Lohse retired 24 of the final 25 batters he faced, including 23 in a row, and the Brewers did a little damage to the Reds’ playoff drive with a 5-1 victory.
Carlos Gomez had a career night, tying a career-best with five RBI on one of those nights where hard-hit balls seemed to find gloves, but flares were dropping all over the place.
None of Gomez’s three hits was particularly well hit—he drove in two runs with a single in the first inning that dropped just onto the outfield grass in right field, he singled home a run in the third with a bloop to left and delivered the final two runs of the game with a flare in front of center fielder Shin-Soo Choo in the seventh.
The one out Gomez made, on the other hand, was a ball that was smoked right at right fielder Jay Bruce. Go figure.
While Lohse was painting the corners all night with his cut fastball, Cincinnati starter Mat Latos got little help, either from his offense or defense.
The Crew grabbed the lead in the top of the first. Latos issued a four-pitch walk to Norichika Aoki and one out later, Jonathan Lucroy got a gift double to left field when Ryan Ludwick lost the ball in the lights, allowing Aoki to scoot to third.
Aramis Ramirez was hit on the left wrist with a pitch to load the bases and Gomez delivered his little flare that fell in behind Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto on the right side to score Aoki and Lucroy.
Ramirez came out of the game after the inning. X-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day with a bruised wrist.
“I should be OK in the next few days,” Ramirez told MLB.com. “You never want to be hit around the hand, but if you are, I got hit in the right place. I got hit in the wrist and that’s a big bone in there.”
The Reds got a run back in the top of the second. Ludwick dropped a single into right-center, Jack Hannahan blooped one into left field and Zack Cozart reached on a ball that caromed off Jean Segura’s glove at shortstop. Devin Mesoraco hit a broken-bat grounder to Jeff Bianchi at third base and Bianchi opted to try for the double play up the middle, getting the force at second. That made it 2-1 Brewers.
That was also the last baserunner the Reds would have for a long while.
Cincinnati didn’t get a man on base again until there was two outs in the top of the ninth, when Lohse just missed with a full count offering to Bruce.
Gomez drove home Jean Segura, who led off the third with a single and then stole second, and then the Crew iced the game in the seventh with a two-out rally.
Segura bunted down the third base line and reached with his second hit of the night—pushing his average back to .300 after having a night off Thursday—and stole second again. Lucroy walked and J.J. Hoover came in to relieve Latos, who was visibly irritated by the call the free pass.
Hoover walked Bianchi on four pitches to load the bases and Gomez came through with a flare to center field that plated Segura and Lucroy. Choo got a late start on the ball and let it fall in front of him.
Gomez also stole his 35th base, while Segura’s two extended his National League-leading total to 42. It is only the second time two Milwaukee players have swiped 35 bags in the same season. The first time was when Pat Listach stole 54 and Darryl Hamilton had 41 in 1992.
Lohse improved to 10-9 with the win, allowing four hits—none after the second inning—and striking out five with just one walk. It was his first complete game since April 20, 2011, when he threw a two-hit shutout against the Washington Nationals while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals. It was his ninth career complete game.
The win also tightened up the race in the National League wild card hunt, which appeared for awhile to be all but over. Washington won its seventh straight game Friday night, 6-1 over the Philadelphia Phillies, to climb back within 4.5 games of the Reds for the second wild-card spot.
The series continues Saturday afternoon with a rare 12:05 p.m. start at Miller Park in a game that will not be televised. Johnny Hellweg (1-3) starts for the Crew with Homer Bailey (10-10) getting the ball for Cincinnati.
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