CINCINNATI — The Great American Ball Park scoreboard often taunts opposing pitchers with ghosts and the message “Walks will haunt.”
Tim Adleman didn’t need the reminder Wednesday night.
The Cincinnati rookie right-hander walked three Milwaukee batters and they all scored while the Brewers were building a 4-0 lead on their way to a 7-0 victory.
“I buried myself tonight,” Adleman said. “I was a bit too erratic, and that was a result of me being way too fine. They are good professional hitters. I don’t want to take anything away from them, but I gave them too much credit. I should have attacked them instead trying to make too good of pitches. It is frustrating when I think I kind of beat myself out there.”
Scooter Gennett and Domingo Santana homered, Manny Pina drove in two runs and Chris Carter scored all three times he walked. The Brewers made the most of six hits and six walks to avoid a series sweep and snap Cincinnati’s five-game winning streak, a run that matched the Reds’ season high.
“We walked six guys and five scored,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I think we hit more balls on the screws than they did but they took advantage of walks.
The shutout was the second of the series between the NL Central rivals. Cincinnati won 3-0 on Monday.
Junior Guerra (9-3), in his third start since coming off the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, allowed just one baserunner past second base — Jose Peraza on a one-out triple in the third inning. Guerra bounced back to strike out Tyler Holt and get Joey Votto to ground out to first baseman Chris Carter.
Guerra allowed just three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings. He also hit a batter.
Corey Knebel, Jhan Marinez and Taylor Jungmann each pitched an inning to complete Milwaukee’s seventh shutout, matching last season’s total.
Carter and Gennett drew back-to-back walks to start the second inning and Santana singled to load the bases with nobody out against Adleman (2-4). Carter and Gennett scored on Pina’s bases-loaded soft single to left field.
Adleman walked Carter with two outs in the third inning and had two strikes on Gennett before the second unloaded his 12th homer of the season into the first row of the right field seats.
Santana broke the game open with a two-out three-run shot in eighth off Ross Ohlendorf, Santana’s eighth of the season. The two runners he drove in ahead of him both reached on walks.
Adleman allowed three hits and four runs with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings to slip to 0-3 over his last four starts.
Price believes Adleman was better than his numbers.
“You look at his body of work,” Price said. “He only has 51 innings, so it’s hard to tell, but take the second inning. He had two walks then soft contact, soft contact and they had two runs.
“After the home run by Gennett we were never able to get back in the game.”
RHP Abel De Los Santos became in the sixth inning the franchise-record 31st pitcher used by the Reds this season. The previous record of 30 was set in 2003.
Cincinnati pitchers teamed up to hold the top three batters in Milwaukee’s lineup to a combined 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts and a walk.
Carter has missed just two of Milwaukee’s 146 games this season. He is four games shy of matching the career high of 148 he set in 2013 with Houston.
Brewers: SS Orlando Arcia and CF Keon Broxton collided in short left-center field trying to track down Peraza’s bloop single. LF Braun scooped up the ball and threw Peraza out trying to stretch the single into a double. Arcia and Broxton stayed in the game.
Reds: 3B Eugenio Suarez was hit by a pitch in the left elbow leading off the second inning. He stayed in the game.
Brewers: Milwaukee’s 11-game trip continues Thursday with the first of four against the Cubs in Chicago. RHP Jimmy Nelson (7-14) is 0-6 with a 3.59 ERA in 11 career games against Chicago.
Reds: After taking Thursday off, Cincinnati opens a four-game series against Pittsburgh that includes a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. RHP Robert Stephenson (2-1) will start the opener for the Reds.