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Brewers try to avoid three-game slide
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Brewers aim to avoid their first three- game losing streak of the season on Friday night as they resume a four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Brewers have the best record in baseball at 20-9, but dropped the finale of a three-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday before suffering a 8-3 setback to the Reds last night.
Milwaukee had won nine of 11 before the two setbacks, which have both come on the road to drop the Brewers to 11-3 as the guest.
The Reds snapped a 3-3 tie with a five-run eighth inning that was ignited by Brayan Pena's pinch-hit, two-run homer.
"I was very excited because I didn't want to let the skipper down, you know, because he trusts me in that big situation," Pena said.
Todd Frazier later worked a bases-loaded walk in the frame and Ryan Ludwick added a two-run single to further dent the Brewers' bullpen.
Frazier also had a two-run homer in the game and Tucker Barnhart hit the first home run of his career for a Reds club that had lost four of five but pulled within a game of .500 (13-14).
Jonathan Broxton fired a scoreless ninth to back eight strong innings from Homer Bailey (2-2), who surrendered three runs on eight hits and a walk to notch the win.
"When he's on he's tough and early on I thought he threw a nice ballgame," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Bailey.
Carlos Gomez hit a two-run double for the Brewers, while Marco Estrada allowed three runs on six hits and four walks over six innings in a no-decision.
While Milwaukee remains without outfielder Ryan Braun due to a strained right oblique, Cincinnati lost rookie center fielder Billy Hamilton to injury in the first inning of Thursday's opener. Hamilton jammed two of his fingers on a diving catch and is day-to-day, but unlikely to play tonight.
Mike Leake takes the hill for the Reds and is coming off his first loss since his season debut on April 4 as he was bested 4-1 by the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. He was drilled for three homers over seven innings, including a two- run shot in the first frame and back-to-back solo shots in the third.
Leake nearly gave up three straight homers in the frame, but Ludwick pulled one back.
The right-handed Leake is 2-2 with a 3.82 earned run average on the season and 1-0 with a 4.55 ERA in five versus the Brewers.
Wily Peralta counters for the Brewers and he had a four-start unbeaten streak to begin the season snapped with a 4-0 defeat to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. The righty allowed three runs on a season-high eight hits in seven innings of work, fanning six while allowing a homer for the fifth time in as many starts.
Peralta, who turns 25 on May 8, is 3-1 on the season with a 2.56 ERA and 1-3 in his career against the Reds with a 3.86 ERA.
Cincinnati has gone 14-5 at home versus Milwaukee since the start of the 2012 campaign.
05/02 11:02:14 ET