If there was a time to break a hitting slump like the Cincinnati Reds' right fielder Jay Bruce, it was Sunday afternoon. With the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers knotted at two in the eighth inning, Bruce broke a 0-for-26 slump by launching 93 mph fastball over the fence in right-center field to put the Reds ahead for good 4-2.
"No one likes to go 0-for-26," Bruce said. "It was a great time to be able to come out of it and help secure a win."
It was a big win for the Reds as it helped the club take two of three from the NL Central leader and brought them within six games just a week before the All-Star break. It helped that starting pitcher Mat Latos was once again on his A-game. The big righty allowed just two earned runs on four hits over eight innings, his season high. Latos picked up his second win and has allowed just 21 hits over 33.1 innings pitched in his five starts this year.
Unlike Saturday, the offense was able to produce some runs for the pitching staff. In the first, after back-to-back singles by Todd Frazier
and Brandon Phillips
, Bruce grounded into a fielder's choice to plate Frazier and two batters later Devin Mesoraco
singled home Bruce before Ryan Ludwick
was thrown out at third to end the inning.
Things got interesting in the third. Ramon Santiago
hit a long, deep fly ball which headed towards the fence in right field when Logan Schafer leaped at the wall, a fan leaned over the fence and interfered allowing Santiago to round the bases and have an apparent inside-the-park homerun. However, after an umpire review, Santiago was ruled out.
Latos was strong for the first five innings. In the sixth the Brewers finally got to the starter when Schafer tripled to leadoff the inning and scored later in the inning. Schafer struck again in the eighth when he doubled with two outs and scored off of a Rickie Weeks single to tie the game.
After Bruce's home run in the eighth, Jonathan Broxton came in to pitch the ninth and set down the Brewers in order to bring home the win. The Reds have won seven of 10 games against Milwaukee this season.
"We needed this one," Mesoraco said. "Matty went out there and did a great job. He was really attacking these guys, going right after them. We had great defense behind him like we usually do. It was a good, good win for us."
, brandon phillips
, Cincinnati Reds
, Devin Mesoraco
, Jay Bruce
, Jonathan Broxton
, Mat Latos
, Ramon Santiago
, Ryan Ludwick
, todd frazier