Sonny Gray tossed six scoreless innings and Jonathan India belted a three-run homer as the Cincinnati Reds avoided a sweep with a 5-1 victory over the host Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
The victory brought the second-place Reds within 8 1/2 games of front-running Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Brewers won the first two games 7-4 and 4-1 in the final regular-season series between the two teams.
Gray (6-6) allowed just three hits, striking out six and walking two to win his fourth consecutive decision.
India put the Reds up 4-0 with his 17th homer in the fifth.
Eugenio Suarez and Tyler Naquin singled, chasing starter Brent Anderson (4-8). Hunter Strickland came on and struck out Jose Barrero and got Gray on a pop foul. India then drove a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right-center for his 11th homer since the All-Star break.
Anderson, who fielded Naquin’s tapper to the right side, left the game with right hip tightness, allowing three runs on four hits. Anderson has lost three consecutive starts, giving up 12 runs in 12 2/3 innings.
Nick Castellanos opened the sixth inning against Brent Suter with his 24th homer to put the Reds up 5-0.
Luis Urias greeted Reds reliever Tony Santillan with his 17th homer to open the seventh and make it 5-1.
Milwaukee loaded the bases after two outs in the sixth on a double by Omar Narvaez, a walk to Christian Yelich and Avisail Garcia’s single, but Gray got Rowdy Tellez on a bouncer to first.
The Reds pushed across a run in the first. India singled to open and Tyler Stephenson walked. India advanced when Castellanos reached on a fielder’s choice and then scored on Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly to center.
Cincinnati maintains its 1.5-game lead for the second wild-card spot over San Diego, which hosts the Dodgers on Thursday night.
Milwaukee, which had won four straight, fell to 13-37 when scoring three runs or fewer.
–Field Level Media