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Cincinnati at Milwaukee

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Cincinnati (45-47)110100000370
Milwaukee (49-43) «110000002461

Brewers rally in ninth to top struggling Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke stayed away from hobbled slugger Ryan Braun on Sunday. He was worried the All-Star outfielder would aggravate an injury, so he decided against using him as a pinch hitter.

As it turns out, the rest of the Brewers' bench did just fine.

Pinch-hitter Nyjer Morgan started a ninth-inning rally off Cincinnati closer Francisco Cordero with a single and stolen base. Fellow pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay tied it with an RBI single -- and yet another pinch hitter, Craig Counsell, delivered a sacrifice fly to lift the Brewers to a 4-3 victory.

"Braunie's sitting there, and Braunie is an option," Roenicke said. "We talked about it a little bit, and I think everybody felt good with Counsell being up there. Great win for us, and great contributing factor from him."

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Milwaukee again was without Braun, who has missed the team's last eight games with a lingering calf strain. Braun will not play in Tuesday's All-Star game but said he expects to be ready to return when the Brewers resume play in Colorado on Thursday.

Roenicke said before Sunday's game that Braun would be available as a pinch hitter, but likely only in a critical situation. The problem, Roenicke said afterward, was Braun wouldn't be able to leg out a ground ball because he'd risk reinjuring his calf.

That apparently didn't stop him from lobbying to get in the game.

"He wanted to hit," Roenicke said. "If he thought we needed him, he wanted to hit."

Despite a rough season for Counsell so far -- he was hitless in his last 28 at-bats going into Sunday -- he got the job done.

In an odd twist, Counsell also hit a game-ending sacrifice fly off Cordero in 2008, also in the Brewers' final game before the All-Star break that year.

"To end the first half this way, it just kind of sends us into the break feeling good about ourselves, feeling good about the way we've been playing," Counsell said. "It makes those three days a lot more peaceful."

The suddenly struggling Cordero also crumbled against his former team on Friday.

"I'm not doing my job right now," Cordero said. "It doesn't feel good. If I still want to have a job I've got to do better than what I'm doing right now."

Cordero (3-3) also hit Rickie Weeks in his ninth-inning meltdown Sunday, but said it wasn't intentional.

"I don't want to hit him," Cordero said. "I don't want to hit anybody, especially a guy I played with."

The Brewers' rally ruined a return to the big leagues by Dontrelle Willis, who gave up a pair of runs over six innings for Cincinnati.

After sending struggling starter Edinson Volquez to Triple-A Louisville on Thursday, the Reds turned to Willis to start Sunday's game. The former Florida Marlins standout had been pitching in Louisville after failing to make the Reds' opening-day roster coming out of spring training.

Making his first major league appearance since pitching in relief for Arizona last July, Willis gave up a run in each of his first two innings. But he settled down after that.

"He was a little shaky, but got better as the game went on," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Probably a little jittery, a little nervous, first time back after a long time. But after he settled down, he found the strike zone."

Willis even contributed at the plate, doubling in the sixth inning. Willis grabbed his left thigh after arriving at second base and received attention from the Reds' training staff, but stayed in the game.

"A little too excited early, but I had fun competing against a great ballclub," Willis said. "I just wanted to go out there and give it a good outing. I feel like I did that."

Kameron Loe (3-7) got the win.

Brewers starter Randy Wolf went seven innings, giving up seven hits and three runs, two earned. And he nearly hit a home run, sending a ball over the fence. The drive was ruled foul on the field, and a replay review confirmed it.

The Brewers were trailing late after a throwing error by Weeks while trying to turn a double play allowed a run in the fourth. But the rally sends them into the break on a high note.

"It's a huge win, knowing that we come in here against a team that does play us really well," Roenicke said. "And [to] win three out of four against them, [entering] the break is a great way to do it."

Notes

  • The Brewers optioned INF/OF Mat Gamel to Triple-A Nashville and recalled RHP Cody Scarpetta.
  • The Reds optioned RHP Carlos Fisher to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Willis.
  • The second-inning replay review of Wolf's near-home run was the second replay review in a Brewers game this season and first of the season at Miller Park.
  • Sunday's crowd was 43,896, the Brewers' 14th sellout of the season.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Nyjer Morgan gets fired up after scoring the game-tying run in the ninth inning, which leads to a Brewers victory.  (Getty Images)
Nyjer Morgan gets fired up after scoring the game-tying run in the ninth inning, which leads to a Brewers victory. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Weeks
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
Cincinnati

D. Willis
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 4
K 4
 
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF3200202 .250
Zack Cozart, SS5010010 .313
Joey Votto, 1B4011012 .324
Brandon Phillips, 2B3000102 .290
Jay Bruce, RF2010210 .268
Scott Rolen, 3B3001000 .241
Jonny Gomes, LF4010014 .218
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Ramon Hernandez, C4120001 .322
Dontrelle Willis, P2010001 .500
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
   a- Chris Heisey, PH-LF1000000 .251
Totals3137254  
a-flied out for Chapman in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jay Bruce (16, Wolf), Dontrelle Willis (1, Wolf)
SH - Dontrelle Willis (1)
RBI - Joey Votto (55), Scott Rolen (36)
2-OUT RBI - Joey Votto (21), Scott Rolen (11)
Team LOB - 8
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dontrelle Willis 6422440 3.00
Aroldis Chapman (H,6) 2000040 4.57
Francisco Cordero (BS,5; L,3-3) 0.2222100 2.95
HBP - Weeks (by Francisco Cordero)
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 97-59, Aroldis Chapman 23-16, Francisco Cordero 24-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 10-4, Aroldis Chapman 1-1, Francisco Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 26, Aroldis Chapman 6, Francisco Cordero 6
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rickie Weeks, 2B3210110 .278
Carlos Gomez, CF3011010 .225
   a- Craig Counsell, PH0001000 .170
Corey Hart, RF3011101 .270
Prince Fielder, 1B3000111 .297
Casey McGehee, 3B3000110 .223
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4000003 .237
Josh Wilson, LF3010003 .256
   b- Nyjer Morgan, PH1110000 .327
George Kottaras, C3100111 .234
Randy Wolf, P2000020 .219
   c- Jonathan Lucroy, PH1000010 .280
    Zach Braddock, P0000000 .000
    Kameron Loe, P0000000 .000
   d- Mark Kotsay, PH1011000 .263
Totals3046458  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Gomez in the 9th
b-singled for Wilson in the 9th
c-struck out for Wolf in the 7th
d-singled for Loe in the 9th
Batting
2B - Rickie Weeks (22, Willis)
3B - Carlos Gomez (3, Willis)
SF - Craig Counsell (1)
SH - Carlos Gomez (7)
RBI - Carlos Gomez (18), Craig Counsell (4), Corey Hart (26), Mark Kotsay (18)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Gomez (5)
SB - Nyjer Morgan (6, 2nd base off Cordero/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Gomez 1
DP - Betancourt-Fielder
E - Rickie Weeks (12, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Randy Wolf 7732420 3.65
Zach Braddock0000100 5.19
Kameron Loe (W,3-7) 2000020 4.50
HBP - Rolen (by Randy Wolf)
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 111-74, Zach Braddock 4-0, Kameron Loe 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 8-9, Kameron Loe 3-1
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 31, Zach Braddock 1, Kameron Loe 6
Game Information
Attendance - 43896
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Chris Conroy, Third Base - Rob Drake