McCoy: Reds bombed 18-4 by Brewers in 8th straight loss

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Cincinnati falls to 3-21, now 13 1/2 games out of first place

What the Cincinnati Reds needed before losing for the 19th time in 20 games Wednesday night was a Meet Your Teammates meeting with a distribution of name tags.

Just before they took the field for an 18-4 beating by the Milwaukee Brewers, Tyler Naquin and Nick Senzel were pulled from the lineup and placed on the COVID-19 protocol injured list.

The new teammates were pitcher Robert Dugger, claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay, plus summoned outfielders Albert Almora Jr. and Ronnie Dawson from Class AAA Louisville.

And with first baseman Joey Votto on COVID-19 protocol and second baseman Jonathan India on the injury list, Reds manager David Bell’s lineup card should have had ‘Louisville’ scribbled across the top.

The only projected regulars from spring training in the lineup were Tommy Pham, Mike Moustakas and Kyle Farmer.

That lineup was no match for the first-place Brewers, especially first baseman Rowdy Tellez. The big first baseman hit two home runs, including a grand slam, added a two-run double and finished with eight RBI.

The loss dropped the Reds to 3-21, an eighth straight defeat and pushed them 13 1/2 games behind the Brewers, the most games the Reds have been behind on May 4 in club history.

It was one of the ugliest of the many ugly Reds defeats. The Reds managed only seven hits while the light-hitting Brewers amassed 18 and forced the Reds to use right fielder Matt Reynolds to get the final two outs.

Pitchers Vladimir Gutierrez, Dauri Moreta, Buck Farmer, Hunter Strickland, Lucas Sims and Reynolds threw 241 pitches and went to full counts 11 times while walking nine and hitting two batters.

Despite all the pre-game heartbreak, the Reds jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta.

Brandon Drury singled, Pham walked on a full count and Moustakas singled for a run. The second run scored on Colin Moran’s sacrifice fly.

The lead lasted only until the Brewers came to bat in the bottom of the first with a lineup that’s best batting average was .238 owned by catcher Victor Caratini.

The struggles of Reds starting pitcher Gutierrez continued. He needed 30 pitches to cover the first inning and gave up a pair of runs to tie it, 2-2.

It began with leadoff hitter Kolten Wong battling Gutierrez with a 12-pitch at bat and the 12th pitch landing in the right field seats for a home run.

With one out Christian Yelich doubled to right, took third on Gutierrez’s wild pickoff throw and scored on Andrew McCutchen’s single that tied it, 2-2.

The Brewers took control in the third inning with four runs, all four scoring on the grand slam home run by Tellez.

The inning commenced with Gutierrez hitting Willy Adames with a pitch. He walked Yelich on four pitches and gave up a single to McCutchen. Tellez then unloaded a monster bash, 453 feet for a 6-2 lead.

It was only a precursor from Tellez after the teams exchanged runs and it was 7-3 when Tellez came to bat in the sixth with a runner on base.

This time he reached the second deck, a 433-foot explosion off Moreta. It was his third hit, his sixth RBI and put the Brewers out of reach at 9-3.

Just for fun, the Brewers scored four more in the seventh. Buck Farmer went to 3-and-2 on four straight batters and the fourth, Yelich, cracked a two-run single to make it 11-3.

Strickland replaced Farmer and McCutchen doubled off the center wall for two more runs and a 13-3 advantage.

Tellez nearly hit his third home run in the eighth of Reynolds but settled for a two-run double and the eight RBI is a Brewers club record.

Gutierrez lasted only 4 1/3 innings and gave up seven runs, eight hits, walked two, struck out two, hit two, gave up two home runs. His earned run average swelled to 8.86 and his record sank to 0-5.

The defeat assured that the Reds would lose this series, their seventh straight series loss after they split four games in Atlanta in the season’s first series.

The Reds gave up double-digit runs for the third time in five games. Colorado scored 10 twice in three games.

And it was the Reds’ 12th straight road loss, something they hadn’t suffered since 1945.

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