- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Jonathan Lucroy has been frustrated, struggling at the plate the past month despite being named to his first All-Star team.

That all changed Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds.

Lucroy homered leading off the bottom of the ninth to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 4-3 victory over the Reds.

“To be honest with you, the last couple of weeks have been kind of tough for making solid contact, but I’m glad to help the team out, contribute and get it done tonight,” said Lucroy, who was batting just .200 (21 for 105) in his last 25 games.

It was Lucroy’s second homer of the game and 11th of the season. It was his second career walkoff homer and both were against the Reds. His first was last season off closer Aroldis Chapman and this one was off Sam LeCure.

The Brewers had lost five consecutive series before beating the Reds in the first two games of this series.

Lucroy’s average had dipped from .341 on June 18 to .308 entering Tuesday night’s game.

“He’s frustrated because he thinks he’s squaring up some balls,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “It’s not like he wasn’t locked in, but today obviously he was.”

Francisco Rodriguez (4-3) pitched the ninth to earn the victory.

Cincinnati, which is 0-5 since the All-Star break, brought in LeCure (1-2) to pitch the ninth. His outing lasted just three pitches as Lucroy hit a 1-1 offering for a line drive homer inside the left field foul pole.

His first homer of the game was on a 3-2 pitch from starter Homer Bailey in the sixth.

The Reds came out of the All-Star break just 1½ games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central but have quickly fallen 4½ games back.

“We just haven’t executed,” Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. “We haven’t swung the bats well. We haven’t gotten a quality start.

“And we haven’t played particularly good defense, we’ve missed some signs and just haven’t played terribly well,” he said.

Milwaukee scored all its runs on solo home runs. Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez hit back-to-back homers in the first inning on the one-year anniversary of the start of Braun’s 65-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policies.

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