MILWAUKEE — Willy Adames and Andrew McCutchen each hit a two-run homer, and Adrian Houser allowed one hit in six innings as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 on Saturday night.
Houser (6-9) permitted a leadoff double by José Barrero in the third and a sacrifice fly by TJ Friedl — but nothing more. The right-hander turned a 2-1 lead over to the bullpen, and the Brewers easily held on.
“It feels great,” said Houser, who was on the injured list from July 7 to Aug. 23 with a right flexor strain. “Just being able to see some results from all the work we’ve been putting in, especially through all the rehab and stuff.”
It was a timely effort on the mound for Milwaukee, which is three games behind San Diego for the final National League wild card.
“To deliver six innings and give us a good shot to win, a start where we could get some rest for some guys in the bullpen who needed it, that was a big-time performance and much needed,” manager Craig Counsell said.
Taylor Rogers worked a 1-2-3 seventh, Matt Bush struck out the side in the eighth and Brad Boxberger handled the ninth for the Brewers.
"We just pitched so well tonight,” Counsell said. “The bullpen also did a great job. Three guys out of the bullpen and no hits, no baserunners. Pitching was the story of the night.”
Houser came in 3-4 with a 5.73 ERA in 14 games against the Reds, including 11 starts.
“He’s pitched some really good games against us,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “We’ve gotten to him before, but tonight he pitched really a great game.”
Adames connected off Chase Anderson (0-3) in the first inning for his 27th home run, tying Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers for most in the majors by a shortstop.
“It’s huge,” Houser said. “Getting that early 2-0 lead gets you some confidence going to just go out there and attack the strike zone.”
McCutchen hit his 16th homer in the eighth after Hunter Renfroe doubled off Joel Kuhnel.
Milwaukee made it 3-1 in the seventh. Tyrone Taylor legged out a triple when his drive to left field skipped under Jake Fraley's glove and rolled all the way to the wall. Taylor came home when Christian Yelich slapped a base hit through a drawn-in infield.
The Brewers had the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth but failed to score. Fernando Cruz relieved Reiver Sanmartin and retired Renfroe on a fly to center.
Anderson struck out five, walked three and gave up just the one hit by Adames over four innings in his third start since the Reds signed the former Brewers pitcher (2016-19) to a minor league contract on Aug. 27. It was his longest outing this season.
“Other than the home run to Adames, he really did a really nice job,” Bell said. “He's still building back into being a starter.”
YOU'RE OUTTA HERE
Bell was ejected in the top of the eighth by plate umpire Jeff Nelson for arguing balls and strikes. It was his fourth ejection of the season and 20th of his career.
Reds: RHP Graham Ashcroft (right biceps) is scheduled for a rehab assignment Wednesday at Double-A Chattanooga. He’ll be on a 50-pitch limit. … C Aramis Michael Garcia (left middle finger) continues to make progress. His next step is live batting practice. “He’s getting there,” Bell said. “We’re running out of time, but I still think he has a chance to play this year.”
Brewers: LHP Aaron Ashby (left shoulder) is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday or Monday. … RHP Trevor Gott (right forearm) will likely pitch at Class A Appleton on Sunday and, if all goes well, he’ll move up to Triple-A Nashville.
REDS ROSTER MOVES
RHP Luke Farrell, claimed off waivers Friday from the Chicago Cubs, was added to the 28-man roster and RHP Art Warren was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
BREWERS ROSTER MOVES
LHP Eric Lauer, who is 10-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 26 starts this season, was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 8, with left elbow inflammation. RHP Trevor Kelley was recalled from Nashville.
Reds: RHP Justin Dunn (1-2, 4.82 ERA) makes his seventh start of the season and first ever against Milwaukee. A right shoulder strain kept him off the mound until Aug. 8 when he made his Reds and season debut in a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets.
Brewer: RHP Brandon Woodruff (9-4, 3.41) makes his 23rd start and third against the Reds this season. He is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in those two previous outings against Cincinnati.