The Reds had the tying run at second with no outs in the ninth after a lead-off double by Curt Casali, but Scott Schebler struck out, Joey Votto lined out to left and Yasiel Puig popped out to end the game.
Tanner Roark got off to a rough start in his Reds debut, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks in the first inning. Jesus Aguilar drove in two of the runs with a single.
Roark rebounded by keeping the stopping the Brewers from adding to the lead. He left with one out in the fifth inning, having allowed three earned runs on six hits. He struck out six and didn’t walk another batter after the first.
“After an inning like that where he struggled, what a great job he did to get through the game as far as he did,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He held them right there and kept competing and battling. He gave us a shot to win. It says a lot about him. Then after that, our bullpen continued to do a great job and really gave us a great chance to win that game.”
The Reds had a chance to cut into the deficit in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with one out. Matt Kemp and Jose Peraza then struck out to end the inning.
Another threat fizzled in the third for the Reds. Scott Schebler walked to lead off the inning, and Joey Votto followed with a single. Puig then grounded into a double play.
» HAL McCOY: Brewers off to strong start
The Reds, who had not scored since the seventh inning on Opening Day, ended a 14-inning scoreless streak in the fifth. A double by Puig, who recored his first hit as a Red, scored two runs to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 3-2.
The Reds tied the game at 3-3 on a fielder’s choice groundout by Derek Dietrich in the seventh.
NOTES: During the game, the Reds announced a trade. They acquired right-handed pitcher Diomar Lopez, a 22-year-old who pitched in Single-A last season in the San Diego Padres organization, for right-handed pitcher Matt Wisler, who was designated for assignment Thursday. … Kemp was ejected after he argued a called third strike in the fifth. He was 0-for-3 and fell to 0-for-7 in his first two games as a Red.