MILWAUKEE — The Brewers closed within two games of Colorado for the National League’s second wild card with three games left, rallying to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Thursday as Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning.
Milwaukee (84-75) closes the regular season at St. Louis, and the Rockies host the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Brewers are assured of their best record since finishing 96-66 in 2011, when they lost to the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series, Milwaukee’s last playoff appearance.
After Cincinnati tied the score in the sixth on RBI singles by Scooter Gennett against Brent Suter and Jesse Winkler off Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes (5-3) entered with two on and the Reds loaded the bases when the reliever bobbled Jose Peraza’s bunt for an error.
Hughes struck out Adam Duvall and got Stuart Turner to ground into a double play.
Anthony Swarzak worked around three walks in two hitless innings, and Corey Knebel struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 39th save in 45 chances.
Patrick Kivlehan’s fourth-inning homer off Brent Suter put Cincinnati ahead, but Orlando Arcia’s sacrifice fly against Sal Romano (5-8) tied the score in the bottom half. After putting the Brewers ahead, Walker scored on Ryan Braun’s single.
Neil Walker hit an RBI double in the fifth and scored on Ryan Braun’s single for a 3-1 lead.
Milwaukee starter Brent Suter gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings. Romano allowed four runs — three earned — and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The Brewers surpassed 2.5 million in attendance for the 10th time in 11 seasons. Many fans stuck around after the game and gave the team a lengthy standing ovation. Brewers players stood in front of the dugout and acknowledged the fans, and some players threw their caps into the crowd.