McCoy: Backups, Bauer halt Reds’ three-game losing streak

Cincinnati beats Milwaukee 8-3

With his offense on a starvation diet, Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell went heavily on his ‘B' guys Friday night in Milwaukee’s Miller Park.

Matt Davidson was at first base, Curt Casali was at catcher, Christin Colon was at second base, Kyle Farmer was at shortstop and Phillip Ervin was in left field. And Nick Senzel left the game early with groin tightness, replaced by Travis Jankowski.

Joey Votto, Shogo Akiyama, Tucker Barnhart, Freddy Galvis and the injured Mike Moustakas sat this one out.

Why not? The ‘A' guys hadn’t scored a run in 23 innings.

It was a magic move, a move that paid an 8-3 victory dividend over the Milwaukee Brewers.

After a scoreless first inning, extending the hopeless streak to 24 innings, the Reds lineup exploded like Mount Rainer in the second, raining six runs across the plate.

And giving Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer a six-run lead that early was like giving a raw sirloin to a lion — just try to take it away from him. With Bauer on the mound, the Reds could put eight cardboard cutouts on the field with him and win.

Bauer had the Brewers swinging at thin air, 12 strikeouts in his six innings, giving up one run and three hits.

It was the 29th time in his career that Bauer has struck out 10 or more batters. The only blemish on Bauer’s strikeout act was a two-out home run in the fourth by Logan Morrison, his third career homer off Bauer. But it was 6-0 when Morrison connected.

Bauer left after six innings with 102 pitches and an 8-1 lead.

He was wearing a ‘Let’s Go Cincy’ t-shirt under his uniform top and the Reds got going early.

“It was huge (the quick six runs) after the way things were going the last couple of games,” he said. “Jumping out early like that gave us a lot of energy in the dugout. The guys were really into it every at bat. Any time we can jump out to a lead like that is super helpful to me.

“My game plan was really simple. . .throw strike one,” he added. “You keep throwing strikes and force them to beat you. And it reduced all the high-stress pitches and enabled me to settle into a nice groove early on.”

All the ‘B' boys contributed to the six-run explosion against Milwaukee left hander Eric Lauer, a Kent State University product out of Elyria, Ohio.

Colon started it with a leadoff walk. Jesse Winker singled and Ervin flied to deep center, enabling Colon to take third. Farmer doubled to left for a 1-0 lead. Senzel hit a sacrifce fly to center and it was 2-0 with two outs.

The Reds, though, didn’t stop this time. Nick Castellanos doubled to make it 3-0 and Davidson crushed a three-run home run to center field and Bauer had his 6-0 lead.

Ervin walked and stole second to open the sixth and with two outs the incorrigible Castellanos drilled his seventh home for an 8-1 lead.

The Reds, who couldn’t buy a hit during their last three games against the Cleveland Indians if they had a $100 bill pasted on their foreheads, collected nine against the Brewers.

Reds manager David Bell heaved a huge sigh of relief after this one.

“It’s great to get the results when guys keep working and stay with it,” he said. “Some balls fell in and we got some big at bats from guys who haven’t been getting a lot of starts. It was nice to get some breathing room early for our pitching.”

Castellanos had two hits and drove in three, Jesse Winker had two hits and is 6 for his last 10, Davidson had two hits and drove in three and Kyle Farmer produced two hits.

Not even the Reds shaky bullpen could give this one away, but there still was a negative. Pedro Strop came in to pitch the eighth and hurt himself throwing a pitch and left the game. Lucas Sims came in and gave up a two-run home run to Christian Yelich, who was 4 for 39 with 19 strikeouts when he punctured Sims.

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