Milwaukee at Cincinnati

W: M. Maloney (2-2) L: R. Wolf (13-12)
S: F. Cordero (40)
HR: MIL - None   CIN - J. Bruce (25)

Reds 3, Brewers 2 wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Aaron Harang's voice wavered. He paused and dabbed a tear from his left eye, then reached across his face and cleared the right one as well.

Tough ending for the Reds pitcher. Best ending for everyone else.

Jay Bruce hit his fourth homer of Cincinnati's title-clinching week and the Reds eased into the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 on Sunday with another mix-and-match lineup.

Postseason Chase

The only disappointment: Harang had to leave in the third inning because of a blister on his right index finger. With a too-pricey contract option for next season, his 7½-year stint with the Reds is likely finished.

"There was definitely some emotion," said Harang, wearing a gray NL Central champions T-shirt in the clubhouse. "It was definitely hard coming off the field and ending it the way it did. Cincinnati has been good.

"It's been seven-plus years now. In this sport anymore, seven years in one place doesn't happen much."

Harang isn't in Cincinnati's postseason rotation. Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto will pitch the first three playoff games regardless of the opponent. The Reds will open on the road against either the Phillies or the NL West champions.

Either way, there's no more beating up on also-rans for the NL Central champs. They made it to the playoffs by going 61-30 against teams with losing records, but were only 30-41 against those .500 or better.

"We're not going to go, 'Uh-oh, it's this team or that team,"' closer Francisco Cordero said. "It's not easy what we're going to do. We're going to the playoffs, and every team is in the playoffs because they're a good team."

Bruce's ninth-inning homer on Tuesday secured the division title. He hit three more in the last two games, helping the Reds finish with 91 wins. His solo shot off Randy Wolf (13-12) snapped a 2-all tie in the fourth.

Corey Hart had three hits for Milwaukee. He unsuccessfully tried to steal home in the seventh off Aroldis Chapman, who was pitching from the windup. Cordero worked the ninth for his 40th save -- the third time he's reached the mark -- in 48 chances.

The final regular-season game was played in an October playoff chill -- 51 degrees and windy at the first pitch, prompting the 37,582 fans to bundle in coats and scarves. Reds manager Dusty Baker replaced seven position players after the fifth inning.

Before the game, Baker announced his all-righty rotation for the first round of the playoffs. Arroyo is the only one with playoff experience. When he was with Boston from 2003-05, he made two playoff starts and pitched in relief.

The regular-season wrapup was a farewell moment for Harang. The 32-year-old right-hander has an option for next season at $12.75 million that's too steep for Cincinnati. He'll become a free agent when the Reds exercise a $2 million buyout.

Harang pitched the season opener for the fifth straight year, spent time on the disabled list with back spasms and was demoted to the bullpen after his return. He started Sunday in place of Volquez, who threw in the bullpen instead.

Matt Maloney (2-2) got the win with three innings in relief.

The Brewers finished 80-82 last season, Ken Macha's first as manager. They slipped to 77-85 this year. Milwaukee went 26-23 in one-run games.

"What's going to happen to me is totally out of my control," Macha said. "We had some guys here getting a chance to break into the big leagues, and I think we have a chance to improve next year.

"We've played a lot of close ballgames. A one-run loss today -- we've had a bunch of those, a lot of tight games where we needed something to give that little extra push. A little push here or there makes a difference."

Wolf agreed to a three-year, $29.75 million deal with the Brewers in the offseason after going 11-7 with the Dodgers. He went seven innings on Sunday, allowing three runs and nine hits while throwing 122 pitches.


Hart finished strong, hitting safely in 17 of his last 18 games. ... Eleven of Bruce's 25 homers have come off left-handers, including three of his last four. ... Chapman's fastball topped out at 98 mph. ... The Reds' season attendance was 2,060,551. Last year they sold 1,747,919 tickets, their fewest since 1986. ... The Great American Ball Park fire alarm went off in the bottom of the third inning. The warning horn blared during two at-bats.

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

J. Bruce
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1

C. Hart
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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February 3, 2017
NL Central Preview: Milwaukee Brewers (2:24)
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B1100210 .269
    Carlos Gomez, PR-LF2010010 .247
Corey Hart, RF5032012 .283
Ryan Braun, LF2000002 .304
    Joe Inglett, LF-2B1000101 .254
Prince Fielder, 1B4000013 .261
Casey McGehee, 3B4010011 .285
Lorenzo Cain, CF3010111 .306
Alcides Escobar, SS2000112 .235
    Manny Parra, P0000000 .176
George Kottaras, C3000102 .203
Randy Wolf, P3110023 .247
    Craig Counsell, SS1000000 .250
2B - Corey Hart (34, Harang)
SH - Alcides Escobar (4)
RBI - Corey Hart 2 (102)
SB - Carlos Gomez (18, 2nd base off Cordero/Miller), Lorenzo Cain (7, 2nd base off Burton/Miller)
CS - Corey Hart (6, Home by Chapman/Miller)
Team LOB - 9
Milwaukee Brewers
Randy Wolf (L,13-12) 7933131 4.17
Manny Parra 1100110 5.02
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 124-86, Manny Parra 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 6-12, Manny Parra 1-1
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 31, Manny Parra 5
Cincinnati Reds
Brandon Phillips, 2B2000000 .275
    Chris Valaika, 2B2000012 .263
Orlando Cabrera, SS3110000 .263
    Paul Janish, SS1000000 .260
Joey Votto, 1B2111100 .324
    Miguel Cairo, 1B1010000 .290
Scott Rolen, 3B3000002 .285
    Juan Francisco, 3B1000001 .273
Jonny Gomes, LF3021000 .266
    Laynce Nix, LF0000100 .291
Jay Bruce, RF2121000 .281
   a- Willie Bloomquist, PH-RF2000003 .267
Drew Stubbs, CF2010002 .255
    Chris Heisey, CF2010010 .254
Ramon Hernandez, C3010000 .297
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   b- Yonder Alonso, PH1000000 .207
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Aaron Harang, P1000010 .135
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
    Matt Maloney, P0000001 .333
   c- Corky Miller, PH-C2000012 .243
a-grounded out for Bruce in the 5th
b-grounded out for Burton in the 8th
c-popped out for Maloney in the 6th
2B - Joey Votto (36, Wolf), Miguel Cairo (12, Wolf)
HR - Jay Bruce (25, Wolf)
SH - Matt Maloney (2)
RBI - Joey Votto (113), Jonny Gomes (86), Jay Bruce (70)
2-OUT RBI - Jonny Gomes (37)
SB - Drew Stubbs (30, 3rd base off Wolf/Kottaras)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Rolen-Valaika-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang 2322230 5.32
Logan Ondrusek 1000000 3.68
Matt Maloney (W,2-2) 3200320 3.05
Aroldis Chapman (H,4) 1100010 2.03
Arthur Rhodes (H,26) 0.2000110 2.29
Jared Burton (H,1) 0.1000010 0.00
Francisco Cordero (S,40) 1100010 3.84
WP - Aroldis Chapman (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 41-23, Logan Ondrusek 11-6, Matt Maloney 39-22, Aroldis Chapman 15-9, Arthur Rhodes 12-6, Jared Burton 6-3, Francisco Cordero 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 1-2, Logan Ondrusek 2-1, Matt Maloney 2-4, Arthur Rhodes 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 11, Logan Ondrusek 3, Matt Maloney 13, Aroldis Chapman 3, Arthur Rhodes 3, Jared Burton 1, Francisco Cordero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 37582
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 51
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Tim Welke