The Cincinnati Salvage Company was at work Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park.
Faced with the embarrassment of getting swept by the last-place Milwaukee Brewers, the Reds won the final game of the three-games series, 6-2.
And they used The First Man Theme.
The Reds placed their leadoff hitter on base in each of the first seven innings and five of them scored, three driven in by Brandon Phillips, giving him 67 RBIs for the season. Jay Bruce drove in two as the middle of the order finally provided some productivity.
Reds starter pitcher Mike Leake put the runs to good use to record his eighth victory, and he came within two outs of a complete game. Leake started with a wobble, giving up hits to the first two Brewers he faced that led to a first-inning run.
And he was uncharacteristically wild, giving up four walks. But after the first inning, he gave up only one more hit, the first career major-league home run by Sean Halton, that coming in the fifth inning.
Leake retired 13 straight until he had one out in the ninth and gave up a single, only the fourth hit of the game. Manager Dusty Baker decided after the hit to Jonathan Lucroy to bring in Aroldis Chapman to get the final two outs.
Here is how the first seven inning went with the first batter reaching base:
FiRST: Shin-Soo Choo doubled and scored on a single by Phillips.
SECOND: Bruce singled and scored on Devin Mesoraco’s sacrifice fly.
THIRD: Choo walked and was forced at second, but his base-running replacement, Zack Cozart, scored on a ground ball by Phillips.
FOURTH: Xavier Paul reached on an error but didn’t score.
FIFTH: Cozart walked and scored on Bruce’s ground ball.
SIXTH: Paul singled but didn’t score. Both times Paul led an inning by getting on base, he didn’t score.
SEVENTH: Choo singled and scored on a single by Phillips.
The streak ended in the eighth when Mesoraco lined to third base, but Choo’s two-out single, his third hit, extended the Reds’ streak to eight straight innings with at least one baserunner.
For once the Reds took advantage of a young, inexperienced pitcher, 6-foot-9 right-hander Johnny Hellweg, who came into the game 0-2 with a 12.79 ERA. Now he’s 0-3.
The degree of difficulty spikes considerably for the next four days leading up to the All-Star break, a four-game series in Atlanta against the first-place Braves.