Created on Monday, 26 August 2013 Written by JOE KAY, AP Baseball Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — One single in seven innings. Not the way the Cincinnati Reds wanted to end a weekend that left them with a bit of a lost feeling as they hit the road.
Caleb Gindl homered for the second straight game, and rejuvenated Marco Estrada held Cincinnati's lineup to one single over seven shutout innings, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-1 victory on Sunday.
The Brewers took two of three from the Reds, who wasted a chance to gain a little ground in the NL Central. They remain right behind Pittsburgh and St. Louis, which is their next stop on the schedule.
"When we lose a series to any team at this point, we feel it's a missed opportunity," said Jay Bruce, who had one of Cincinnati's five hits.
Credit Estrada (6-4), who gave up Shin-Soo Choo's leadoff single in the first inning, and then left the Reds swinging at nothing. He walked two, fanned a season-high nine and retired 10 batters on popups or fly balls — usually a risky thing in homer-friendly Great American Ball Park.
"He's one of those guys that if he makes his pitches, he'll have success," Bruce said. "If he doesn't, the ball gets up in the zone. After Choo got that hit, that was generally it. He pitched a really, really good game."
Estrada's changeup is his best pitch, and it was working Sunday.
"Besides a well-located fastball, to me that's the second-best pitch in the game," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He pitched a good game, no ifs and buts about it."
Jim Henderson gave up Joey Votto's 20th homer in the ninth inning while picking up his 21st save in 24 chances.
Right-hander Greg Reynolds (0-2) made his second start as an injury fill-in, this time for left-hander Tony Cingrani. Reynolds did far better this time, limiting the Brewers to five hits in six innings, including Gindl's homer off a cut fastball that was off the inside corner.
"He gave us what we needed," Baker said. "He gave us six innings, then it was time for a pinch hitter. He pitched well enough to win."
Jean Segura singled home another run in the seventh.
With the way Estrada was pitching, the Reds were fortunate just to hit the ball hard. Estrada fanned six in a row during one stretch. The Reds hit only one ball out of the infield from the second through the sixth innings, Zack Cozart's routine flyout.
Estrada is on his best surge of the season. He was sidelined for two months with a strained left hamstring, and has dominated since his return on Aug. 6. He's 2-0 in four starts, allowing a total of only five earned runs.
Gindl has shown a knack for noteworthy homers.
He became the first in Brewers history to have a game-ending homer as his first in the majors, a solo shot in the 13th inning for a 1-0 win over Miami on July 21. On Saturday night, he had the first pinch-hit homer of his career, also a solo shot during a 6-3 loss to the Reds.
He belted the fourth pitch he got from Reynolds over the wall in right for a 2-0 lead.
It was Reynolds' second start this season for the Reds. Reynolds, who was Colorado's first-round pick in 2006, also was called up from Triple-A Louisville to pitch the second game of a doubleheader on July 23 in San Francisco. Reynolds pitched at Stanford and had a lot of friends and family on hand for the game, which added to his nerves.
The second time around, he was much calmer and a lot better.
"I was definitely able to slow it down a bit and make pitches when I had to," Reynolds said.
NOTES: The Reds put Cingrani on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back. They also moved RH reliever Jonathan Broxton to the 60-day DL. Broxton had season-ending surgery Friday to repair a tear in his right forearm. ... Milwaukee's Khris Davis doubled, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Choo stole the 100th base of his career. ... Choo slid hard into 3B Aramis Ramirez's left ankle while stealing another base. Ramirez grabbed his ankle in pain, but stayed in the game. ... Cincinnati Ballet principal dancer Cervilio Amador threw a ceremonial pitch — after a double spin in the air — to fellow Cuban Aroldis Chapman. ... The Brewers are off Monday before opening a series in Pittsburgh. The Reds head to St. Louis, with Mike Leake (11-5) facing Cardinals LHP Tyler Lyons (2-4).