The Reds sweep the D-back for the first time since 2012

CINCINNATI – Being beaten by the Brewers either side of the All-Star break would have been an extinction-level event for the Reds’ postseason aspirations. Instead, they turned it into a rallying moment before heading into the next showdown in Milwaukee.

The Reds completed a three-game sweep of the D linebacker with a 7-3 win Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park, extending their winning streak to five games after enduring a six-game losing streak — including a four-game losing streak to the Brewers.

“Astronomical. It’s huge,” right fielder Jake Fraley said. “After stretches like that, I feel like he makes a little fork in the road for us. Which way are we going to go?”

In National League Central, the second-place Reds (55-46) trail the Brewers (55-45) by half a game after Milwaukee lost two of three to Atlanta at the weekend. Now the Reds and Brewers will meet for the first of three games on Monday at American Family Field.

“It’s really important,” said left fielder Nick Senzel, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning. “I think every series now is so important. I feel like this is the team we’re going to fight with until the end. They beat us. We’re excited to play it. We’re kind of excited to get back at them. We want another crack at them. It’s going to be a big series.”

The Reds are 2-8 vs. the Brewers this season.

Every time they’ve faced the Brewers this season, the Reds have won the series that preceded it and emerged strong on the other side after being slumped by the Crew. In June, after losing three of four at home to Milwaukee, Cincinnati took two of three from the Dodgers to start a 12-game winning streak.

After their last 1-5 stretch against the Brewers, the Reds split a four-game series against the Giants and then swept the series from a D-back for the first time since 2012.

“If you want to be where you want to be at the end of the year — win a division, go to the playoffs, make some noise in the playoffs — I feel like you’ve got to face some adversity throughout the season,” said Fraley.

The series finale against Arizona was deadlocked at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Fraley’s RBI single into right cornerback scored on Spencer Steer’s home run from first base. The Reds added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, including a Christian Encarnacion-Strand single with the bases loaded.

Cincinnati led 3-0 in the early innings. Leading in the bottom of the first inning against Jose Ruiz, Eli de la Cruz put it up 3-1 on a home run to right field—his fifth of the season and first lead of his short major league career. It came after a day off due to a set back by de la Cruz, who swings 4 for 39.

Already a surprising contender after a 62-100 season in 2022, the Reds have been tested after a 7-15 start this year. Despite a period of rebuilding, the young club has coalesced into a hungry group that fears no opposing team or player.

Since it was eight games under . 500 on April 24, the Reds have gone 48-31. But their 5-2 record since they last faced Milwaukee could be another turning point in 2023.

“More important than how you respond to wins is how you respond to failures,” Bell said. “I couldn’t have asked for our team to handle that better. It all happened in one house, really. Now we just have to keep going. We crawled out of that, fought our way out of it and that’s all you can ask for. It goes a long way.”

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