In some ways, a can-do spirit has defined the 2013 Reds. They had overcome a multitude of injuries to key players and a number of depressing late-inning losses to record the second-best record in baseball through Friday.
Saturday, however, was a didn’t-d0 kind of day. A crowd of 37,519 at Great American Ball Park saw one of Cincinnati’s more lackluster performances of the season in a 6-0 loss to the Brewers.
• The Reds (41-28) didn’t score at home for the first time since Aug. 31, 2011.
• They didn’t advance a runner past second base.
• They didn’t record an extra-base hit until Jay Bruce doubled in the ninth.
• They didn’t get the kind of start that’s become routine for a staff that ranks second in the National League with a 3.16 ERA. Homer Bailey gave up six runs on eight hits in seven innings.
“None of us looked like we could get in a rhythm,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I don’t know, I just feel like it was one of those low-energy days we usually don’t have. Homer threw a couple of wild pitches that didn’t help, and they hit the foul pole with an opposite-field homer. It just wasn’t our day.”
It was the worst start of the season at home for Bailey, who fell to 4-5 with a 3.80 ERA.
“We made a couple mistakes they hit for singles down the line,” Bailey said. “We actually made some really good pitches they put in play. It’s a tough one to swallow. It’s not like we walked a bunch of people or they were banging them up off the walls.”
The few small chances the Reds had ended quickly. Joey Votto walked with two outs in the first and was picked off to end the inning. Bruce walked with one out in the second and was forced out by a Todd Frazier groundout one batter later.
Cozart reached on an infield single in the third with two outs, and the next batter, Votto, struck out to end the inning. The Reds recorded two hits in one inning only once, in the seventh, and pinch hitter Donald Lutz struck out to leave them stranded.
Some of the Reds’ failures had to do with the performance of Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo, who improved to 6-6 and lowered his ERA to 4.41. He allowed three hits in six innings and has thrown 14 straight scoreless innings.
“When he’s on, he’s as tough as it gets,” Baker said. “This guy was an All-Star. Don’t let his ERA fool you.”
The Brewers gave Gallardo an early lead. In the second, Logan Schafer scored on a wild pitch, and Juan Francisco drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly.
Francisco, a former Red who hit a grand slam for the Braves against the Reds on May 8 before being traded to the Brewers on June 3, then hit a two-run home run in the fifth.
Brewers at Reds, 1:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410