MILWAUKEE (AP) – Eugenio Suárez hit a leadoff home run in the ninth inning against All-Star closer Josh Hader and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 Saturday night in a game that included three ejections.
Suárez hit a 2-0 pitch from Hader (3-1) into the second deck of the right-field bleachers for his 18th homer.
“It was a big moment for me and for the team,” Suárez said. “Big win, man, before the All-Star break. Everybody knows that Hader has a really good fastball. He’s one of the best closers in the game. In my mind, I was like, ‘don’t let him beat you.’”
Prior to the go-ahead homer, Suárez was hitless in his previous 10 at-bats and is 3 for 38 (.079) against the Brewers in 2021.
“It was a game-winner,” Reds manager David Bell said. “And, it came against one of the best in the game.”
Heath Hembree took care of Milwaukee in the bottom half for his second consecutive save and sixth overall, helping the Reds pull within five games of the NL Central-leading Brewers.
Josh Osich (2-0) got one out in the eighth for the win.
Tyrone Taylor hit a two-run homer off Reds reliever Brad Brach in the eighth to tie it at 3.
Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta, who will be replacing teammate Brandon Woodruff on the NL All-Star team, held Cincinnati hitless until All-Star Nick Castellanos connected in the sixth for his 18th homer, a three-run shot that made it 3-1.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell then came out to get Peralta and was ejected by plate umpire Gabe Morales for arguing about the 2-2 pitch to Castellanos.
“That was the pitch,” Counsell said about what got him tossed. “I feel like it’s been a rough series for the umpires. So, yeah, there’s a lot of guys upset, both teams.”
Counsell was ejected for the third time this season and for the 21st time overall.
Milwaukee star Christian Yelich was ejected by first base umpire John Libka in the bottom of the sixth after reaching on a wild throw by pitcher Vladimir Gutiérrez. Yelich turned toward second just enough that second baseman Jonathan India slapped a tag on him, Libka signaled out, and Yelich became irate, tossing his helmet.
“In the umpire’s judgment, there was something,” Counsell said of Yelich’s inadvertent twitch. “That’s just a clear case of an umpire kind of making something up or thinking he sees something that has no influence on the game, and then making a call. It was a poor call, and it cost us a baserunner.”
Third base umpire Doug Eddings ejected Joey Votto in top of the eighth after the Reds star struck out swinging.
Gutiérrez allowed one run on five hits in six solid innings.
This is the third of seven consecutive games between these divisional foes. They’re playing a four-game series in Milwaukee this week and meet the Reds again in a three-game series in Cincinnati immediately after the All-Star break.
The Brewers won the opener of this series 5-3 on Thursday. The Reds got a measure of revenge Friday thanks to Wade Miley and his 2-0 gem.
Reds: RHP Michael Lorenzen came out of his recent rehab start in good shape. Manager David Bell said that Lorenzen would stay with Triple-A Louisville, pitch on consecutive days and possibly be activated on Friday. He hasn’t pitched all season due to a right shoulder injury. … INF Mike Moustakas has made a slight improvement as he recovers from a right-heel injury.
Brewers: C Manny Piña got crossed up on a pitch and barehanded the ball in a freak play Friday night. He played through considerable pain and even managed to get a base hit. “It didn’t bother him catching or throwing,” Counsell said. “It was a little bothersome hitting. He’s going to be OK.”
With tonight’s 4-3 win, the Reds have taken five of six games from the Brewers at American Family Field and lead the season series 7-5. They improve to 24-13 against NL Central opponents. Their 25 come from behind victories are third most in MLB, trailing only Boston (29) and Tampa Bay (26).
BREWERS MAKE IT THREE STRAIGHT
Catcher Omar Narváez joined Peralta as a first-time All-Star when it was announced before the game that Narváez was named as a replacement for the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina, who replaced the Giants’ Buster Posey.
With the late addition of Narváez, the Brewers now have a franchise record five All-Stars (pitchers Peralta, Woodruff, Hader and Corbin Burnes) for the third consecutive time (2018, 2019 and 2021).
RHP Luis Castillo (3-10, 4.81 ERA) starts for the Reds and faces RHP Brandon Woodruff (7-4, 2.10 ERA) and the Brewers in the first-half finale for both teams.