Reds try to put brakes on road skid vs. Brewers

( - It's a tale of two momentums for the Cincinnati Reds.

On one side, the visiting Reds open a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night at Miller Park with the knowledge that they've won seven of 10 games against the Brewers this season.

But on the other, they enter the crucial National League Central series having lost six straight road games, including a sweep over the weekend at the hands of the host New York Yankees.

Not to mention, Cincinnati's opening game starter, Mat Latos, has never won at Miller Park.

The Reds managed just six runs in the three games with the Yankees, struck out 31 times and had only one hit in 22 opportunities with runners in scoring position. The team is without middle-of-the-lineup hitters Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips due to injuries.

"They just outplayed us," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. "Some of the things that happened in the series (were) unfortunate."

Latos is no stranger to balky run support. In five career starts at Miller Park, his teams have scored just six runs while he's gone 0-3 with a 3.34 earned run average.

However, in three road games in 2014, he's split two decisions with a stingy 0.90 ERA. And in two starts against the Brewers this season, he's 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA.

Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun has just two hits in 20 at-bats against Latos in his career, though he enters this series on an eight-game hit streak in which he's gone 12-for-31.

The Brewers enter the series tied atop the NL Central with St. Louis, while the Reds are fourth, but just 2 1/2 games out.

Milwaukee has led or held a share of first place every day since April 5.

The Brewers will start Wily Peralta, who threw eight scoreless innings in a May 2 defeat of the Reds and is 2-3 against them in his career with a 3.14 ERA in seven starts.

Cincinnati outfielder Chris Heisey has five hits in 10 lifetime at-bats against him.

On Sunday in New York, Jacoby Ellsbury and the sun helped the Yankees complete the sweep of the Reds. Ellsbury went 4-for-4 with an RBI and scored the game- winning run in the ninth inning when three Reds lost Brian McCann's routine fly ball in the sun to give the Yankees a 3-2 win.

Todd Frazier pulled the Reds even with a solo homer off Dellin Betances in the eighth inning, and with the score still even at 2-2 in the ninth, the club trotted out Aroldis Chapman in an effort to force extra innings. Ellsbury led off with a workmanlike base hit against the closer, with all nine pitches of his at-bat coming in at over 100 mph.

A steal of second and a wild pitch put Ellsbury on third, and after Mark Teixeira struck out, McCann sent a sky-high fly ball to the right side. No one from the Reds took control in the field, as Frazier, Skip Schumaker and Jay Bruce all had trouble finding the ball through the sun and looked at each other in confusion as the ball bounced between them.

Ellsbury scored without a throw.

In Washington, Jayson Werth's walk-off double lifted the Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Brewers in the rubber match of a three-game set.

Rickie Weeks, Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Khris Davis each drove in a run for Milwaukee while Yovani Gallardo went six innings and gave up four runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in his start.