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Hal McCoy: Milwaukee homers sink Reds


It wasn’t a night from which Alfredo Simon will collect newspaper clippings and paste them into a scrapbook for his grandkids.

In fact, he might buy all the newspapers he can find and burn the sports sections after what happened to him Friday night in Great American Ball Park.

Asked to protect a tie for Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds, Simon nearly had his ear drums popped from the crack of Milwaukee bats — two home runs and a double in a span of four batters that resulted in a 6-4 defeat.

With the score 3-3, Simon walked Aramis Ramirez on a 3-and-2 pitch to open the eighth. With one out, rookie Khris Davis clobbered his second home run of the night, a 413-footer over the center-field wall. One out later No. 8 hitter Scooter Gennett pulled one that narrowly scraped over the right-field wall for another home run.

Bailey survived six innings, using up 102 pitches to get there. He gave up a run-scoring single to Norichika Aoki in the third and a two-run home run to Davis in the sixth.

The Reds might want to petition the commissioner to reinstate suspended PED abuser Ryan Braun. Davis is the outfielder the Brewers recalled from Triple-A the date Braun was suspended.

“We contemplated letting Bailey go a little longer, but last time out he had 118 pitches,” said manager Dusty Baker. “Usually he fights you, but he didn’t fight us today about coming out because it was kind of a struggle.”

Bailey gave up three runs, walked two and struck out five and didn’t subscribe to Baker’s “struggle” theory.

“I don’t think it was that much of a struggle for me,” he said. “I gave up six hits and two walks and three of the hits came in the sixth. I wanted to go inside on Davis (on the home run) but didn’t get it in there enough.”

Of Simon, Baker said, “My bullpen is over-pitched. That was uncharacteristic of Simon so maybe that’s a sign of fatigue.

“That was also a sign that the kid, Davis, can hit,” Baker added. “He is one of the best young players I’ve seen coming into the league this year. I don’t think Braun could have done much more damage than Davis did.”

The Reds scored two in the fourth on a double by Zack Cozart and Brandon Phillips homered in the sixth to make it 3-3 — where it stood until Simon arrived in the eighth.

Down three runs in the eighth, the Reds mounted a two-out rally — three straight singles by Jay Bruce, Ryan Ludwick and Cozart. That scored a run to make it 6-4 and the tying runs were aboard. But Ryan Hanigan grounded to shortstop.

Milwaukee closer Jim Henderson retired the first two Reds in the ninth before Todd Frazier singled. That brought the tying run to the plate in Joey Votto. And The Mighty Votto struck out.

Shin-Soo Choo, the leadoff hitter, was 0 for 5 and Votto, the No. 3 hitter, was 0 for 5. It is difficult to win when two of your top three hitters in the order for 0 for 10.

On a couple of minor positive notes:

• Ludwick had his first two-hit game since coming off the disabled list Aug. 12.

• Pitcher Nick Christiani made his major-league debut, replacing Simon in the eighth. After walking the first batter he faced on four pitches, he retired the final four he faced, including a strikeout of Logan Schafer.


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