Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez makes a leaping catch at the wall to rob Cincinnati’s Joey Votto of o home run in the ninth inning of Monday’s game in Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE — For a brief moment, the whole game was waiting on Carlos Gomez.
The crowd roared as the Milwaukee Brewers looked toward center field in amazement and Gomez hopped around in front of the wall. When he flipped his glove open as he ran toward the infield, it was over.
Gomez robbed Joey Votto of a potential go-ahead homer with a spectacular catch for the final out, saving the Brewers’ 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.
“When you save the game like that or when you hit a walk-off home run, it’s amazing,” Gomez said. “I never hit one, but I steal home run to win the game. It’s something special, like you can’t wait to get home to see it over and over.”
Jonathan Lucroy homered for the third consecutive game for last-place Brewers, who had dropped three of four. Jean Segura had three hits off Homer Bailey in the right-hander’s first start since his second career no-hitter.
But Gomez made the biggest play of the game when he used a perfectly timed jump to grab Votto’s drive, sending a charge through the crowd on an otherwise sleepy night at Miller Park. The dramatic conclusion came after pinch-hitter Derrick Robinson walked with two outs.
Votto made an appeal to see the ball in Gomez’s glove while he celebrated in the outfield, and sure enough, it was there.
“The whole thing is really a random occurrence and it’s what makes baseball so special,” Votto said. “Carlos has had a fantastic year this year. Today he didn’t have a good game offensively and he goes out and makes a game-changing play on the defensive end.
“You know, I did everything I could, and he made a great play.”
Kyle Lohse (5-6) pitched into the seventh inning for his fourth consecutive winning decision.
Bailey was coming off an absolute gem at home against San Francisco last Tuesday night, when he struck out nine and allowed just one baserunner on a seventh-inning walk. The impressive performance in the Reds’ 3-0 victory gave Bailey a chance to become the second pitcher in major league history to throw consecutive no-hitters.
That opening was slammed shut in the first inning.
Segura dumped a 1-2 pitch into right field for a base hit with one out. He then stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Devin Mesoraco before Lucroy hit his 11th homer to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
“It was just one of those days,” Bailey said. “Just never could find a rhythm.”
Segura added an RBI double in the second and an infield hit in the fifth. The All-Star shortstop reached base four times and leads the NL with 113 hits.
Chris Heisey hit a solo homer for Cincinnati, which has lost three of four since taking three in a row against the Giants. Jay Bruce and pinch hitter Xavier Paul each had an RBI single.
Bailey (5-7) was replaced by Logan Ondrusek after he hit Segura with a pitch with two outs in the sixth. He allowed a season-high 10 hits and walked three.
“He got out of some tough jams,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Lohse was pulled after he allowed singles to three of the first four batters in the seventh. Heisey was erased when Mesoraco grounded into a double play, but pinch hitter Cesar Izturis and Shin-Soo Choo singled to put runners on the corners.
John Axford came in and surrendered Paul’s run-scoring hit to make it 4-3, but he bounced back to strike out Votto, limiting the damage.
“We don’t win them easy,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
Lohse was charged with three runs and nine hits. The righty improved to 4-0 with a 2.37 ERA in his past eight starts.
Jim Henderson worked the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez finished for his ninth save in nine chances and No. 303 for his career, tying Doug Jones for 22nd on the major league list.
Rodriguez had his left arm over his head and his right hand on the brim of his cap as he walked around in disbelief after Gomez’s game-ending grab.
“He’s so athletic and explosive,” Lohse said of Gomez. “You just see him get good reads. It’s pretty fun to watch.”
Milwaukee got Ryan Braun back from the disabled list, but he did not play in the Brewers’ second win in seven games against Cincinnati this season. Braun, who had been out with a bruised right thumb, took batting practice for the second straight day and could return to the lineup on Tuesday.
While the 2011 NL MVP returned to the active roster, third baseman Aramis Ramirez went back on the DL again with a nagging left knee injury.
Mesoraco got the start behind the plate for Cincy after Baker said Ryan Hanigan was dealing with soreness, declining to elaborate. But Mesoraco has a back issue and appeared to be playing hurt, grounding out with runners on first and second to end the eighth.
“He’s a tough guy,” Baker said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do tomorrow. I don’t know if he’s going to be all right or not.”
NOTES: Johnny Vander Meer remains the only pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters, accomplishing the feat for the Reds on June 11 and June 15 in 1938. ... Brewers RHP Wily Peralta (5-9, 5.27 ERA) is scheduled to face LHP Tony Cingrani (3-0, 3.40 ERA) in the middle game of the series on Tuesday. Peralta was forced to leave his last outing in the sixth inning last Tuesday night at Washington due to a strained left hamstring. “If he feels something, then, obviously, we’ll address that,” Roenicke said. ... The Miller Park roof was open at the start of the game, but it was closed during the second inning. It was opened again in the fourth. ... NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, a Wisconsin native, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Royals 5, Yankees 1
NEW YORK — Jeremy Guthrie was on a roll — against the Yankees, no less. Neither hail nor sun shower was going to stop him. No way.
