These NL Central bullpens have combined for 17 innings in the first two games, but relief may not be in sight with the Brewers' Wily Peralta set to face the Reds' Bronson Arroyo in Sunday's finale in Cincinnati.
The only starter in this series to last past the fourth inning was the Reds' Mat Latos , but he gave up seven runs over six frames in Saturday's 13-7 win. Opposing pitcher Hiram Burgos became the fourth starter in Brewers' history to allow 12 runs.
Manager Ron Roenicke left Burgos in for three innings to try to preserve his relievers."I don't ever want to do that to somebody again," he said. "We're hurting in the bullpen."
Milwaukee's bullpen has yielded two runs over nine innings while Cincinnati's has allowed one over eight. Only one reliever for either team has appeared in both games - Brewers left-hander Michael Gonzalez .
The Reds may be able to count on some length Sunday from Arroyo (2-4, 4.30 ERA), who is second on the team with 44 1-3 innings although it's uncertain what the quality of them will be Sunday. He's winless over four outings, going 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA and three straight defeats.
The veteran right-hander went 2-2 with a 4.26 ERA in five starts last season against the Brewers.
Milwaukee's lone victory in its last nine games was by Peralta (3-2, 5.54), who allowed three runs over six innings Tuesday in a 6-3 win over Texas.
The rookie right-hander has allowed left-handers to hit .347 against him. His lone previous start against the Reds came Sept. 27 when he pitched 5 1-3 scoreless innings in a 2-1 loss.
Jay Bruce went 0 for 2 in that contest, but the left-handed slugger is showing signs of life. Bruce has homered in two of his last three games after going deep once in his first 34 contests, and went 3 for 5 with a solo homer Saturday.
"It's a long season," said Bruce, who led the Reds with 34 homers in 2012. "I'm trying to get pitches to hit. Lately, I've been missing them less."
Manager Dusty Baker 's club has won nine of its last 11 at home against the Brewers, but he's never comfortable facing them."You've got to get a lot of run support," Baker said. "Those guys can hit. You've got to keep scoring and scoring and scoring."
Baker has come away impressed with shortstop Jean Segura , who is 6 for 9 with two solo homers in this series."With Segura, you've got to score even more," Baker said. "He's a heck of a player."
Brewers leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki has 14 hits in his last 31 at-bats, going 4 for 8 in this series.
|May 08, 2013||Tom Gorzelanny||15-Day DL||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|April 28, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Right index finger|
|April 12, 2013||Alex Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|April 07, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left quad|
|April 07, 2013||Chris Narveson||15-Day DL||Sprained middle finger|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|April 27, 2013||Chris Heisey||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 27, 2013||Chris Heisey||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained hamstring|
|April 24, 2013||Manny Parra||15-Day DL||Strained left pectoral muscle|
|April 22, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||Day-to-Day||Bruised right hand|
|April 20, 2013||Zack Cozart||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|April 20, 2013||Ryan Hanigan||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Don Lutz's mother didn't like the sound of his voice when he called her at home in Germany an hour before he started in left field for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
"I've been sick, and she said, `What's wrong with your voice?"' Lutz said. "She said, `Take your vitamins."'
Lutz wasted no time proving to his mom, Marlen, that he was healthy. The rookie, who was born in the United States and grew up in Germany, hit his first career home run, a three-run drive off the right-field foul pole in the second inning that led Cincinnati over the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 for a three-game sweep.
Lutz, who made his big league debut on April 29, homered off Wily Peralta (3-3). Pinch-hitter Xavier Paul homered in the seventh, sending Milwaukee to its fourth straight loss and ninth in 10 games.
Bronson Arroyo (3-4) ended a four-start winless streak, allowing five hits in 6 2-3 scoreless innings with one walk and five strikeouts. He had been 0-3 since beating Philadelphia on April 15, and he snapped out of the slump despite not feeling well, manager Dusty Baker said.
"I'm not sure what he had," Baker said. "Sometimes, you just don't feel right. It's not something you can name. We knew about the seventh that he was about out of gas."
Arroyo rarely feels well in day games, he said.
"I didn't have a whole lot of stuff," he said. "I was grinding from the first inning on. I knew I was getting away with pitches that I normally wouldn't. Luckily, they were beating them into the ground."
Sam LeCure struck out Jeff Bianchi looking to end the seventh, Jonathan Broxton allowed an unearned run in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth.
Peralta (3-3) gave up four runs - three earned - on five hits and two walks in six innings.
Baker got his 1,603rd win as a manager, moving past Hall of Famer Fred Clarke into sole possession of 17th place on baseball's career list, 16 behind Ralph Houk . Baker, in his 20th season as a manager, is 1,603-1,448 (.525).
The Brewers have lost 10 of 12 against Cincinnati. The Reds have won the last four series against Milwaukee in Cincinnati and five of the last six overall.
Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce opened the second inning with singles and, one out later, Lutz lined a 1-0 pitch off the foul pole. He is 6 for 13 during a six-game hitting streak.
"It was awesome," Lutz said. "My mom and grandma were watching (on television). I'm sure they were pretty excited."
He hadn't promised to hit a home run during his pregame Mother's Day phone call.
"I didn't want to get ahead of myself," Lutz said.
Peralta had no problem with the pitch.
"I made a great pitch," he said. "There's nothing I could do. If I had to put it right there again, I would. I don't think he'd hit it."
Cincinnati scored an unearned run in the third. After a throwing error by Peralta on a comebacker, Bruce hit a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder, but shortstop Jean Segura 's relay sailed over first baseman Yuniesky Betancourt for another error.
The Brewers have been their own worst enemies, according to manager Ron Roenicke .
"We haven't played well," he said. "We can't do the little things against good teams."
Paul led off the seventh with his second homer of the season, a 404-foot drive into the right-field seats on an 0-2 pitch from Mike Fiers , recalled from the minors Saturday and making his first big league appearance since April 16. Paul has four career pinch-hit homers, including two this season.
Alex Gonzalez scored on Ryan Hanigan 's passed ball in the eighth.
NOTES: Reds RHP Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make his second injury rehabilitation start Tuesday for Class-A Dayton. Cueto has been on the DL since April 15 with a strained muscle in his upper right arm. LHP Manny Parra , on the disabled list since April 26 with a strained left pectoral muscle, and OF Chris Heisey , out since April 29 with strained right hamstring, both are due to start rehab assignments on Monday with Double-A Pensacola. ... The Reds are off Monday before opening a nine-game trip Tuesday at Miami. ... Milwaukee's 10-game trip resumes Monday with the opener of a four-game series in Pittsburgh.