- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

CINCINNATI (AP) - Tyler Cravy knew he’d get only one chance before getting sent back to the minors. It wasn’t what he’d hoped.

Brandon Phillips homered for the third straight game and the Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen finally ended its historic streak of giving up runs, closing out a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Phillips’ three-run shot in the third off Cravy (0-1) made it 5-0. It’s the second time that Phillips has homered in three straight games - he also did it in 2012.

Joey Votto also had a solo shot off Cravy, who was called up from Triple-A when Wily Peralta went on the paternity list earlier in the day. Cravy made five relief appearances for the Brewers earlier this season and has yet to win in his first two major league seasons, going 0-9.

He knew he was a one-game fill-in. He was optioned back to Colorado Springs after the game.

“It was a little tough, knowing you’re going back down,” Cravy said. “But I don’t think it affected me too much on the mound. I don’t think I had my best stuff tonight. Two bad pitches cost me four runs ultimately.”

In the first two games of the series, Brewers starters have lasted only nine innings and allowed 11 earned runs, including four homers. Milwaukee’s starting pitching has a 6.34 ERA, by far the worst in the majors.

“I don’t think he was as sharp as we’ve seen Tyler be in the past,” manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s a five-run hole. It’s a big hole.”

Cincinnati’s relievers had allowed at least one run in a major league-record 23 consecutive games. They put together four scoreless innings to end a streak that started on April 11.

Tony Cingrani got pinch-hitter Hernan Perez to fly out with the bases loaded in the eighth. Cingrani gave up a single by Jonathan Villar to open the ninth, but caught him leaning off first base and threw over to start a rundown. With the crowd of 28,249 on its feet, he retired Ryan Braun on a flyout to end it and get his first big league save.

The Brewers stranded five runners in scoring position in the first four innings, and then failed to get anything with the bases loaded in the eighth.

“We couldn’t get some early runs across and put some heat on their bullpen,” Counsell said.

The Reds have won three in a row for the first time since sweeping the season-opening series against Philadelphia.

Tim Adleman (1-0) got his first major league victory in his second career start, holding the Brewers to Alex Presley’s solo homer in five innings. The 28-year-old pitcher got his chance to finally reach the majors because of the Reds’ depleted rotation.

NEW ARM

Cravy’s spot will be filled by left-hander Michael Kirkman, who was claimed off waivers from San Diego and will be with the team on Saturday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: RF Domingo Santana was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game with a sore right shoulder. Manager Craig Counsell said he could return to the lineup on Saturday. … 2B Scooter Gennett could start a brief rehab assignment next week as he recovers from a strained oblique.

Reds: C Devin Mesoraco will have surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. He’ll be in rehabilitation for four to six months. … RH Homer Bailey played catch on Friday. He had Tommy John surgery a year ago and was on a minor league rehab assignment when he felt soreness in the elbow, prompting the Reds to back him off pitching for a while.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (4-2) has a team-high four quality starts in six games. He allowed two runs in seven innings of an 8-5 win over the Angels on Monday.

Reds: LH Brandon Finnegan (1-1) leads the staff with four quality starts in six appearances. He’s twice been the victim of blown saves.

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

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