CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto bolstered his case for the All-Star Game with another big swing.
Votto hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth inning, helping the last-place Cincinnati Reds top the Milwaukee Brewers 8-6 on Tuesday night.
“I do think Votto should be on the All-Star team,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I voted for him. I’m not that guy. I vote for the guys I think deserve it. Instead of looking at the statistics, we’re blessed to see him play every day. The power is great. There are so many parts to his game that I’m impressed with.”
Billy Hamilton, Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez also connected for Cincinnati, which scored its most runs in 19 games since Scooter Gennett hit four homers in its 13-1 win over St. Louis on June 6.
Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun returned after missing 31 games with a strained left calf, but the NL Central-leading Brewers lost for the third time in four games.
Braun went 1 for 5 with a double. He was robbed of another hit when right fielder Scott Schebler went to the wall to make a lunging catch for the final out of the game.
“He swung the bat well,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He had to move around the field and throw. From my perspective, I wasn’t even thinking about it.”
Travis Shaw’s three-run shot off Tim Adleman (5-4) gave Milwaukee a 5-4 lead in the third inning. But Suarez responded with his 12th homer in the bottom half, stopping a 0-for-13 slide.
“My mechanics have been good,” Suarez said. “There was nothing wrong with my swing. It was more mental. When you’re not getting hits, you think too much. I have been trying to get a good pitch in the strike zone to hit. I tell myself if it isn’t in the strike zone, don’t swing at it.”
Gennett led off the fifth with a base hit and Votto followed with a drive to right-center off Junior Guerra for his 21st homer. The 2010 NL MVP is batting .304 with 55 RBIs.
Adleman (5-4) tied his career high by allowing three home runs in five innings. He surrendered five hits, struck out seven and walked three.
Tony Cingrani and Michael Lorenzen combined for two scoreless innings before Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his 13th save.
Guerra (1-2) set a career high by allowing eight runs in four-plus innings. He also tied his career high by giving up eight hits in his seventh start since returning on May 26 after missing almost two months with a right calf strain.
“I was getting behind in the count most of the game and missing spots,” Guerra said through an interpreter. “When that happens and you get behind, you saw the results.”
Hamilton lined Guerra’s third pitch into the first row of the seats in right for his second homer. Duvall hit a two-run shot and Devin Mesoraco added an RBI single as Cincinnati jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first.
Manny Pina and Orlando Arcia homered for Milwaukee in the second inning. Arcia added a run-scoring single off Drew Storen in the sixth
“We came back swinging the bats well,” Counsell said. “You kind of felt that fifth inning would be big with the middle of their order up. We fell hard and fast.”
Shaw, the son of former Reds reliever Jeff Shaw, needed just 68 games to match his career high of 16 homers set last season in 145 games with Boston.
It was Hamilton’s second career leadoff homer. The first also was against the Brewers, off Marco Estrada on June 15, 2014, at Milwaukee.
The Reds promoted right-hander Kevin Shackelford from Triple-A Louisville. If he pitches, Shackelford will become the 10th Reds player and seventh pitcher to make his major league debut this season.
Brewers: 2B Jonathan Villar was activated from the 10-day disabled list. He had been out since June 10 with a lower back strain.
Reds: SS Zack Cozart is expected to be reinstated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. He has been out since June 19 with a strained right quadriceps.
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson pitches on Wednesday night. He allowed two runs and two hits in six innings in a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Reds: RHP Luis Castillo was in line to win his major league debut on Friday at Washington, but Cincinnati was unable to hold onto the lead. He pitched five innings of two-run ball against the NL East-leading Nationals.