Rowdy Tellez's homers and Garrett Mitchell's defense save the day for the Brewers against the Reds

Brandon Woodruff, just as he did at Coors Field last week, walked off the mound following an excellent outing with a five-run lead and a pitch count just over 90 on the day.

This time, the Milwaukee Brewers made it count. Barely.

The Brewers did what they needed to do to remain afloat in their chase for a playoff spot, pouncing on pitching of the lowly Cincinnati Reds early and hanging on for dear life for a 7-6 win Sunday at American Family Field.

"He's been one of our aces. We have a lot of them here," Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez. "He's been throwing lights-out. We kind of let him down in Colorado but then he came back, bounced back and threw another good game."

The Reds plated a pair of runs against Brewers closer Devin Williams in the ninth and would have tied the game had it not been for center fielder Garrett Mitchell's all-out diving catch to rob TJ Friedl of a two-run single with one out.

"I just kind of let instincts take over in that situation," Mitchell said.

Instincts – and speed.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Box score: Brewers 7, Reds 6

Mitchell was shaded to right-center with the lefty Friedl at the plate and had to go gap-to-gap to track down the ball. He appeared to have his steps lined up as it hung in the air to have a chance at a diving catch and came up with the ball.

"I did, actually," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of whether or not he thought Mitchell would catch it off the bat. "The ball was up there for a little while and we know how we runs, so I thought he had a pretty good shot at catching it."

One batter later, Jonathan India struck out on a Williams fastball – his fifth strikeout of the game – to secure a win that should have come much easier thanks to an early barrage by the offense.

Tellez hit a pair of homers to reach 30 long balls on the season as the top of Milwaukee’s order accounted for all the damage en route to the series win.

Brewers designated hitter Rowdy Tellez hits a solo home run in the fourth inning Sunday at American Family Field.
Brewers designated hitter Rowdy Tellez hits a solo home run in the fourth inning Sunday at American Family Field.

"It means a lot," Tellez said. "It means a lot in my career to get to 30. I always believed I could do it, but to do it somewhere that's meaningful here to me in Milwaukee, to do it in front of a home crowd in front of a lot of people, it's a cool feeling. It was a really good feeling to get to 30 with an organization that believes in me."

Willy Adames hit a two-run homer in the second against Reds starting pitcher Justin Dunn, who allowed six earned runs and lasted just three innings, while Christian Yelich singled and scored from the leadoff spot in each of his first two plate appearances.

Tellez drove in Yelich and Adames with a double in the bottom of the first, then added solo homers in the second and fourth. It was the first baseman’s fifth multi-homer game of the season.

On Tuesday in Colorado, Woodruff turned in seven innings of one-run work before giving way to the bullpen with a 6-1 lead and having thrown 91 pitches. The Brewers bullpen immediately surrendered the lead as Luis Perdomo surrendered four runs without recording an out and Peter Strzelecki gave up a tying homer. The Brewers went on to lose, 10-7, in 10 innings.

Not Sunday.

Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff  struck out 11 batters against the Reds on Sunday at American Family Field.
Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff struck out 11 batters against the Reds on Sunday at American Family Field.

The Reds scored a pair of runs against Strzelecki before he recorded an out in the seventh but, while it came very close, the rest of the game didn’t follow the script from Coors Field.

Taylor Rogers worked a scoreless eighth and Williams picked up the save — despite the first three batters of the top of the ninth reaching base — to make a winner of Woodruff, who was sharp yet again.

The Brewers righthander struck out 11 batters over his six innings of work to register his 15th career double-digit strikeout game and fourth of the season. Since returning from the injured list, Woodruff has an earned run average of 2.69 to go along with a record of 5-1 in 14 starts.

"He's been pitching very well for a long time," Counsell said. "Since he came back from the injury, he's been pitching at a very high level."

More: For the second straight day, Brewers place a starting pitcher on the IL

More: Brewers place Freddy Peralta on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation

The Brewers will lean heavily on Woodruff  (10-4) and fellow top-of-the-rotation arm Corbin Burnes down the stretch as they attempt to piece together a starting rotation missing Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer and Aaron Ashby. The aces delivered on this homestand, combining to strike out 25 and allowing three runs over 14 innings.

Milwaukee (75-66) will need more of that from Woodruff and Burnes – and myriad other players, as well – over the final 21 games as the Brewers attempt to hunt down the final wild card spot in the National League.

"I'm confident those guys will deliver," Counsell said. "There's a bunch of guys that have heavy lifting here coming up. We got to win a bunch of games. We're chasing. We're counting on a lot of people."

Subscribe to our Milwaukee Brewers newsletter for updates on the team.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at

DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Rowdy Tellez's homers, Garrett Mitchell's catch save Brewers vs. Reds