Brewers eliminated from postseason contention, beaten by Reds 5-3

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CINCINNATI — The Milwaukee Brewers went into their game against Cincinnati on Thursday with their postseason hopes hanging by a thread.

They cut it themselves, committing three errors and wasting a golden scoring chance on the way to a 5-3 loss to the Reds that manager Ron Roenicke described as "sloppy."

Brandon Phillips hit his first home run in almost three months and rookie David Holmberg pitched six solid innings as Cincinnati officially ended the Brewers' postseason hopes.

Milwaukee's loss meant the San Francisco Giants clinched a playoff spot.

"You still want to finish well," Roenicke said. "This game was a killer. It's hard to watch, knowing you could've won the game and you give it away."

The Brewers committed three errors, including two in the fifth when the Reds tied the score and took a 3-2 lead with unearned runs. Second baseman Rickie Weeks committed two of the errors after giving Milwaukee a 1-0 lead with his eighth homer of the season in the second inning.

Jay Bruce got three hits and drove in a run to help send the Brewers to their sixth loss on their nine-game road trip, leaving them 40-41 away from home this season. Milwaukee spent 150 days leading the NL Central this season.

"It's one of those things where we kind of did it to ourselves," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "We had the division lead, then we got complacent. We got what we deserved. We had to play better."

Rookie David Holmberg (2-2) allowed two runs on three hits and a walk to earn his second career win, both in the last 12 days over Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo. The left-hander also had two strikeouts, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.

"I'm getting more confident," Holmberg said. "I'm going out there and attacking guys."

Sam LeCure allowed a run in the seventh inning before Jumbo Diaz coaxed Ryan Braun into an inning-ending ground out in a nine-pitch at bat. Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 35th save.

Phillips knocked Gallardo out of the game with a two-run homer in the sixth, his eighth homer of the season and first since June 28. He hadn't hit a home run in Cincinnati since May 15.

Gallardo (8-11) was roughed up for 10 hits and five runs — three earned — with a walk, four strikeouts and a wild pitch in five innings. He slipped to 0-5 with a 4.06 ERA over his last seven starts to cement his first losing record in seven seasons.

NEW ROLE

Phillips went 2 for 5 in his first appearance of the season in the leadoff slot, lifting his average over his last 15 games to .302 (16 for 53).

FIRST SHOT

Rookie Jason Rogers made his first career start at first base as the Brewers continue searching for a permanent solution at a position they've had trouble filling since Prince Fielder left after the 2011 season. The Brewers even have talked about moving Ryan Braun there, Roenicke said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Brewers: Roenicke wants Lucroy to hit the double that would give him the single-season record for catchers. That would allow Roenicke to give prospects a chance. "Just get a double so I can do what I want," Roenicke groused good-naturedly on Thursday.

Reds: CF Billy Hamilton already was scheduled to get Thursday off before he banged his head on the outfield wall padding while making a leaping catch to rob Ryan Braun of a homer on Wednesday.

ON DECK

Brewers: Milwaukee opens its final home stand of the season with the first of three games against the Cubs. The Brewers are 41-37 at Miller Park.

Reds: The Reds open a three-game series on Friday against a Pittsburgh team trying to improve its postseason situation. Cincinnati is 4-2 against the Pirates at home this season.

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