To have any chance of putting a 3-18 start behind them and making something of this season, the Cincinnati Reds will have to string some victories together. To this point, they have one two-game winning streak — and that’s it.
The Reds had a chance Monday to win two games in a row for the second time and win three games in four days for the first time, only to lose a back-and-forth game 6-5 to the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park.
The Brewers rallied from a 5-3 deficit with three runs in the seventh inning. The tying and go-ahead runs scored on a two-out double by Domingo Santana against Jared Hughes. All three runs in the inning were charged to Wandy Peralta.
The Reds could do nothing in the final three innings against Brewers reliever Josh Hader, who struck out eight of the nine batters he faced after entering the game with one out in the seventh. He’s the first pitcher in baseball history to strike out eight batters in an outing of less than three innings.
“That’s quite a performance,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “I don’t think anyone was going to hit him tonight.”
Hader lowered his ERA to 1.00 in 17 2/3 innings.
“He’s got good velocity,” Riggleman said. “He’s got a good slider. There are just some guys who even though it says 94 — and there’s a lot of guys throw 94 — some guys have a little extra hop on the end and hitters don’t pick it up as well. He’s been doing it for a month and is really impressive.
Big picture: The Reds (7-22) are tied with the 1931 and 1934 Reds for the worst record through 29 games. The 2016 Atlanta Braves were the last team to start 7-22.
Power display: Manny Pina homered against Finnegan in the fourth, and Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run home run in the fifth to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
Fourth start: Reds starter Brandon Finnegan lasted five innings for the second straight start. He allowed three earned runs and walked three. In four starts, he’s 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA.
“I’m having to find a way to compete without my best stuff,” Finnegan said. “I got ahead of guys a lot tonight. The only thing I’m really upset about is getting behind the pitcher in the fifth and giving up a hit to him. Other than that, I missed my spot twice. If you leave a fastball down the middle, it’s going to get hit in the big leagues. It happens. I’ve just got to get ready for the next start.”
Still hot: Jesse Winker compiled his fifth multi-hit game in his last nine starts.
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Big hit: The Reds trailed 1-0 until the fourth. A double by Eugenio Suarez scored Scott Schebler and Joey Votto to give the Reds the lead.
Big inning: The Reds regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth with three runs. Suarez added two his RBI total with a two-run single, and Jose Peraza hit a sacrifice fly to score Billy Hamilton.