MILWAUKEE -- Even while he was maddening coaches, managers, organizations and fans with his offensive inconsistency, Carlos Gomez left little doubt that he was a defensive gem in center field.
On Monday night, continuing what has been a breakout season, Gomez added another gem to his resume, hauling in what would have been a go-ahead home run by Joey Votto to close out the Milwaukee Brewers' 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park.
With two outs in the ninth inning and Xavier Paul representing the tying run at first base, Votto worked Francisco Rodriguez to a 2-2 count before lining a fastball high to dead center. Gomez, who previously pulled back three home runs this season, tracked it all the way, turned and planted in time to make a perfect leap and save the game.
"I was waiting for the ball a little bit because it was really high," Gomez said. "I had to make the decision to jump and grab the fence and get over, but I saw it wasn't going to be too far back so I could jump and get it."
Votto was in disbelief, and he asked second base umpire Mike Everitt to verify that Gomez made the catch.
"Off the bat, I thought it was going to be a non-catch," said Votto, who went 1-for-4 with a walk. "He went up and made the play of the game. I just wanted to confirm (that he caught it). It's my first experience with that."
Gomez's catch preserved the victory for Kyle Lohse, who won his fourth consecutive decision with an effective 6 1/3-inning effort. Lohse (5-6) allowed nine hits and a walk while not recording a strikeout, but he held the Reds to just three runs, recording his seventh quality start in the last eight outings.
"Good ballgame," Brewers manager Roenicke said. "I really liked the way he threw the ball. He keeps us in there. ... Another great outing for him."
Since starting the season 1-6, Lohse is 4-0 with a 2.37 ERA.
"I was battling some elbow issues and some hamstring issues," Lohse said. "I was just trying to take the ball every time out and wasn't able to finish pitches the way I normally do. Once we got into June ... after that, I've been out there doing what I normally do."
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey saw his bid to become the first pitcher to throw back-to-back no-hitters since the Reds' Johnny Vander Meer in 1935 end quickly, as he allowed a one-out base hit to Jean Segura. Bailey wound up throwing 30 pitches in the first inning and falling into a 2-1 hole.
In all, Bailey (5-7) allowed a season-high 10 hits and four runs with three walks, three strikeouts, a balk, a hit batter and a home run. He's lost six of his last eight starts, and he dropped to 1-7 with a 6.02 ERA in 13 career starts against Milwaukee.
"This team has just kind of had my number," Bailey said. "It's one of those unexplainable things, it was just one of those days. I just couldn't find a rhythm."
Reds manager Dusty Baker said, "He battled like a dog. He just couldn't get the third out of innings."
Jonathan Lucroy's two-run home run -- his third home run in as many games -- gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead in the first inning.
The Brewers added another in the second on Segura's double and made it a 4-1 game in the third when Juan Francisco scored from first on Rickie Weeks' double.
Cincinnati got a run back in the fourth on Chris Heisey's fourth home run of the season, then pulled within 4-3 on Paul's RBI single in the seventh.
NOTES: Milwaukee reinstated OF Ryan Braun from the 15-day disabled list before the game. Braun had been out since June 10 with a sore right hand. He didn't play even though he was available to pinch-hit, according to Roenicke. The Brewers also put 3B Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list due to a sprained left knee. ... Cincinnati has won three straight series against the Brewers and six of the last seven. ... Brewers LHP Tom Gorzelanny is being considered for another start after a good outing Sunday. Milwaukee has yet to name a starter for its game Friday in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. ... Bailey was named National League co-Player of the Week on Monday after throwing the first no-hitter of the season July 2.