Ryan Braun homers in Milwaukee Brewers’ 6-1 loss to Reds


The good news is that the punchless Milwaukee Brewers finally hit another home run Monday night.

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The bad news is that was about all they hit.

Young right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (2-0) shut the Brewers down on two hits over eight innings at Miller Park and Ryan Braun’s ninth-inning homer off former Brewer right-hander Burke Badenhop was a case of too little, too late in a 6-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Throw in the fact that All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy had to leave the game and was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured toe after he was hit in the foot by a foul ball in the seventh inning and it was another in a long line of nights to forget for Milwaukee.

The Brewers lost for the sixth straight time and fell to 2-11, extending their franchise-worst start.

Milwaukee is now 1-6 in the midst of a 20-game stretch against National League Central opponents and is running the risk of getting buried early.

Brewers’ right-hander Wily Peralta matched DeSclafani zero for zero through the first five innings before the roof caved in on him in the sixth.

Cincinnati (6-7) loaded the bases on two singles and a walk to open the inning and after pitching coach Rick Kranitz visited the mound, Peralta induced a ground ball that led to a force play at the plate.

It seemed as if the damage could be minimized when Brayan Pena made the second out with a sacrifice fly to center.

But after fouling off three straight pitches and looking at a slider out of the zone, Zack Cozart belted his second home run of the season to left field to give the Reds a 4-0 lead.

The way Milwaukee has been hitting this season, it might as well have been 40.

Apr 20, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun (8) hits a solo home run in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Votto added a two-run blast, already his fifth of the season, in the sixth to make it 6-0.

After Martin Maldonado—in for Lucroy—was called out on strikes to open the ninth, Braun lined a first-pitch sinker from Badenhop over the wall in center field.

It was just the Brewers’ fourth home run this season—fewer than seven players in the majors, including Votto. Seven other players have four home runs by themselves.

“We’re playing hard,” manager Ron Roenicke told MLB.com. “It is not a matter of we’re not playing hard. We’re not playing perfect baseball, but we’ve made some nice defensive plays. We’re not swinging the bat.”

The skipper, it seems, has a knack for understatement.

The Brewers are now hitting just .207 as a team and have scored a major-league worst 31 runs through 13 games. But at least they’ve given up a major-league worst 71, so there’s that.

Fewer runs scored, most allowed—the deadliest of combinations and an equation that equals 2-11.

Peralta (0-2) surrendered six runs on eight hits in seven innings, walking three and fanning five. Will Smith walked one in a scoreless eighth inning and Francisco Rodriguez—getting some work because it’s not as if there have been save chances aplenty—allowed a hit and a walk and struck out one while blanking Cincinnati in the ninth.

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  • Milwaukee’s only hits off DeSclafani were a fourth-inning double by Adam Lind and a fifth-inning single by Hector Gomez, who started at second base after Scooter Gennett cut his hand after Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh.

    “If any of us had the answer, we would fix it,” Braun told MLB.com. “It becomes contagious, whether things are going good or going poorly. …

    “It’s such a weird thing, because we swung the bats so well collectively in spring training.”

    It might be time to put a call into FedEx to see where those bats are, because they obviously didn’t make the trip north from Arizona.

    The Reds and Brewers will square off again Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. at Miller Park. Right-hander Mike Fiers (0-2, 5.91 ERA) starts for Milwaukee against Cincinnati right-hander Jason Marquis (0-1, 6.30).

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