Votto homers, Reds beat split-squad Brewers 5-2

Joey Votto hit a two-run homer, an encouraging sign that he’s

progressing in his recovery from knee surgery that robbed him of

his power last season, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the split-squad

Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Monday.

Votto didn’t homer after June 24 last season. He missed 48 games

after tearing cartilage in his knee, and was reduced to hitting

mostly singles when he returned because the knee wasn’t fully

healed.

He connected in the third inning off Robert Wooten. Votto also

had an RBI groundout off Tyler Thornburg, a third-round draft pick

in 2010 who is trying to win a spot in the Brewers’ revamped

rotation.

Right fielder Jay Bruce was scratched from the Reds’ lineup

after batting practice because of a sore right heel.