Bruce sparks Reds offense in win over Brewers

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jason Marquis ended Cincinnati’s long streak of clutch-hitting futility with a run-scoring single, and slumping Jay Bruce homered and drove in three runs on Monday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Reds ended a three-game losing streak by beating the worst team in the majors, one that’s trying everything to get going. Manager Ron Roenicke left slumping Ryan Braun out of the lineup on Monday to change things up.

All it led to was another loss that dropped the Brewers to 4-16.

Marquis (2-1) had an RBI single during a four-run second inning that snapped the Reds’ 0-for-20 streak with runners in scoring position. He allowed two runs and seven hits in a season-high eight innings, throwing 113 pitches.

Jean Segura had a two-run single in the ninth off Aroldis Chapman as the Reds’ bullpen gave up four runs. Braun pinch-hit and struck out to end it.

Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson (1-2) had the wildest performance of his career. The right-hander walked a career-high five batters and threw two wild pitches, one of which let in a run, while lasting only 2 1/3 innings. He left with the Reds ahead 6-1.

Nelson had walked a total of four batters in his first three starts this season and hadn’t allowed a homer until Bruce connected for a two-run shot in the second inning. Bruce added a sacrifice fly. The right fielder came into the game batting .161 and was out of the starting lineup on Sunday, getting a day of rest.

Roenicke left Braun off his lineup card for a second consecutive day because he wanted to keep his offense closer to the one that beat St. Louis 6-3 on Sunday. Milwaukee has yet to win back-to-back games this season.

Reds manager Bryan Price also switched up his slumping lineup, moving shortstop Zack Cozart — who usually hits near the bottom of the order — into the second spot. The Brewers made it easy on the Reds with an error and two wild pitches that let in runs.

Four of Cincinnati’s nine wins this season have come against the Brewers. They’ve scored nine runs twice this season, both times against Milwaukee.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: Roenicke said the second straight day off should help Braun recover from some minor ailments. Braun had a sore right side earlier in the month. He could be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

Reds: Right-hander Homer Bailey went on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained ligament in his right elbow, the same one that he had surgery on last September. The Reds called up reliever Carlos Contreras from Triple-A Louisville.

ON DECK

Brewers: Kyle Lohse (1-3) makes his second straight start against the Reds. He allowed two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 win at Miller Park on Thursday.

Reds: Johnny Cueto (1-2) tries to beat the Brewers for the second straight start. He gave up one run in eight innings of a 2-1 victory on Wednesday.

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