MILWAUKEE — A Monday that started badly for the Milwaukee Brewers couldn’t have ended in more disappointing fashion.
Hours after learning pitcher Brandon Woodruff could be lost for six weeks with a left oblique strain, Eugenio Suarez hit a pair of home runs, including a two-run, go-ahead shot in the ninth inning off Jeremy Jeffress, as the Cincinnati Reds rallied for a 6-5 victory at Miller Park.
Suarez had given Cincinnati a 4-1 lead when he took Adrian Houser deep with two outs in the seventh.
The Brewers took the lead right back an inning later when Tyler Saladino connected on a first-pitch fastball from Rasiel Iglesias for his second grand slam in as many days, snapping an 0-for-8 drought with runners in scoring position for Milwaukee.
With Josh Hader unavailable after working in each of Milwaukee’s previous two games, Jeffress (3-3) got the call for the ninth. He struck out pinch hitter Derek Dietrich to open the inning before giving up a single to Nick Senzel, putting the tying run aboard.
Senzel moved to second on Joey Votto’s groundout to bring up Suarez, who sent Jeffress’ second offering — a fastball right down the middle — to left for his ninth home run of the month and 27th of the season.
Wandy Peralta (1-1) retired both batters he faced to get the victory and Jared Hughes got the final out to earn his first save.
Reds starter Sonny Gray went six innings and allowed just a run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven. He’s allowed two or fewer runs while working at least six innings in each of his last five starts.
Right-hander Chase Anderson struck out six over 5⅔ innings for Milwaukee. He was charged with two runs on seven hits and two walks and took a no-decision for the fourth time in his past five starts.
Woodruff allowed four runs in three innings at Arizona on Sunday before exiting after throwing two pitches in the fourth. He underwent an MRI and was placed on the 10-day injured list. Right-handed reliever Burch Smith was recalled from Class AAA San Antonio.
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“Less than 24 hours out, we’re looking at six weeks. That’s probably our best guess,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Kind of what we expected. Obviously, that’s significant and he’s going to miss some time. He’ll do his best and we’ll do our best to get him back as fast as we can.”
Woodruff (11-3, 3.75 ERA) has been the team’s most effective starter. Milwaukee is 16-4 in games he started.
Woodruff’s 11 victories are tied for second in the N.L. He leads the team in victories, innings pitched (117⅔) and strikeouts (136). Woodruff also was hitting .267 with four doubles and four RBIs and was used a pinch hitter five times.
“That’s it right there,” Counsell said. “He’s pitched well enough for us to be 16-4. It’s obviously a really good record and it’s because he’s pitched well and swung the bat well. So we’re going to miss that for sure. But this is the big leagues and there’s injuries we have to recover from and thrive from them.”
Counsell did not name a replacement for Woodruff in the rotation.
“We’ve got to fill in around him,” Counsell said. “That’s what we’re going to have to do. I think we can and I think we’ll look at all ways we can do that. With both who we’ve got personnel-wise and the schedule does allow us to do some things and we’ll try to take advantage of that.”
Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura was scratched from the starting lineup before the game with a sore quad but appeared as a pinch hitter in the eighth, drawing a four-pitch walk before he was replaced by a pinch runner.
The series continues Tuesday night with Reds right-hander Tanner Roark (5-6, 3.97 ERA) facing off against Milwaukee right-hander Zach Davies (8-2, 2.79). Davies has a 0.77 ERA over his last four starts while Roark is 1-0 with a 4.24 ERA in four starts against the Brewers this season.