Brewers 3, Reds 1: With Snoop Dogg watching, Joey Ortiz's three-run homer leads the way (2024)

The vibes were high at American Family Field.

The day began with Snoop Dogg signing Wade Miley's Skechers, calling Bob Uecker on FaceTime, whispering untold baseball secrets into the ear of manager Pat Murphy and dancing with first base coach Quintin Berry as he threw out the first pitch.

"Seemed like a nice man," Murphy said.

Later on, the Milwaukee Brewers got a stellar effort from their pitching staff and a go-ahead three-run home run by Joey Ortiz moments after he tried laying down a sacrifice bunt.

And when the smoke cleared, the Brewers had rolled to a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

All things Brewers: Latest Milwaukee Brewers news, schedule, roster, stats, injury updates and more.

Ortiz's fifth-inning at bat began with him trying to put a bunt down to advance the runners from first and second, but he fouled it back to the netting for Strike 1.

Ortiz reassessed. Two pitches later, he swung away.

The rookie third baseman laced a frozen rope over the head of Reds leftfielder Will Benson and into the Brewers bullpen, a three-run blast on a changeup that caught too much of the plate to break a scoreless tie and provide what would ultimately be the only scoring for Milwaukee on the day.

"I was trying to get one down, fouled it off and then just tried to stay back on whatever else he was throwing," Ortiz said.

Ortiz's attempt to move the runners came less than 24 hours after another ill-advised bunt attempt − Blake Perkins' bunt pop out to send Milwaukee to a deflating 6-5 loss to the Reds on Friday.

Safe to say the Brewers, who are third in baseball in bunts placed, might think twice before squaring around the next time?

"I’ll be thinking to swing in that situation now," Ortiz panned.

It was the sixth homer of the year and second off a lefty for Ortiz, who leads all National League third baseman in OPS and Wins Above Replacement and is making a case to be an all-star next month − as well as making the Corbin Burnes trade with Baltimore a much easier pill to swallow.

"I think the Orioles messed up," Brewers pitcher Bryse Wilson offered candidly. "Obviously they get Corbin, but that’s a generational player right there."

Brewers 3, Reds 1: With Snoop Dogg watching, Joey Ortiz's three-run homer leads the way (1)

Bryse Wilson bounces back with a strong outing

Once again, the opener gambit worked exquisitely for the Brewers.

Bryse Wilson relieved Jared Koenig after he faced the first three batters of the game and went on to throw 5 1/3 scoreless frames, getting the Brewers to the bottom of the sixth with a 3-0 lead.

Wilson struck out six and allowed only three hits and two walks. He was aided by a couple of deft double plays turned by his defense on hard-hit grounders, part of a stout effort by the defense all game that included a pair of slick plays by shortstop Willy Adames in the ninth.

The Reds had six balls hit more than 95 mph off Wilson out of 11 balls in play but only one went for a hit. That wasn't lost on Wilson, whose batting average on balls in play with Milwaukee is more than 60 points lower than what it was in his previous stop in Pittsburgh.

"Throughout my career, I’ve had good defenses and bad defenses," Wilson said. "I will never, ever in my life take this defense for granted. They will certainly save you a bunch of runs. You can appreciate (general manager Matt Arnold) for that. He has put together an incredible defense. Going even further, these guys they really take it personally to be the best defense in baseball."

The opener tactic seems to fit Wilson well, too.

Opponents have an OPS of just .548 the second time through the batting order against Wilson. That number more than doubles to 1.232 the third time through. By having an opener face the opponents' best hitters the first time, it allows Wilson to be able to only face those batters twice by design while still working fairly deeply into games.

"It definitely helps not having to see those top three lefties in the order," Wilson said. "It helps not having to see them three times. It works."

Brewers finally break through against lefty starter

It has mostly been another year that's been a tough go of it for the Brewers against left-handed starting pitching.

In 2023, Milwaukee had a league-worst .670 OPS against lefty starters; that number has only gone down this year as the offense came into Saturday with a .650 OPS within the split. That ranks 24th in baseball with offense across the league.

Reds starter Andrew Abbott was through four scoreless innings thanks to his ability to strand a runner in scoring position each of the first three innings before the Brewers finally cracked him with Ortiz's homer.

Jackson Chourio and Brice Turang led off the inning by drawing full-count walks, bringing Ortiz to the dish with the Brewers sitting on four hits in their last 53 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

The Brewers had just three runs in their last 24 2/3 innings against southpaw starting pitching before Ortiz sent the changeup from Abbott out.

The swing by Ortiz went a long ways in winning the ballgame as well as in alleviating the pressure in the Brewers dugout following Friday's loss, but Murphy is still looking for more from his bats.

"Offensively, we’ve got a ways to go," Murphy said. "It’s something we’ve been pretty good at, so we’ll get it back. We’ll get our edge back."

Brewers schedule

Brewers vs. Reds, 1:10 p.m. Sunday:Milwaukee RHP Colin Rea (5-2, 3.31) vs. Cincinnati RHP Frankie Montas (3-5, 4.55). Broadcasts: TV – Bally Sports Wisconsin. Radio – AM-620.

Brewers 3, Reds 1: With Snoop Dogg watching, Joey Ortiz's three-run homer leads the way (2024)
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