Milwaukee, WI – Brandon Phillips drove in three runs to lead Cincinnati Reds to a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers to avoid a three-game sweep at Miller park.
Phillips went 2-for-5 and started off the scoring in the first inning when he knocked in Shin-Soo Choo on a line drive single to left field. Choo also had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.
Mike Leake (8-4) earned the win for the Reds after pitching 8 1/3 strong innings. The right-hander gave up two runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Leake did not allow a baserunner after the fifth inning.
"It wasnt the best game I've pitched. They put some pressure on me, they made me work, but I definitely made some pitches when I needed to. It would've been a graveyard in here if we didnt pull this one out." said Leake on his performance.
All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman recorded the final two outs of the game to solidify the win for Cincinnati.
Milwaukee batters did not provide their pitchers much run support. Sean Halton hit his first home run of the season for the Brewers in the fifth inning. His solo shot to left center field was one of only two Milwaukee runs.
Johnny Hellweg (0-3) pitched allowed four runs on four hits with five walks over 4 1/3. Hellweg is winless over four career starts. The right-hander was sent down to Single-A Wisconsin after the game. He was not sent to Triple-A or Double-A since the leagues will be on break.
"I'm just trying to stay positive. I'm just going to try to go down there and get a good feeling to try to get back up here and help as soon as I can," said Hellweg. "I feel like I have a lot more to show and show that I can contribute up here and help the team."
Milwaukee responded in the first inning to tie the game at one when Carlos Gomez hit a sacrifice fly to score Logan Schafer.
The Reds loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning against Hellweg, but they only brought in one run. Devin Mesoraco lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Jay Bruce. Leake, though, hit into a double play to end the inning. Despite scoring six runs, the Reds went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
"I don't want to sound greedy, but we have to cash in more, we have to get more two-out hits," said Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker referring to the runners that were left in scoring position.
Phillips' RBI groundout scored Zack Cozart from third base in the top of the third inning to give Cincinnati a 3-1 edge.
The Brewers had a chance to answer back in the bottom half, but Jeff Bianchi was thrown out at home by third baseman Todd Frazier after a Jean Segura squeeze bunt attempt.
Cozart scored on Bruce's ground out in the fifth inning to give the Reds a three-run cushion, but Hellweg homered in the home half to make it 4-2.
The Reds added two more runs in the seventh. With two on and one out, Phillips laced a single to center field to score Choo. Bruce followed with an RBI single to center to push Joey Votto across to account for the final margin.
Phillips is the first Reds second baseman to be voted as an All-Star game starter since Joe Morgan did it in 7 consecutive seasons from 1972-78... The Reds' leadoff batters reached base in each the first seven innings.