Lutz’ HR helps Reds by Brewers
CINCINNATI (AP) — Don Lutz’s mother didn’t like the sound of his voice when he called her at home in Germany an hour before he started in left field for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
“I’ve been sick, and she said, ‘What’s wrong with your voice?”’ Lutz said. “She said, ‘Take your vitamins.”’
Lutz wasted no time proving to his mom, Marlen, that he was healthy. The rookie, who was born in the United States and grew up in Germany, hit his first career home run, a three-run drive off the right-field foul pole in the second inning that led Cincinnati over the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 for a three-game sweep.
Lutz, who made his big league debut on April 29, homered off Wily Peralta (3-3). Pinch-hitter Xavier Paul homered in the seventh, sending Milwaukee to its fourth straight loss and ninth in 10 games.
Bronson Arroyo (3-4) ended a four-start winless streak, allowing five hits in 6 2-3 scoreless innings with one walk and five strikeouts. He had been 0-3 since beating Philadelphia on April 15, and he snapped out of the slump despite not feeling well, manager Dusty Baker said.
“I’m not sure what he had,” Baker said. “Sometimes, you just don’t feel right. It’s not something you can name. We knew about the seventh that he was about out of gas.”
Arroyo rarely feels well in day games, he said.
“I didn’t have a whole lot of stuff,” he said. “I was grinding from the first inning on. I knew I was getting away with pitches that I normally wouldn’t. Luckily, they were beating them into the ground.”
Sam LeCure struck out Jeff Bianchi looking to end the seventh, Jonathan Broxton allowed an unearned run in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth.
Peralta (3-3) gave up four runs — three earned — on five hits and two walks in six innings.
Baker got his 1,603rd win as a manager, moving past Hall of Famer Fred Clarke into sole possession of 17th place on baseball’s career list, 16 behind Ralph Houk. Baker, in his 20th season as a manager, is 1,603-1,448 (.525).
The Brewers have lost 10 of 12 against Cincinnati. The Reds have won the last four series against Milwaukee in Cincinnati and five of the last six overall.
Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce opened the second inning with singles and, one out later, Lutz lined a 1-0 pitch off the foul pole. He is 6 for 13 during a six-game hitting streak.
“It was awesome,” Lutz said. “My mom and grandma were watching (on television). I’m sure they were pretty excited.”
He hadn’t promised to hit a home run during his pregame Mother’s Day phone call.
“I didn’t want to get ahead of myself,” Lutz said.
Peralta had no problem with the pitch.
“I made a great pitch,” he said. “There’s nothing I could do. If I had to put it right there again, I would. I don’t think he’d hit it.”
Cincinnati scored an unearned run in the third. After a throwing error by Peralta on a comebacker, Bruce hit a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder, but shortstop Jean Segura’s relay sailed over first baseman Yuniesky Betancourt for another error.
The Brewers have been their own worst enemies, according to manager Ron Roenicke.
“We haven’t played well,” he said. “We can’t do the little things against good teams.”
Paul led off the seventh with his second homer of the season, a 404-foot drive into the right-field seats on an 0-2 pitch from Mike Fiers, recalled from the minors Saturday and making his first big league appearance since April 16. Paul has four career pinch-hit homers, including two this season.
Alex Gonzalez scored on Ryan Hanigan’s passed ball in the eighth.
NOTES: Reds RHP Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make his second injury rehabilitation start Tuesday for Class-A Dayton. Cueto has been on the DL since April 15 with a strained muscle in his upper right arm. LHP Manny Parra, on the disabled list since April 26 with a strained left pectoral muscle, and OF Chris Heisey, out since April 29 with strained right hamstring, both are due to start rehab assignments on Monday with Double-A Pensacola. … The Reds are off Monday before opening a nine-game trip Tuesday at Miami. … Milwaukee’s 10-game trip resumes Monday with the opener of a four-game series in Pittsburgh.