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Reds hold off Brewers 10-8

Aaron Ashby
Posted at 9:40 AM, Apr 09, 2024

CINCINNATI (AP) — Elly De La Cruz hit his first two homers of the season, a massive 450-foot solo shot and a sinking liner that turned into his first career inside-the-park drive, and the Cincinnati Reds held off the Milwaukee Brewers 10-8 on Monday night.

De La Cruz had three hits and scored four times. Will Benson also homered for the Reds, and Spencer Steer had two RBIs.

"It is incredible, but we're looking at the work to get Elly into that position," Reds manager David Bell said. "He has been working so hard. It is nice to see it pay off."

The Reds led 8-0 after four innings and 9-3 after five. And the Brewers nearly rallied for an improbable win.

Milwaukee's Brice Turang hit a two-run homer in the fifth and a two-run double in the sixth. Christian Yelich's two-run shot in the seventh — his fourth homer of the season — got the Brewers within one.

Trailing 10-8 in the ninth, Milwaukee had runners on the corners with two out. But Alexis Díaz earned his second save when he retired Rhys Hoskins on a fly ball to right.

Milwaukee third baseman Joey Ortiz committed two of the team's three errors, and Cincinnati scored four unearned runs.

"We really have played incredible defense up until this point," Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. "We didn't have a good night there."

De La Cruz gave Cincinnati a 9-3 lead when he led off the fifth with a drive off the batter's eye in center.

"The first (home run) was on the pitch I was looking for," De La Cruz said.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, the speedy shortstop hit a line r that skipped past a diving Sal Frelick in center and rolled to the warning track.

"I've got no problem with Sal diving for that ball, knowing who the hitter is," Murphy said. "The Reds' speed we've been dealing with the last number of years. It's a very good weapon for them."

De La Cruz raced around the bases to complete the first inside-the-park homer for Cincinnati since TJ Friedl on Sept. 23, 2023.

"The whole bench was yelling home run as soon as they saw the ball get by," Bell said. "It's an exciting play. Every second is exciting. But there weren't that many seconds."

De La Cruz said he enjoyed the inside-the-park homer more than the fifth-inning blast.

"I think running around the bases (is my biggest thrill)," he said. "When I saw him miss the ball, I say, 'I'm going home.' It is my mentality. I always think about the extra base."

Benson's second homer of the season lifted Cincinnati to a 2-0 lead in the second. It was his first career homer off a left-hander.

Benson added an RBI double in the fourth and scored on Steer's double, helping the Reds build an 8-0 advantage.

Aaron Ashby (0-1) was charged with eight runs, four earned, and six hits in 3 2/3 innings in his first start of the year for the Brewers. The left-hander missed last season following shoulder surgery.

Cincinnati starter Graham Ashcraft (1-1) shut out Milwaukee in the first four innings, and then faltered. He permitted six runs, five earned, and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Stuart Fairchild gave the Reds a lift when he robbed Willy Adames of a solo homer with a leaping grab in right in the sixth. Fairchild also walked twice and scored a run.

TRAINERS ROOM

Brewers: RHP Trevor Megill (concussion) played catch for the first time since suffering a concussion during a fainting spell on March 30.

Reds: LHP Nick Lodolo (left calf) will make his season debut on Saturday against the White Sox. ... INF Jonathan India (left leg contusion) was scratched from the lineup after being struck by a batted ball during BP. X-rays were negative.

UP NEXT

Frankie Montas (2-0, 0.77 ERA) pitches on Tuesday for Cincinnati. Joe Ross (0-0, 0.00) is making his second start for Milwaukee.