Nick Castellanos hit a two-run single with two outs off closer Josh Hader as the visiting Cincinnati Reds inched closer to the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon.
The Reds headed into the All-Star break four games behind Milwaukee after getting their ninth win in 11 games. They took three of four in the series with the last two wins decided in the ninth or later.
After Eugenio Suarez hit a leadoff go-ahead homer in the ninth against Hader in Saturday’s 4-3 win, the Reds loaded the bases with one out against him Sunday. Hader hit Suarez with a pitch, allowed a single to pinch hitter Kyle Farmer and walked Jonathan India, then struck out Jesse Winker for the second out.
Two pitches later, Castellanos laced a 1-0 97 mph fastball up the middle to give the Reds a 3-1 lead.
It was the third time in four outings Hader (3-2) gave up a run. Before allowing a solo home run Wednesday at the New York Mets, Hader allowed two runs in his first 33 appearances.
Joey Votto hit a first-inning RBI single off Brandon Woodruff for the Reds, who did little else offensively until the ninth despite collecting 12 hits.
Jackie Bradley Jr.’s RBI single in the sixth accounted for the Brewers’ only run, as they lost for the sixth time in eight games following an 11-game winning streak that vaulted them into first place.
Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo allowed one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and survived tying a career high with six walks. Amir Garrett allowed Bradley’s hit but got the final two outs of the sixth.
Art Warren got the first out of the seventh but exited due to an undisclosed injury during a Christian Yelich at-bat. Sean Doolittle finished the seventh and got the first out of the eighth before Ryan Hendrix (5-1) fanned two to end the eighth.
Josh Osich tossed a perfect ninth for his first career save.
Woodruff allowed one run and a season-high nine hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked none.
–Field Level Media