for-24 on the road trip. ... The Reds designated Coffey for assignment on Sept. 9, and the Brewers claimed him off waivers a day later. ... RH Seth McClung made his first start since July 21 and lasted only 3 1/3 innings. He gave up two hits, walked four and hit two Reds. ... The Reds will finish their home schedule Monday with a makeup game against Florida. ... OF Jay Bruce, who was hit on the right hand by a pitch on Saturday, was out of the lineup.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

P. Fielder
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

J. Hardy
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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February 3, 2017
NL Central Preview: Milwaukee Brewers (2:24)
Milwaukee Brewers
Mike Cameron, CF4000044 .238
Craig Counsell, 3B-2B3110100 .225
Ryan Braun, LF5221010 .287
Prince Fielder, 1B4223113 .274
J.J. Hardy, SS4131002 .287
Corey Hart, RF3002002 .272
Rickie Weeks, 2B4000030 .235
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
Jason Kendall, C4120010 .248
Seth McClung, P1000010 .278
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   a- Joe Dillon, PH0100100 .222
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .125
   b- Alcides Escobar, PH1000000 .500
    Eric Gagne, P0000000 .000
   c- Bill Hall, PH-3B1010000 .226
a-walked for Coffey in the 5th
b-grounded out for Villanueva in the 7th
c-singled for Gagne in the 8th
2B - Ryan Braun (38, Pettyjohn), Prince Fielder (29, Arroyo), J.J. Hardy (30, Majewski)
HR - Prince Fielder (33, Arroyo)
SF - Corey Hart 2 (8)
SH - J.J. Hardy (4)
RBI - Ryan Braun (99), Prince Fielder 3 (98), J.J. Hardy (73), Corey Hart 2 (89)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy (30)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Weeks-Hardy-Fielder, Hardy-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Seth McClung 3.1211410 4.17
Todd Coffey (W,1-0) 0.2000020 4.81
Carlos Villanueva 2200110 4.15
Eric Gagne 1000010 5.82
Guillermo Mota 1000000 3.88
Salomon Torres 1100110 3.16
HBP - Hairston (by Seth McClung), Hanigan (by Seth McClung)
WP - Seth McClung (5), Carlos Villanueva (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Seth McClung 72-37, Todd Coffey 7-6, Carlos Villanueva 26-15, Eric Gagne 17-11, Guillermo Mota 6-5, Salomon Torres 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Seth McClung 4-4, Carlos Villanueva 4-0, Guillermo Mota 2-1, Salomon Torres 1-1
Batters Faced - Seth McClung 17, Todd Coffey 2, Carlos Villanueva 8, Eric Gagne 3, Guillermo Mota 3, Salomon Torres 5
Cincinnati Reds
Jerry Hairston Jr., RF3000113 .326
Jeff Keppinger, SS4010102 .263
Joey Votto, 1B4000013 .286
Andy Phillips, 3B3110101 .221
Jolbert Cabrera, LF3000111 .245
Corey Patterson, CF3000110 .202
Danny Richar, 2B4021000 .217
Ryan Hanigan, C2010101 .290
Bronson Arroyo, P2000015 .200
   a- Wilkin Castillo, PH1000001 .333
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
    Adam Pettyjohn, P0000000 .000
   b- Javier Valentin, PH1000011 .250
a-grounded out for Arroyo in the 6th
b-struck out for Pettyjohn in the 9th
2B - Danny Richar (2, Villanueva)
RBI - Danny Richar (2)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Phillips-Richar-Votto
E - Jolbert Cabrera (1, Misplayed grounder), Danny Richar (1, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo (L,15-11) 6665381 4.66
Danny Herrera 1000010 5.40
Gary Majewski 1311020 5.82
Adam Pettyjohn 1211000 4.50
IBB - Fielder by Bronson Arroyo
HBP - Cameron (by Danny Herrera), Counsell (by Danny Herrera)
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 91-60, Danny Herrera 19-12, Gary Majewski 23-18, Adam Pettyjohn 21-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 3-6, Danny Herrera 2-0, Adam Pettyjohn 1-2
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 26, Danny Herrera 5, Gary Majewski 6, Adam Pettyjohn 5
Game Information
Attendance - 22624
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Mike Winters