Milwaukee at Cincinnati

W: B. Looper (8-4) L: H. Bailey (1-1)
S: T. Hoffman (21)
HR: MIL - P. Fielder (23)   CIN - J. Votto (12), E. Encarnacion (3)

Brewers 9, Reds 6 wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Ken Macha has seen the Home Run Derby turn power hitters into hapless swingers. So, when Prince Fielder won the All-Star competition this week, the Milwaukee manager wondered if it would mess with his swing.

One home run eased his mind.

Fielder hit a three-run shot that got Milwaukee's offense going, and the Brewers took a first step in turning themselves around after the All-Star break by beating the Cincinnati Reds 9-6 on Thursday night.

Fielder won the All-Star home run competition on Monday night in St. Louis by hitting 23 balls over the wall. His home run Thursday was his 23rd of the season. Fielder got the Brewers started on their second-half quest -- catching the Cardinals in the NL Central -- by connecting in the third inning off Homer Bailey (1-1).

Obviously, the derby didn't mess him up.

"I swing hard," Fielder said. "So I'm not going to say it couldn't, but I really don't worry about that as much."

Macha did. Asked if he has concerns about Fielder being affected by all those swings in the derby, Macha quickly replied, "Sure do. But coming out and hitting one like that tonight, maybe it had no effect on him."

Braden Looper (8-4) went 5 1/3 innings and had three hits of his own, including a broken-bat RBI single that extended Milwaukee's five-run rally in the sixth inning. The three hits -- all singles -- matched his total for the season and were a career high.

"I don't know," Looper said. "Just one of those things, one of those days. I didn't have some masterful plan. I was just trying to swing and hit it."

Seth McClung gave up a three-run homer in the eighth by Edwin Encarnacion, who drove in four runs overall. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.

The Brewers went into the All-Star break losing eight of 11, a slide that dropped them into second place behind St. Louis. The victory on Thursday moved them two games behind the idle Cardinals.

"We finished the first half on a little bit of a downer note," Macha said. "All wins are good, some better than others. It's nice to get a start like that."

The Reds have dropped seven of nine, falling four games under .500 for the first time this season and deflating their hopes of staying in the race.

Fielder, the Brewers' most consistent hitter all season, got them started by connecting on a 93 mph, down-the-middle fastball in the third inning. Bailey began berating himself as soon as the ball left the bat, stomping his right foot on the mound and muttering to himself.

"I made some bad pitches, like the one to Prince," Bailey said. "He won the Home Run Derby, and I guess he carried it over to Cincinnati."

Fielder set a club record with 78 RBI before the All-Star break. With 81 now, he's on pace to shatter Cecil Cooper's franchise record of 126 RBI in 1983.

The Brewers sent 10 batters to the plate for five runs in the sixth. Bailey was charged with a career-high seven runs, though the bullpen had a big hand in it. Bailey left with the bases loaded and the Reds down 4-2, but Nick Masset gave up a two-run single by J.J. Hardy and Looper's third hit of the game.

Joey Votto hit a two-run homer off Looper, who gave up seven hits and three runs. Since returning from a stay on the disabled list to deal with his father's death, Votto has batted .346 with four home runs in 20 games.


Brewers RH Dave Bush, on the DL with a small tear in his triceps, was sent for another exam after feeling fatigue in the arm during a rehab start on Wednesday night. It's now unlikely he'll be activated next week. ... Looper was 3 for 30 this season coming into the game. ... All-Star OF Ryan Braun had an infield single that snapped an 0-for-16 slump. ... Reds RF Chris Dickerson was scratched from the lineup because of back spasms. He hurt his back last Sunday in New York.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

E. Encarnacion
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 1

J. Hardy
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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February 3, 2017
NL Central Preview: Milwaukee Brewers (2:24)
Milwaukee Brewers
Jason Kendall, C4121001 .237
Craig Counsell, 2B5100014 .275
Ryan Braun, LF4110104 .310
Prince Fielder, 1B3213211 .315
Casey McGehee, 3B5110023 .325
Mike Cameron, CF5121022 .260
Corey Hart, RF4120101 .256
J.J. Hardy, SS4123002 .235
Braden Looper, P3031000 .182
    Mark DiFelice, P1000012 .000
    Seth McClung, P0000000 .000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
2B - Mike Cameron (18, Bailey)
HR - Prince Fielder (23, Bailey)
RBI - Jason Kendall (24), Prince Fielder 3 (81), Mike Cameron (43), J.J. Hardy 3 (41), Braden Looper (5)
2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder 3 (33), J.J. Hardy (15)
SB - Ryan Braun (8, 2nd base off Bailey/Hernandez)
CS - Mike Cameron (3, 2nd base by Manuel/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Ryan Braun 1
Milwaukee Brewers
Braden Looper (W,8-4) 5.1733541 4.95
Mark DiFelice 1.2100020 1.75
Seth McClung 0.1133201 4.64
Todd Coffey (H,14) 0.2000000 2.76
Trevor Hoffman (S,21) 1100010 1.98
WP - Braden Looper (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Braden Looper 109-62, Mark DiFelice 19-14, Seth McClung 21-11, Todd Coffey 8-6, Trevor Hoffman 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Braden Looper 7-3, Mark DiFelice 1-2
Batters Faced - Braden Looper 26, Mark DiFelice 6, Seth McClung 4, Todd Coffey 2, Trevor Hoffman 4
Cincinnati Reds
Willy Taveras, CF5010002 .244
Jerry Hairston Jr., SS4120101 .255
Joey Votto, 1B5122011 .353
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010103 .269
Ramon Hernandez, C4000113 .249
Laynce Nix, LF4210122 .247
Jonny Gomes, RF2100221 .304
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3134101 .196
Homer Bailey, P2000011 .000
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
   a- Adam Rosales, PH1000002 .198
    Josh Roenicke, P0000000 .000
   b- Paul Janish, PH1000000 .228
    Robert Manuel, P0000000 .000
a-popped out for Masset in the 6th
b-flied out for Roenicke in the 8th
2B - Jerry Hairston Jr. (14, DiFelice)
HR - Joey Votto (12, Looper), Edwin Encarnacion (3, McClung)
RBI - Joey Votto 2 (44), Edwin Encarnacion 4 (13)
2-OUT RBI - Joey Votto 2 (21)
SB - Brandon Phillips (13, 2nd base off Looper/Kendall)
PK - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, Looper)
Team LOB - 9
DP - B. Phillips-Votto-Hairston, Hairston-B. Phillips-Votto
E - Willy Taveras (4, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
Homer Bailey (L,1-1) 5.1677431 6.43
Nick Masset 0.2310000 2.25
Josh Roenicke 2411040 2.92
Robert Manuel 1100000 0.00
HBP - Kendall (by Homer Bailey)
Pitches-Strikes - Homer Bailey 101-58, Nick Masset 14-12, Josh Roenicke 35-28, Robert Manuel 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Homer Bailey 5-6, Nick Masset 1-1, Josh Roenicke 1-1
Batters Faced - Homer Bailey 25, Nick Masset 5, Josh Roenicke 10, Robert Manuel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23579
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Kevin Causey