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CINCINNATI (AP) — Reds rookie David Holmberg is already looking ahead to next year. And because of the way he pitched, so are the Milwaukee Brewers.
Holmberg threw six solid innings as Cincinnati officially ended Milwaukee's postseason hopes with a 5-3 win on Thursday.
Milwaukee's loss meant the San Francisco Giants clinched a playoff spot.
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.
"I'm getting more comfortable," said Holmberg, acquired from Arizona last winter. "I feel good going into spring training next year. It gives me confidence to compete against teams in our division."
With Billy Hamilton out of the lineup after sustaining a mild concussion making a catch the day before, Brandon Phillips led off and Yorman Rodriguez played center field.
Phillips hit his first home run in almost three months and Rodriguez had two hits, including a go-ahead single.
Jay Bruce had three hits and drove in a run as the Reds sent 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.
Cincinnati manager Bryan Price is getting a good look at the organizations young players.
"Holmberg gave a terrific effort," Price said. "Rodriguez has a really nice approach and doesn't try to force the ball to his pull side. We are seeing a real good athlete with good baseball instincts."
Rodriguez was signed as a 16-year old and at 22 is in the big leagues for the first time.
"It is a good experience," said Rodriguez, who also bunted for a hit. "I have learned a lot and have talked to the veterans here. I want to show my best when I get the opportunity."
Sam LeCure allowed a run in the seventh inning before Jumbo Diaz coaxed Ryan Braun into an inning-ending groundout in a nine-pitch at bat. Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 35th save.
Phillips chased Gallardo 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.
The Brewers committed three errors, including two in the fifth when the Reds took a 3-2 lead. Second baseman Rickie Weeks committed two of the errors after giving Milwaukee a 1-0 lead with his eighth homer in the second inning.
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.
Brewers: Manager Ron Roenicke wants Jonathan 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: Hamilton already was scheduled to be off Thursday before he banged his head on the outfield wall padding while making a leaping catch to rob Braun of a home run.
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.
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).
Chapman has struck out 101 in 52 innings. He was on pace to set a major league record with 17.65 strikeouts per nine innings, coming into the game. Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves had 16.66 in 2012.
The Reds' trainer visited Chapman after he struck out Weeks to start the ninth but he remained in the game to complete the save with two groundouts. "He was just having trouble getting loose," Price said.
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