Braun ends slump with RBI double, Brewers top Reds
MILWAUKEE Ryan Braun snapped an 0-for-18 slump with an RBI double in the eighth, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a three-game sweep with a 3-2 win Wednesday over the Cincinnati Reds.
Jonathan Broxton (1-1) started the eighth with the Reds leading 2-1. He retired the first two batters before an infield single by Norichka Aoki. With Carlos Gomez up to bat, Aoki stole second and took third on catcher Dioner Navarro's throwing error. Gomez hit a soft liner that just got over the outstretched glove of shortstop Wilson Valdez and Aoki scored to tie the game.
Gomez stole second and Braun followed with a sharp liner into left to plate Gomez.
Broxton had given up only three hits and no earned runs in his last four outings.
John Axford (4-6) pitched the eighth for the win and Jim Henderson got his second career save in as many days.
The Reds' fourth straight loss matched their season-worst set June 18-22. The NL Central leaders remained three games ahead of Pittsburgh, which plays Wednesday night.
It was Milwaukee's third consecutive win over Cincinnati and sixth straight victory at home.
Mat Latos retired 16 of the first 19 batters he faced before surrendering Gomez's solo shot in the sixth. He regrouped and retired the next five. Latos allowed three hits, one walk and had eight strikeouts over seven innings. He's now allowed one earned run and seven hits in his last two starts, a span of 14 1-3 innings.
Dioner Navarro hit a two-run homer in the third off Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf.
Miguel Cairo led off with a walk before Navarro collected his first hit in six at-bats since being promoted from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 1. He replaced fellow catcher Devin Mesoraco, who went on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Wolf came in 11-4 against the Reds, his second-most career wins against any opponent, but his mistake to Navarro cost him. The left-hander, who has only one win in his last eight decisions, lost his third consecutive start.
He went six innings, allowing six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Cincinnati had a big chance to pad the lead in the fifth, but came up empty on a great play by Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez. The bases were loaded and two outs when Navarro hit a hard grounder that Ramirez snared with a diving stab and then threw from his knees to end the threat.
NOTES: Depending on how Manny Parra responds after throwing a simulated game, he'd accompany the Brewers on their six-game road trip which starts Friday in Houston. The left-hander hasn't pitched since July 24 since experiencing soreness in his left shoulder. ... Baker said that Mesoraco would probably catch two of the upcoming four games at Chicago. ... Jean Segura's infield single in the Brewers fifth was the rookie's first hit. He was recalled from Double-A Huntsville and made his major-league debut at shortstop on Monday. He was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels along with two minor-league pitchers for Zack Greinke on July 27.