Guthrie neatly handled a nemesis and a 59-minute delay to pitch into the seventh inning, Billy Butler homered and the Kansas City Royals held on to beat New York 5-1 Monday night.
“Tremendous competitor,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said of Guthrie. “He showed it today — to endure an hour rain delay and go out and throw at the level that he threw.”
All-Star Alex Gordon, David Lough and Johnny Giavotella each had RBI doubles, and Alcides Escobar added a run-scoring triple to help the Royals end a five-game skid against New York.
“It’s been tough every year I’ve been here to come in and get a win,” Butler said. “It means a lot.”
Guthrie (8-6) gave up three hits over six innings, albeit to a Yankees lineup that had only four players that were with the team on opening day.
Leading 5-1, closer Greg Holland was needed in the ninth when Lyle Overbay walked and Luis Cruz singled to start the inning against Luke Hochevar. Holland gave up a hit to Chris Stewart to load the bases. But Holland struck out Eduardo Nunez, Brett Gardner and Zoilo Almonte to end it for his 21st save.
“Holly’s been lights out for us,” Yost said.
Guthrie twice struck out the newest member in pinstripes, Travis Ishikawa, before Overbay homered pinch hitting for the first baseman who was claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Sunday. Overbay’s 10th of the year was New York’s first long ball in six games.
“Not an easy lineup to pitch, too,” he said. “Obviously they have their injuries now and are missing a lot of keys so you go out there and try to attack them as best as you can.”
Entering 4-9 with a 5.15 ERA against the Yankees in 17 appearances — 15 starts — Guthrie left with runners on first and third and two outs in the seventh. Tim Collins relieved and struck out pinch-hitter Nunez to protect a 3-1 lead.
Aaron Crow relieved Collins in the eighth with two on, two out and got Vernon Wells to ground out to second.
The Yankees have lost two in a row after a season-best six straight wins.
With the sun reflecting off the windows of a building beyond center field, rain and hail sent fans scurrying for cover in the bottom of the third inning. The quick moving cloud was gone before Phil Hughes (4-8) threw his first pitch of the fourth. Hughes retired three straight with the faintest of rainbows arcing over the scoreboard, then the rain returned.
After Guthrie got an out with his 37th pitch, crew chief Dana DeMuth called for the tarp. As “Singin’ in the Rain” blared over the PA system, the grounds crew struggled to cover the increasingly muddy infield, getting stuck halfway then pulling the huge sheet off and starting again. The biggest cheer of the night — until Overbay’s homer in the seventh — came when the crew finished the job.
Guthrie’s previous outing was delayed by rain at the start for over 2 hours, 30 minutes, then for 12 more minutes in the seventh by a power outage. He was better prepared for the break this time.
“After last game I was trying treat it a little bit different, be a little more focused,” he said.
The right-hander threw every 10 to 15 minutes in the batting cage to stay warm, treating the time as if it were a game.
Guthrie completed the fourth on six pitches.
Adam Warren replaced Hughes to start the fifth. Hughes gave up two runs and four hits in his abbreviated outing.
“He had already thrown a lot and with him coming back second, it would have been an hour-and-15-minute break for him,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I wasn’t real comfortable bringing him back after an hour or so.”
Hughes would’ve liked to stay if only because he finally felt as if he had got in a groove after the second.
“It’s tough. I felt like I really found something,” he said. In the third and fourth innings I felt pretty good, but that’s baseball.”
Passed over for the Home Run Derby last year at the All-Star game in Kansas City by AL captain Robinson Cano, Butler sent a drive the opposite way to right field leading off the second. Fans relentlessly booed Cano at Butler’s home field during the competition last July. Captain of the AL home run team again this year, Cano again did not choose Butler — the Orioles’ Chris Davis and Detroit’s Prince Fielder were his first two picks announced Monday. But it would be hard to object this time. Butler’s long ball was only his seventh — and he’s not on the All-Star team.
An out later, Mike Moustakas lined an opposite-field double to left, and Lough made it 2-0 with a shot that just landed fair down the third base line for a double the opposite way.
Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson helped preserve the 3-0 lead in sixth when he made a diving catch of Almonte’s sinking liner in right-center with Gardner on first.
“I think the game was won with the Dyson play,” Guthrie said.
Giavotella drove in a run in the seventh, and Gordon and Escobar had back-to-back RBIs in the ninth.
NOTES: When asked if SS Derek Jeter (broken ankle) could return to the Yankees this weekend, manager Joe Girardi said, “There’s always a chance. You just have to see how he does the next three or four days.” Jeter went 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored in five innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday. ... The Royals are moving Bruce Chen (3-0, 2.41) into the starting rotation and shifting Luis Mendoza (2-5, 4.87). Chen will start Friday against Cleveland.
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