- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) - Kyle Lohse is making a habit of finishing strong. The Brewers hope against all odds that he’s not done yet.

Lohse made the most of another wasteful day for Milwaukee’s offense, throwing a two-hitter and driving in a run on Wednesday night for a 5-0 victory that forestalled elimination from the playoffs a bit longer.

Milwaukee will be eliminated from the wild card race with a loss or a win by San Francisco, which played later Wednesday at Los Angeles. Pittsburgh clinched at least the other wild card spot on Tuesday night.

“Hopefully we get a lot of luck here and maybe he gets another start,” manager Ron Roenicke said.

The Brewers led the NL Central for 150 days, but fell apart at the end. Since June 28th, they’ve gone 30-45. The offense has unraveled, scoring two or fewer runs in each of the previous six games.

“It’s been tough for everybody,” said Lohse (13-9), who faced only 29 batters. “It just felt like we were climbing uphill the whole time and couldn’t get anything going. Unfortunately that’s the way it’s been going.”

Lohse gave up a pair of singles by Jack Hannahan, didn’t walk a batter and fanned six in his second shutout of the season. He also had a sacrifice fly during Milwaukee’s three-run eighth inning, which was highlighted by Jean Segura’s two-run double.

If Segura hadn’t doubled, Roenicke was going to pinch-hit for Lohse to try to get more runs.

“I think he saved me there,” Lohse said. “That was huge.”

The big inning allowed Lohse to finish the season the same way he did last year. Lohse also threw a two-hitter in his final start of 2013, a 4-0 win at Atlanta.

“It’s weird,” Lohse said.

Rickie Weeks had a pair of singles and drove in a run, and Carlos Gomez had an RBI double off Daniel Corcino (0-2), who made his third start in the majors.

The Brewers got a run in the fourth, but even that came with a misplay. Aramis Ramirez doubled, advanced on a groundout, and scored on Weeks’ single. Weeks was thrown out by more than 10 feet as he tried to stretch it to a double.

Gomez doubled home a run in the fifth, when the Brewers left the bases loaded. The Brewers loaded the bases again in the seventh with two outs, but Ramirez grounded out, keeping it 2-0.

Billy Hamilton made the game’s best play. He stretched above the fence in center to steal a home run away from Ryan Braun in the third inning, slamming the right side of his head hard against the fence. He held the side of his head as he left the field and came out of the game in the fifth with a mild concussion.

REDS WIN REPLAY

The Reds had a call overturned in the second inning, undercutting a rally. Weeks singled and was initially ruled safe at second on Lyle Overbay’s grounder to shortstop Zack Cozart, who tried for a forceout. The replay showed he was out.

BAD AT GABP

The Brewers have lost 13 of their last 19 games at Great American Ball Park and 31 of their last 45. The Brewers are 3-6 in Cincinnati this season.

STATS

Lohse was 2-1 in five starts against the Reds this season with a 2.13 ERA. … It was Lohse’s 12th career complete game and his ninth career shutout. … The Reds fell to 41-36 at home. … It was Hannahan’s first multihit game since Sept. 1. … In addition to give up six hits, Reds pitchers walked a season-high 10 batters.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: Weeks started at second base in place of Scooter Gennett, who has been bothered by an injured right thigh. Gennett also will get off on Thursday.

Reds: Right-handed starter Mat Latos is slowly recovering from a bruised right elbow that has sidelined him since Sept. 12. “He’s been able to throw but not completely pain-free,” manager Bryan Price said.

ON DECK

Brewers: Milwaukee plays its final road game on Thursday. The Brewers are 40-40 on the road. Yovani Gallardo (8-10) is 0-4 in his last six starts.

Reds: Left-hander David Holmberg (1-2) makes his fifth start of the season. His win came Sept. 13 in Milwaukee, when he went six innings and gave up two hits and one run in a 5-1 victory.

___

Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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