CINCINNATI (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers opened a two-game lead over Cincinnati in the NL Central, overcoming a two-run deficit to beat the Reds for the fifth time in a six-game stretch, a 4-3 victory Sunday behind rookie Andruw Monasterio's tiebreaking single in a two-run eighth inning.
After taking two of three at home on the weekend before the All-Star break, the Brewers swept three games at the Reds. Milwaukee has a two-game lead for the first time since before play on May 25.
“It was an important series,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We did our job. You come into a road series and you sweep it, you had a heck of a series. We got three games left with them, soon. But it’s a big series for us to take a great start to the second half.”
Christian Yelich hit his 14th home run in the third and cut Milwaukee's deficit to 3-2 with an RBI single in the fifth.
Jake Fraley hit a two-run homer for Cincinnati, which had been shut out in its previous three games.
With the Reds leading 3-2, Willy Adams walked against Lucas Sims (3-2) starting the eighth and took third on Jesse Winker's single. Owen Miller hit a sacrifice fly, All-Star closer Alexis Díaz relieved and Raimel Tapia flied out.
Monasterio hit an opposite-field blooper that fell in front of Fraley in right as pinch runner Tyrone Taylor slid home ahead of a throw that was up the first-base line.
Hoby Milner (1-0) allowed one hit in two scoreless innings, and Devin Williams needed just nine pitches in a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances.
“Hopefully, we started a little slump for them,” Milner said of the Reds.
Joey Votto ended Cincinnati's 28-inning scoreless streak with an RBI double in the second. Yelich homered in the third off Ben Lively., who was visited by athletic trainers during the fourth and replaced by Derek Law starting the fifth.
“I threw up a little bit," Lively said. “I was a little dehydrated or something. It hit me real quick. I cramped up. We were just being a little precautionary.”
Fraley put the Reds in front 3-1 with a two-run homer off Adrian Houser in the the third. Houser allowed six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Reds rookie third baseman Elly de La Cruz made a 97.9 mph throw to first to retire Joey Weimer on a leadoff grounder in the third inning, the fastest throw on an infield assist since Statcast started tracking in 2015.
Brewers pitchers held De La Cruz hitless 12 at-bats with five strikeouts in the three games.
"The guy’s straight energy for them over there, the way he gets their team going,” Houser said. “It was just a good mix up, not trying to repeat pitches, and keep him off balance.”
Bell said not to make too much of a poor stretch against Milwaukee.
“You just move on," Bell said. "It was a tough series. They played us tough back in Milwaukee too. You can't make too much of it. We will get back on track.”
Players from both team expressed displeasure with plate umpire Edwin Jiménez,'s strike zone. After Spencer Steer was called out on strikes on a borderline pitch in the second, Reds manager David Bell came out to argue and was quickly ejected. Bell gestured to both dugouts while screaming at Jimenez, appearing to indicate that neither team was happy with him. Bell has been ejected 25 times as a manager, including five this season.
Brewers: 1B Rowdy Tellez underwent surgery to have 17 stitches and repair a small fracture in his left ring finger after getting it stuck in the padding of the center field wall while shagging fly balls during warmups on Saturday. He will be out another four weeks. Tellez has been on the injured list since July 5 with right forearm inflammation. .... 3B Brian Anderson placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Thursday, with a lower back strain. INF Jahmai Jones was recalled from Triple-A Nashville.
Reds: RHP Tejay Antone had a setback in his rehab with some shoulder soreness but is back throwing. He was expected to begin a rehab assignment on July 19, but that likely will be pushed back. Antone missed 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2017 and 2021.
Brewers: RHP Julio Teheran (2-3, 3.64) starts Tuesday's series opener at Philadelphia and RHP Aaron Nola (8-6, 4.39).
Reds: LHP Brandon Williamson (1-2, 5.21) starts Monday in the opener of a four-game series against San Francisco, which sends RHP Logan Webb (8-7, 3.14) to the mound.