|Cincinnati (85-66) «||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||5||8||2|
MILWAUKEE -- Dusty Baker thinks Joey Votto needs a day off. The Cincinnati slugger sure looked fit in the eighth inning Monday night.
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 dragging.
"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.
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 left-center.
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 innings."
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 records.
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 seven.
"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 surgery.
"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.
|Joey Votto watches his shot sail over the fence in the first of back-to-back home runs for the Reds. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||0||0||0||1||0||1||.270|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||5||1||3||0||0||0||2||.270|
|Joey Votto, 1B||4||1||1||2||0||2||2||.323|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||3||1||1||1||1||0||0||.292|
|Jonny Gomes, LF||4||1||1||0||0||2||2||.264|
|Aroldis Chapman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Francisco Cordero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Drew Stubbs, CF||4||1||1||2||0||3||2||.250|
|Ryan Hanigan, C||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.280|
|Chris Heisey, RF-LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.247|
|Homer Bailey, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.207|
|a- Juan Francisco, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.273|
|Nick Masset, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jay Bruce, RF||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.278|
|a-grounded into a double play for Bailey in the 7th|
|2B - Orlando Cabrera (32, Capuano)|
|HR - Joey Votto (35, Loe), Scott Rolen (20, Loe), Drew Stubbs (20, Capuano)|
|SH - Homer Bailey (3)|
|RBI - Joey Votto 2 (106), Scott Rolen (81), Drew Stubbs 2 (72)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Homer Bailey (1, Throwing), Chris Heisey (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Nick Masset (W,4-4)||1.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.58|
|Aroldis Chapman (H,3)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.16|
|Francisco Cordero (S,37)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.05|
|Pitches-Strikes - Homer Bailey 114-70, Nick Masset 11-7, Aroldis Chapman 7-4, Francisco Cordero 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Homer Bailey 5-5, Nick Masset 1-2, Aroldis Chapman 1-1, Francisco Cordero 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Homer Bailey 26, Nick Masset 4, Aroldis Chapman 2, Francisco Cordero 3|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||3||2||2||0||1||1||0||.265|
|Corey Hart, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.278|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||0||1||2||0||1||1||.306|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.270|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.280|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.239|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.237|
|Kameron Loe, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeremy Jeffress, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Mat Gamel, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Jonathan Lucroy, C||3||0||0||0||1||2||1||.259|
|Chris Capuano, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.077|
|Craig Counsell, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.243|
|a-grounded out for Jeffress in the 9th|
|2B - Rickie Weeks (31, Bailey), Ryan Braun (41, Bailey)|
|RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (93)|
|CS - Corey Hart (4, 2nd base by Bailey/Hanigan)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Escobar-Fielder, Counsell-Weeks-Fielder|
|Kameron Loe (L,3-5)||2||4||3||3||0||2||2||3.00|
|WP - Jeremy Jeffress (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Capuano 105-63, Kameron Loe 25-18, Jeremy Jeffress 21-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Capuano 5-5, Kameron Loe 3-0, Jeremy Jeffress 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Chris Capuano 24, Kameron Loe 9, Jeremy Jeffress 5|
|Attendance - 30024|
|Game Time - 2:58|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Rob Drake|