Reds 5, Brewers 2

Dusty Baker thinks Joey Votto needs a day off. The Cincinnati

slugger sure looked fit in the eighth inning Monday night.

Votto and Scott Rolen homered on back-to-back pitches in the

eighth to break open a tie game and lead the Cincinnati Reds to a

5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Reds widened their lead in the National League Central

improve to seven games over the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost 4-0

to the Florida Marlins. Cincinnati’s magic number for clinching

their first NL Central title since 1995 is six.

”They want it badly, and some of the guys need a rest badly,

like Joey in particular,” the Reds manager said. ”He’s operating

on fumes, but perhaps we’ll win tomorrow and (the Cardinals) lose

and then maybe I can give him a day off on Wednesday. He’s


”He’s certainly done his job big-time,” Baker said. ”He’s

carried a major portion of this load down the stretch.”

Cincinnati’s Francisco Cordero pitched a perfect ninth for his

37th save in 45 chances.

Aroldis Chapman retired both batters he faced in the eighth,

hitting 100 mph on the stadium radar gun in getting Casey McGehee

to fly out harmlessly to right to end the inning.

The game was tied at 2 in the eighth when Orlando Cabrera, who

had three hits, singled with one out. Votto followed with a

towering, opposite-field homer over the Goodwill sign in


Rolen followed with his 20th home run on the next pitch from

Kameron Loe (3-5), lifting Cincinnati to its eighth win in nine

games against Milwaukee this season.

It was Votto’s 35th homer and came after he exchanged words with

home plate umpire Joe West in the first and sixth innings after

striking out looking. He also grounded into a double play in the

third inning.

”Every at-bat is its own battle,” Votto said. ”I try not to

take previous at-bats into following at-bats. I didn’t have a very

good game going into that point, but that’s why we play all nine


Said Baker: ”That’s what (MVP candidates) do. A lof times, they

limp out there and then they do something fantastic, and then they

limp back in.”

Votto is hitting .457 against the Brewers this season with 12

RBI. Rolen is hitting .480 against Milwaukee with 11 RBI.

”Right handers, left handers, he wears them both out,” Brewers

manager Ken Macha said of Votto. ”I think he hit that ball that

wound up in the second deck, so his power is just frightening. It’s

a force to deal with in the middle of that lineup, and with Rolen

hitting behind him, too, that’s pretty good help for him.”

Drew Stubbs also homered for the Reds, who moved to 56-27

against teams below .500. They are 29-39 against those with winning


Nick Masset (4-4) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings to get the win

for the Reds.

Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey pitched well after leaving his

start on Wednesday against Arizona with dizziness. He gave up two

runs, six hits and three walks in six innings, striking out


”I felt pretty good out there,” Bailey said. ”It was good to

come back. Every now and then I think a pitcher needs those games

where he’s got to work. Throwing that many pitches and walking that

many guys definitely tested me out.”

Chris Capuano was just as strong with his fourth straight solid

start for Milwaukee, striking out a season-high seven in six

innings. He gave up four hits and three walks and threw a

season-high 105 pitches – his most pitches since Aug. 19, 2007.

Before this season, Capuano had not pitched in a major league

game since Sept. 28, 2007, after having his second Tommy John


”Physically, this is about the best I’ve felt,” Capuano said.

”This is something I really wanted … the opportunity to get a

few to several starts in at the end of this year. It’s just been

great to get out there and to feel good and to feel healthy.”

The Reds went up 2-0 in the second, as Jonny Gomes singled and

Stubbs smacked his 20th homer and fifth in his last 12 games.

Milwaukee made it 2-1 in the third, when Ryan Braun’s RBI

groundout scored Rickie Weeks, who had walked. The Brewers tied it

in the fifth, as Weeks led off with a double and scored on Braun’s

double two batters later.

Braun came into the game batting .388 since August 1, best in

the majors.

The Reds retired the last 14 batters after Braun’s double.

Notes: Capuano has a 2.58 ERA over his last four starts and has

lowered his season ERA to 3.99. … Weeks is the first Brewers

leadoff hitter with 100 runs scored in a season since Fernando Vina

had 101 in 1998. … All-Star Reds 2B Brandon Phillips came into

the game hitting .132 (9 for 68) with no home runs and two RBIs in

his last 16 games, since he returned to the lineup after missing

six starts after being hit on the right hand with a pitch. He was

0-for-4 Monday. … Brewers RHP Dave Bush (2-4, 7.07 ERA in his

career against the Reds) starts for Milwaukee against Cincinnati

RHP Edinson Volquez Tuesday.