Brewers rally for 4-3 win over Reds
Pinch hitter Mark Kotsay tied the game with an RBI single, scoring Nyjer Morgan. With the bases loaded and one out, pinch hitter Craig Counsell delivered a sacrifice fly to win the game.
The rally ruined a return to the big leagues by Reds starter Dontrelle Willis, who gave up a pair of runs over six innings.
Milwaukee again was without Ryan 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.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before Sunday's game that Braun would be available as a pinch hitter, but likely only in a critical situation. It turns out, the Brewers' other pinch hitters did just fine.
After two strong relief innings by Aroldis Chapman, Cordero pitched the ninth.
With one out, pinch hitter Morgan singled and stole second. Cordero walked George Kottaras, and pinch hitter Kotsay delivered an RBI single.
Cordero then hit Rickie Weeks with a pitch, loading the bases with one out for Counsell.
The Brewers were trailing after a throwing error by Weeks while trying to turn a double play allowed Ramon Hernandez to score in the fourth.
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.
Willis pitched well after a shaky start, giving up four hits and striking out four with four walks. He 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.
Making his first major league appearance since pitching in relief for Arizona last July, Willis (1-0) gave up a run in each of his first two innings. But he settled down after that, allowing only a walk and a hit in his final four innings.
Brewers starter Randy Wolf went seven innings, giving up seven hits and three runs, two of which were earned. Wolf walked four while striking out two.
The left-hander started off by loading the bases with two outs in the first inning on three walks, then hitting Scott Rolen with a pitch to force in a run. But Wolf limited the damage, getting Jonny Gomes to hit into a forceout with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Brewers tied the game in the bottom half of the inning when Rickie Weeks doubled, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Carlos Gomez and scored on a single that dropped inches in front of the outstretched glove of center fielder Drew Stubbs.
Cincinnati went right back into the lead on a broken-bat RBI single by Joey Votto.
Wolf nearly gave himself a big boost at the plate in the second, coming a few feet away from a home run when he hit a long fly ball over the fence near the foul pole in right field. Umpires correctly ruled the ball foul on the field and the call was confirmed on a replay review. The Brewers tied the game later in the inning on a standup triple by Gomez, scoring Rickie Weeks from first base.
Weeks' fourth-inning error overshadowed a couple of defensive gems by the Brewers. Gomez and Weeks combined to throw out Jay Bruce trying to stretch a double into a triple in the third. Milwaukee made another nice defensive play in the sixth, when shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt caught a line drive by Hernandez and threw to first to double up Gomes.
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 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.
Last updated: 5:55 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012