MILWAUKEE — A stinging line drive off the right leg of Cincinnati’s Brandon Finnegan wasn’t enough to stop the left-hander from dominating the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Finnegan pitched five scoreless innings in what likely was his final start of the season, lifting the Reds to a 4-2 victory.
“You don’t want to come out, especially that early in the game, so there was no way I was going to let them take me out,” Finnegan said of being struck on the inside of his right knee. “Luckily, it felt good enough to push through.”
Finnegan (10-11) scattered three hits and struck out four, needing only 54 pitches to get through five innings.
Finnegan took a line drive from Milwaukee’s Hernan Perez in the second. Manager Bryan Price and trainers went to the mound, and Finnegan threw a few practice pitches before facing the next batter to make sure he was all right.
“It got tighter and tighter as the game went on, for sure,” he said. “Sitting between innings wasn’t helping. But when I moved it, it was good enough to keep going.”
Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances.
Finnegan, obtained in the July 2015 trade that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City, is 4-3 with a 2.23 ERA in his last 11 starts. The left-hander has pitched 172 innings this year, up from 105 1/3 innings splitting time between the major and minor leagues in 2015.
“I made it through the season healthy,” he said. “I’m glad I was able to put up the innings I was able to. I wish it was more, but it’s protocol for guys who don’t have that many innings in years past.”
The team indicated in the days before Sunday that it would be Finnegan’s last start, but Price only would say “he was toward the end” of his innings limit after the game.
“If that is his last start, a great way to finish the season,” Price said.
Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta (7-11) pitched six innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on five hits and three walks while striking out five. Banished to the minors on June 12 after a poor start, Peralta returned in August and has made nine starts, going 3-4 with a 3.23 ERA in his second stint with the team.
Scott Schebler had two hits for the Reds, including a double with one out in the first when the Reds took a 2-0 lead on an RBI double by Adam Duvall and an RBI fielder’s choice by Brandon Phillips.
Jose Peraza walked in the third, and later scored on a throwing error by Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado for a 3-0 lead.
The Reds extended the lead to 4-0 in the seventh on a pinch-hit single by Steve Selsky, scoring Eugenio Suarez.
The Brewers scored twice in the seventh off Jumbo Diaz, with Hernan Perez scoring on a throwing error by catcher Ramon Cabrera. Yadiel Rivera’s groundout then scored Orlando Arcia to make it 4-2.
Ryan Braun had a single and triple, and Perez had two singles for Milwaukee. The Brewers went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
It was the final home game for the Brewers, who drew 2,314,614 fans, down 9 percent from 2,542,558 a year ago. Milwaukee went 41-40 at home and is 29-46 on the road.
News reports have indicated that Braun could be traded during the offseason, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation before his final at-bat in the eighth inning, and again after he struck out. He stepped out of the batter’s box and gave a wave to acknowledge the ovation.
“The love and support I’ve received here is more than any athlete could ever hope to get from any fan base,” Braun said. “I think that the people here, at least most of them, recognized that there’s a chance that this was my last home game as a Brewer.”
VOTTO’S DOUBLES MARK
Votto hit his 30th double in the eighth, becoming only the second Reds player with at least 30 doubles in eight different seasons. Pete Rose had 30 doubles in 13 seasons for Cincinnati.
Reds: Price said it was “improbable” that RHP Homer Bailey would pitch again this season. He has been out four weeks with right biceps tenderness.
Brewers: Maldonado returned to the starting lineup after going through concussion protocol. He took a hard foul off his mask on Thursday.
Reds: Tim Adleman (2-4) will pitch Monday night as Cincinnati opens a four-game series at St. Louis, which is vying for an NL wild-card spot.
Brewers: Matt Garza (5-8) will make his 19th start of the year at Texas in an interleague game Monday night.