CINCINNATI — Corbin Burnes returned to All-Star form, pitching sharply into the ninth inning and leading the Milwaukee Brewers over the Cincinnati Reds 8-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
The Brewers stretched their NL Central lead to seven games over second-place Cincinnati. The Reds won three of four at Milwaukee last weekend.
Burnes (5-4) dominated in his first outing since he was the losing pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, when he went two innings and gave up two runs, including a 468-foot homer by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Burnes struck out 12 while allowing five hits and a walk in 8 1/3 innings, and finished with a 2.16 ERA. He didn’t allow a runner past first base until Cincinnati loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on two singles and an error.
Reliever Angel Perdomo came on to strike out Eugenio Suárez and Kyle Farmer to preserve the shutout.
Christian Yelich hit a solo homer in the seventh and Willy Adames added a two-run shot in the ninth. Tyrone Taylor and Jackie Bradley Jr. each drove in two runs in a four-run fifth.
Sonny Gray (2-5), who has been on and off the injured list with strained muscles around his rib cage, got the start and did fine until the Brewers got busy in the fifth inning.
Taylor’s bases-loaded, two-out single brought home two runs and Bradley tripled in two more.
Brewers: There was no update on RHP Brad Boxberger, who had to leave Saturday night’s game with shoulder stiffness after pitching to one batter in the eighth.
Reds: All-Star right fielder Nick Castellanos missed a second game since getting hit by a pitch on the right wrist. Manager David Bell said he’s not expected to be out much longer. … The extent of the hamstring injury to right-hander Michael Lorenzen is still to be determined. He pitched a scoreless inning on Saturday night in his first action of the year after nursing a sore shoulder, but pulled up lame while scoring the tying run in the 10th inning. … Gray was activated from the injured list before the game and INF Alejo Lopez was sent to Triple-A Louisville to make roster room.
Brewers: After an off day, Eric Lauer (3-4, 3.83) will be on the mound in the opener of a two-game series with the Royals in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Left-hander Mike Minor (6-8, 5.67) is scheduled to start for Kansas City. Lauer threw six innings of one-run ball in a 2-0 loss to the Reds July 9. Minor was tagged for six runs and nine hits through four innings in a 14-6 loss to the Indians July 10.
Reds: The New York Mets come to town Monday for a three-game set, with right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez (4-3, 4.29) going for the Reds. Gutierrez had a good outing in a win over the Brewers in Milwaukee on July 10, allowing just a run on five hits through six innings. The Mets are shuffling their rotation given the latest injury — a tight forearm — to ace Jacob deGrom.
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