Hamilton, Reds send Brewers to 8th straight loss
MILWAUKEE (AP) Scoring the winning run on a wild pitch was the easy part. Avoiding a collision with the home plate umpire was a bit tougher for Billy Hamilton.
Hamilton dashed home on a two-out wild pitch in the ninth inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat Milwaukee 2-1 Wednesday night, the Brewers' eighth straight loss.
''I tried my best not to run over somebody, or hurt him or hurt myself,'' Hamilton said.
Hamilton scored both runs for Cincinnati, which won its third straight game against Milwaukee after enduring a 1-6 stretch. The Brewers have the worst record in the majors at 2-13.
Hamilton, who earlier stole his majors-leading ninth base, drew a one-out walk in the ninth from Francisco Rodriguez (0-2). Hamilton took third on a single by Joey Votto and scored standing up on a pitch that bounced in the dirt and off the chest protector of catcher Martin Maldonado.
The ball skipped to Maldonado's right and he quickly retrieved it. Maldonado threw to Rodriguez, who tried to make a diving tag, but Hamilton zipped past him before nearly running over plate umpire Sean Barber.
''I apologized for not sliding. I really didn't see Rodriguez in the picture at all until I got to home plate,'' he said. ''I told (Barber) it was my bad, I should be sliding there. But he understands. I've got to score, no matter what.''
Johnny Cueto (1-2) threw a career-high 125 pitches in eight innings. He gave up five hits and struck out eight, winning his fifth decision in a row against Milwaukee.
Cueto became the first Cincinnati pitcher to balk twice in a game since Chris Hammond did it on Aug. 18, 1990, vs. Pittsburgh.
Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
In the Brewers eighth, pinch hitter Logan Schafer led off with a double and took third on a sacrifice bunt by Elian Herrera. But Cueto struck out Elian Herrera, walked Ryan Braun and struck out Adam Lind to end the threat.
''That bottom of the eighth was something,'' Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. ''I didn't like seeing 125 pitches, but the bottom line at the point and time I thought it was his game.''
Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson allowed just three hits and an earned run while striking out five in eight innings.
''Outstanding ballgame,'' Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. ''It's a shame to get that kind of outing (and not get the win).''
Reds: Pitcher Homer Bailey makes his second start of the season Thursday after surgery in September to repair the torn flexor tendon in his right forearm.
Brewers: Milwaukee has three starters on the disabled list. 2B Scooter Gennett was placed on the DL Tuesday, joining CF Carlos Gomez and C Jonathan Lucroy.
Reds: Bailey (0-1) allowed five earned runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 5-2 loss at St. Louis on Saturday.
Brewers: Kyle Lohse (0-3) is 7-5 with a 2.69 ERA in 20 career starts against Cincinnati.
MANAGER NOT ON HOT SEAT
Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio addressed the media before the game and is not pleased with his team's start to the season.
''It's brutal,'' he said. ''You turn on the TV every night and expect to see something different, and I know one of these nights we will.''
Attanasio said Roenicke and general manager Doug Melvin were not on the hot seat.
''Right now, my examinations are focused on how to improve our performance on the field,'' Attanasio said. ''Relative to me, I'm not looking at the manager or the general manager right now.''
Milwaukee RHP Tyler Thornburg was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs and RHP Rob Wooten was recalled.