CINCINNATI (AP) - Jimmy Nelson was the beneficiary and victim of Milwaukee’s six-run fifth inning on Saturday night.
Nelson lasted less than two innings after the Brewers’ lengthy offensive eruption, but he still won his career-best third consecutive start and Milwaukee posted a seventh straight victory, 7-3 over the Cincinnati Reds.
“It’s always good when (innings are) long, because that means they’re scoring runs,” Nelson said. “You try to stay locked in, but I probably got out of my rhythm a little bit.”
Six Brewers each drove in one run as Milwaukee extended its longest winning streak in more than a year. Adam Lind homered and Jean Segura had three hits, helping suddenly explosive Milwaukee which has scored 47 runs in the first six games of the current road trip.
The winning streak is the Brewers’ longest since they won nine straight from April 4-13, 2014.
Nelson (6-8) overcame solo home runs by Marlon Byrd and Ivan De Jesus Jr. to last 5 2-3 innings. He gave up eight hits and three runs with one walk and five strikeouts.
“That fifth inning felt like 45 minutes,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s hard for a pitcher to sit there that long. “
Michael Blazek, Will Smith, Jeremy Jeffress and Jonathan Broxton combined for 3 1-3 innings of shutout relief.
Reds starter Josh Smith hit four batters to tie a franchise game record set by Jake Weimer in 1907. Smith (0-2) allowed five hits and five runs with three walks and two strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings.
“That can’t happen,” Smith said. “I was trying to pitch in and the ball got away from me.”
Milwaukee tied the franchise game record for most batters hit in one game. It happened twice previously.
Milwaukee broke open a 1-1 game with the big fifth inning that saw 12 batters go to the plate and consecutive bases-loaded singles by Aramis Ramirez, Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett. It was capped by Jonathan Lucroy’s bases-loaded walk. Ryan Braun sparked the big inning with a run-scoring single, and another run scored on Ryan Mattheus’ balk.
It also featured a 4-minute, 11-second review of a call at third base that was confirmed, allowing Braun’s one-out steal to stand. Reds catcher Brayan Pena was ejected by home plate umpire Bill Welke after trying to discuss the decision.
“It was a struggle in general,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “They had 11 hits but 23 baserunners. That fifth inning just unraveled on us.”
Byrd gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead in the second inning and extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 398-foot homer into the seats in left-center field.
Lind tied it with his 13th homer leading off the fourth inning.
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Saturday’s Reds’ game was the 900th in which 2B Brandon Phillips and 1B Joey Votto have started together, the most on the right side of the infield in franchise history and the second-most among current tandems behind Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley and 1B Ryan Howard.
Despite a leadoff single and two-out walk, Milwaukee failed to score in the first inning for the first time in six games.
Brewers: CF Carlos Gomez left Saturday’s game in the top of the fifth with a left wrist contusion after being hit by a pitch. X-rays were negative and he was listed as day-to-day.
Reds: RHP Raisel Iglesias, sidelined since June 15 with a strained left oblique, is scheduled to make his second rehab start on Sunday for Triple-A Louisville at Indianapolis. Iglesias pitched three innings against Syracuse on Tuesday.
Brewers: Rookie RHP Taylor Jungmann (2-1, 2.79) will try in his sixth career start to complete Milwaukee’s first sweep of a series in Cincinnati since Sept. 16-18, 2011. The 6-foot-6 Jungmann made his first career start on June 9.
Reds: RHP Mike Leake (5-4, 4.38) will try to bounce back from allowing nine hits and seven runs in four innings in Cincinnati’s 11-7 win over Minnesota on Monday.
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