Brewers: Twinbill sweep runs winning streak to 6


In spring training, Elian Herrera couldn’t even keep a spot on the Milwaukee Brewers’ 40-man roster, much less the 25-man active squad.

Six months later, he’s Mr. Indispensible.

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The switch-hitter homered in both ends of a doubleheader for the Brewers, helping them to an 8-6, 7-3 sweep over the reeling Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park Saturday.

The twin wins pushed Milwaukee’s winning streak to six games.

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Herrera finds his way into manager Craig Counsell’s lineup just about every day, playing third base against right-handers and second base against lefties and has found a power stroke this season that had been lacking.

Herrera’s homer off reliever Jumbo Diaz in the ninth inning of the nightcap gave him seven homers for the season—running his career total to eight.

His homer in the opener came on the first pitch reliever J.J. Hoover (7-1) threw in the top of the eighth and gave the Brewers a 7-6 lead.

That helped Milwaukee (60-75) survive another bad start from right-hander Matt Garza, who gave up five runs—four earned—on seven hits in 44.2 innings, walking four and striking out two.

Cincinnati (55-79) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the opener on an RBI single by Eugenio Suarez, adding a second run on a grounder by Tucker Barnhart. The run was unearned—Jean Segura’s throw to first was well wide, allowing Barnhart to reach on what would have been an inning-ending double play.

Brandon Phillips made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the third.

Milwaukee finally got to left-hander John Lamb in the fifth. Herrera led off with a double and after Garza struck out on a foul bunt, Segura lobbed a base hit into right field to score Herrera, but was thrown out trying to advance to second.

But in the bottom of the fifth Garza loaded the bases on two walks and a single. Todd Frazier drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Suarez singled home a run with two outs, chasing Garza.

The Brewers rallied in the sixth to take the lead. Ryan Braun led off with a single and moved up to third on a one-out single by Jason Rogers and an error in left field by Skip Schumaker.

Domingo Santana singled in Braun and Hernan Perez flared a base hit to left to load the bases.

Sep 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Elian Herrera (3) celebrates at home after hitting a solo home run during the eighth inning in game one of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart is at right. The Brewers won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Herrera made it 5-3 with a groundout to second before Adam Lind, batting for reliever David Goforth, skied a double to left to score two more to tie the game

Sam LeCure came on to relieve Lamb and surrendered an RBI single to Segura that gave Milwaukee its first lead of the day.

Jeremy Jeffress (5-0) coughed up the lead in the seventh, allowing three straight hits before Cincinnati got a run home when Schumaker grounded into a double play to second.

Herrera’s homer off Hoover gave Milwaukee the lead for good in the eighth and they added an insurance run in the ninth off Collin Balester when Rogers tripled to left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Santana.

Goforth got the Brewers out of the jam in the fifth by striking out the only batter he faced before lefty Cesar Jimenez struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Sep 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (57) is congratulated by catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) after the Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-6 in game one of a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffress gave up a run on three hits in the seventh and Will Smith worked a scoreless eighth, striking out one, to set the table for Francisco Rodriguez, who worked around two hits with a strikeout in the ninth for his 34th save.

Rogers was 3-for-5, while Segura, Braun, Santana and Herrera each had two of Milwaukee’s 14 hits in the opener.

The nightcap was delayed by rain for about 90 minutes in the middle of the third inning, wiping out starter Wily Peralta and adding more stress to the bullpen.

But Ariel Pena (1-0) worked three innings in his big-league debut, earning his first major-league win in the process, after allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

There would be no need for a comeback in the nightcap after the Brewers jumped on starter Keyvius Sampson (2-3) for three runs in the top of the third before the rains came.

Herrera got the inning going with a one-out single and Lind worked a walk before Santana lined a single to center to score Herrera for the first run of the game. Shane Peterson followed with a single up the middle to plate Lind and Segura got Santana home with a groundout to short.

Pedro Villarreal doubled home a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth against Pena to make it a 3-2 game.

Sep 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A Cincinnati Reds field crew worker secures the field tarp during a rain delay during the third inning in game two of a doubleheader with the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Peterson extended the lead to 4-2 in the sixth, connecting for his first major-league home run off Villareal on a full-count pitch.

In the ninth, Khris Davis singled while hitting for Corey Knebel and Scooter Gennett followed with a bunt single before Herrera lined his second homer of the day to right-center.

Adam Duvall opened the ninth with a homer—his second of the season—off right-hander Tyler Thornburg, who settled down from there to get the last three outs of the long day in order.

Peralta had allowed two hits and a walk in two scoreless innings before the delay, throwing 39 pitches.

Kyle Lohse allowed two hits and fanned one in 1.2 innings, Jimenez retired the only batter he faced to get Lohse out of the seventh and Knebel worked a 1-2-3 eighth.

Herrera was 2-for-5 in the nightcap and 4-for-10 on the day. Gennett, Santana and Peterson also had two hits each in the nightcap.

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  • Jimmy Nelson (11-10, 3.70 ERA) takes the ball Sunday at 12:10 p.m. Central as the Brewers look to lock up their second series sweep in a row. Right-hander Michael Lorenzen (3-8, 5.66) is scheduled for the Reds.

    Nelson is 1-1 in four career starts and two relief outings against Cincinnati, with a 5.63 ERA and 1.375 WHIP in 24 innings, striking out 19. He’s 1-1 in three starts this season with a 6.19 ERA and 1.563 WHIP in 16 innings.

    In his last start on Tuesday, he beat the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park, allowing a run on four hits in seven innings with six strikeouts in Milwaukee’s 7-4 victory.

    Lorenzen is 0-2 against the Brewers this season with a 6.00 ERA and 1.778 WHIP in nine innings, striking out eight.

    He took a no-decision in his last start, allowing five runs on six hits in 4.2 innings with a walk and five strikeouts in a game the Reds won at Wrigley Field, beating the Chicago Cubs 13-6 on Monday. Lorenzen has lost his last six decisions dating to June 21.

    Next: Washout Friday Makes For Very Long Saturday

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