Brewers spoil Lorenzen’s ML debut, 8-3
CINCINNATI (AP) — Michael Lorenzen learned something about pitching to Ryan Braun: Don’t make a mistake.
Braun hit his fourth career grand slam and a solo homer on Wednesday, powering the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Braun, Adam Lind and Khris Davis had solo shots off Lorenzen (0-1), a 23-year-old making his major league debut. The Reds called him up from Triple-A to fill in for Homer Bailey, who is out indefinitely with a damaged ligament in his pitching elbow.
Lorenzen was trying to get Braun to chase a bad pitch, but made it too good.
“I wanted to miss on that pitch to Braun and I didn’t, and he let the whole stadium know it,” Lorenzen said. “My misses have to be a little better than they were today.”
The right-hander felt relaxed when he reached the mound and started learning what it’s like to face major league hitters.
“I was kind of speechless,” he said. “I wasn’t really worried. It was easier being out there than being in here last night or sitting in my hotel room thinking about it. I’m comfortable on a ballfield.”
Lorenzen had trouble with his off-speed pitches and relied too much on his fastball. All three homers came off fastballs. He wound up going five innings, giving up eight hits and throwing 107 pitches.
“He’s got to learn how to settle in,” manager Bryan Price said. “He’s learning how to handle his emotions.
“He’s got great stuff. He’s learning how to manage it. I think this is the right place for him. He’s ready to be here. This is the best place for him.”
Braun connected with the bases loaded in the eighth off Jumbo Diaz, his third homer in the last two games. The right fielder had only one homer heading into the series, and had gotten two days off from the starting lineup to rest and heal some minor ailments.
Milwaukee ended a seven-game losing streak on the road and improved to 5-17 overall, the worst start by a National League team since the 1997 Cubs went 4-18.
All but one of the 11 combined runs came off homers. The NL Central rivals combined for 12 homers in the final two games, 10 of them solos.
Matt Garza (2-3) allowed five hits in 6 2-3 innings, including solo shots by Todd Frazier and Tucker Barnhart. Garza has been tough on Cincinnati the last two seasons, going 3-0 in four starts with a 1.26 ERA.
The Brewers loaded the bases in the eighth against Diaz, who hit Logan Schafer to drive in a run. Braun followed with his first grand slam since June 14, 2010, against the Angels, making it 8-2.
Jay Bruce hit his second homer of the series in the ninth inning.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto was out of the starting lineup, getting some rest. He pinch hit and struck out, leaving him in a 2-for-20 slump.
LORENZEN A HIT
Lorenzen singled to right field in his first at-bat. Lorenzen was a reliever and an outfielder at Cal State-Fullerton, where he batted .355 with seven homers in his final season. Price let him bat in the bottom of the fifth — he struck out — before removing him for a reliever to start the sixth.
Brewers: Center fielder Carlos Gomez is expected back from the 15-day disabled list over the weekend. He’s been sidelined by a strained right hamstring. He’s eligible to return after Thursday.
Reds: Left-handed reliever Manny Parra went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained neck. Bailey was transferred to the 60-day DL with the injured elbow.
Brewers: Milwaukee is off on Thursday before opening a three-game series at Wrigley Field. Wily Peralta (0-3) tries for his first win at Wrigley, where he’s 0-2 in three career starts. The Cubs go with Jon Lester (0-2).
Reds: Mike Leake (0-1) opens a four-game series in Atlanta on Thursday against Shelby Miller (3-0).
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