MILWAUKEE (AP)—Salomon Torres rarely has blown a lead for Milwaukee this year. With the team slumping, the Brewers’ closer picked a bad time to have his worst outing of the season.
“We’re not automatic, unfortunately,” said Torres, who had not given up more than two runs in a game all year before Monday night. “That’s the way it is. I will be the first one to admit I picked the wrong time to give up three runs.”
With the loss, the Brewers’ lead in the NL wild-card race shrunk to three games over the Phillies with 18 games left. Philadelphia beat Florida 8-6. The Brewers and Phillies start a key four-game series beginning Thursday in Philadelphia.
It was only the seventh blown save for Torres in 33 save opportunities. In his previous 11 outings, Torres had given up only one earned run.
“If this was the last game of the season and prevented us from going to the playoffs then everybody would be crying. But, now, we still have time,” he said. “We can’t let this bother us. As much as we wanted to come out on top, it didn’t happen.”
Torres (6-5) has been the consistently strong reliever in a Brewers bullpen that has labored at times this season. He took over closer duties in May when Eric Gagne struggled and subsequently went on the disabled list.
Torres said he almost caught the ball, but it hit him in the left foot.
“Superman doesn’t make that play, Mighty Mouse doesn’t make it either,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “We kind of got lucky that it hit his foot because it was probably going to go up the middle (into the outfield) and score two runs.”
Keppinger then hit a shot past left fielder Ryan Braun to the base of the wall, scoring Castillo and Dickerson to give the Reds the lead for good.
The Brewers have lost six of eight.
“You keep grinding until you pull out (of a slump), Yost said. “They’re going through some tough times but they’re grinding.”
Joey Votto hit his 19th homer for Cincinnati.
Milwaukee starter Dave Bush allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings.
Cincinnati starter Edinson Volquez pitched 5 2-3 innings, giving up four runs and five hits with three walks while striking out 10.
“He was throwing the ball well,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. “Glad we got that loss off of Volquez. He was throwing the ball good except for the solo homer and two-run homer.”
The Reds also loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, but failed to score. Paul Bako hit a bouncer back to Bush, who threw home to Kendall for the force to start a double play. Volquez then popped out weekly to first to end the inning.
Prince Fielder’s RBI groundout made it 1-0 Milwaukee in the first. Castillo’s RBI single tied it in the second for the Reds.
The Reds activated INF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. from the 15-day DL before the game. … The Reds said they would recall six minor leaguers from Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday. The team expected to recall INFs Paul Janish, Danny Richar, Adam Rosales, RHPs Jon Adkins and Josh Roenicke, and LHPs Daniel Ray Herrera and Adam Pettyjohn. Louisville was eliminated from the International League playoffs on Sunday. … Milwaukee CF Mike Cameron returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore knee.