MILWAUKEE -- With an eight-run lead through four innings, the last thing Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price expected to need was a nerve-wracking save from Raisel Iglesias.
But baseball works in funny ways sometimes so after the Reds saw their lead dwindle to a run, Tucker Barnhart provided some breathing room with a late home run and Iglesias bent but didn't break over the final two innings as Cincinnati escaped with an 11-10 victory over the Milwauee Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park.
"You have some of those each year, when you get a big lead but the other team comes back and steals a game from you." Price said. "That one reeked of Milwaukee coming back and stealing one from us."
After Zack Cozart's solo homer in the first, the Reds put six on the board in the third inning and added three more in the fourth against Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, who was charged with 10 runs (nine earned) on 11 hits and three walks in just 3 2/3 innings.
The Brewers offense had been silent most of the game, save for a two-run home run from Manny Pina in the second, despite a laborious effort from Cincinnati's Homer Bailey.
Bailey went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and five walks with five strikeouts. Blake Wood took over to start the sixth and gave up a lead off single to pinch-hitter Eric Sogard, another to Orlando Arcia and one more to Hernan Perez, which drove in Sogard to make it a 10-3 game.
Jonathan Villar followed with yet another base hit, putting two on with nobody out for Eric Thames, who blasted a 3-2 slider to center for his 26th home run -- and ninth of the year against the Reds.
Cincinnati turned to Michael Lorenzen but he didn't fare much better.
Ryan Braun reached on a base hit and Travis Shaw walked before Lorenzen struck out Domingo Santana for the inning's first out. Pina reached on a base hit, loading the bases, and Milwaukee made it a 10-8 game when Braun came home on a wild pitch.
The Brewers got one more when Sogard bounced into a double play before Lorenzen struck out Arcia to finally end the inning. Barnhart provided some breathing room with a leadoff homer in the seventh.
Milwaukee had a chance to move in front of the eighth, putting two on with two out and Sogard due up. Price gave Iglesias the option of facing either Sogard, a left-handed batter, or slugging first baseman Jesus Aguilar, a right-hander, on deck in the pitcher's spot.
"I felt like if I have a closer, and a pretty savvy one, and with an option to face a right-hander or left-hander, he wanted the right-hander in that situation," Price said. "I'm sure there was some head-scratching going on but I had to go with the best matchup for my pitcher and it seemed to be better right-on-right."
Iglesias wanted the righty, so Sogard got a free pass -- loading the bases -- but the move paid off as Aguilar struck out to end the inning.
"We were going to throw slider after slider until he either hit it, we walked him or we punched him out," Barnhart said. "We liked the matchup."
Villar capped off a three-hit day with a solo home run in the ninth, but Iglesias left the tying run stranded when he struck out Travis Shaw to end it, clinching his 20th save of the year and sixth requiring a two-inning effort.
"We put a heck of a comeback on it," said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell, whose team has lost a season-high six straight games. "Multiple times we put the tying or go-ahead run on base and had multiple shots at tying the game. When you are down eight going into the sixth inning, that's pretty improbable.
"It was a heck of a comeback. It was a lot of fun. There was a lot of energy in it. We just fell a little short."
NOTES: Brewers C Stephen Vogt (left knee strain) began a minor league rehab assignment Friday night with Class A Wisconsin. ... Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said RHP Scott Feldman will return from the disabled list and start Saturday against Milwaukee. Feldman has been sidelined with right knee inflammation since July 18. ... With Feldman returning to the rotation, RHP Sal Romano will start the series finale Sunday while RHP Tim Adleman will move into a long relief role out of the bullpen.
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