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Cincinnati at Milwaukee

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Cincinnati (84-65) «2200020107100
Milwaukee (64-83)000300000362

Reds top Brewers, stay in running for NL Central title

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Joey Votto contorted his body in the batter's box as if he was trying to will his towering fly ball to stay fair as it sailed down the right field line.

It did. Barely.

The ball bounced off the foul pole for a two-run homer, helping the Cincinnati Reds keep pace in the NL Central race with a 7-3 victory Saturday over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Maybe Votto's drive will be the spark that gets some of the Reds' best hitters going down the stretch of a tight pennant chase. The Reds had lost three of their previous four.

"Every game, from my perspective, it's as important in April as it is in September," Votto said. "But, we've got a pretty good idea of what's happening around you. You have an idea of who's behind you and who's ahead of you, how many games you need to make up."

The Reds trail both Pittsburgh and St. Louis by 2½ games for the NL Central lead. The Cardinals, who entered the day with a three-game advantage, lost to Seattle and fell into a tie with the victorious Pirates.

Cincinnati is also trying to fend off Washington in the wild-card race. The Nationals, on a seven-game winning streak, entered Saturday having pulled within four games of the Reds.

Homer Bailey (11-10) allowed three runs over seven innings in winning his career-best sixth straight decision. Votto and leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo each finished 2 of 3 with three RBI and two-run homers.

"We scored enough runs and got a win," Bailey said. "We needed it."

Driving in runs has been a challenge for four of the Reds' big bats in September. Brandon Phillips, Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce and Votto had combined for 13 RBI in 12 games this month entering Saturday.

Manager Dusty Baker met privately with some hitters before the game. The Reds skipper declined to give details.

Regardless of who was in the meeting, and what was said, the bats broke through.

Fifth-place hitter Ludwick was 2 of 5, while No. 6 Todd Frazier went 2 of 4 with an RBI.

Votto said he waited at the plate during his homer only because he wasn't sure if it would go foul.

Too bad for the Brewers.

"I was hoping that ball had a lot of hook in it," manager Ron Roenicke said. "But it got up there and stayed there."

The homer traveled an estimated 470 feet, tied with a long ball by Rickie Weeks in 2011 for the fourth-longest in the 11-year history of Miller Park.

The Brewers had a shot in the eighth after Jeff Bianchi was walked by Sam LeCure to load the bases with two outs for pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy.

Baker responded by bringing in All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman in the eighth. The last time he faced the hard-throwing closer, on Aug. 16 at Miller Park, Lucroy hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give Milwaukee a 7-6 win.

Same ballpark, different result.

This time, Lucroy swung at a 100 mph heater in the dirt. The ball skipped past the plate and bounced off the backstop, though catcher Devin Mesoraco retrieved it in time to throw out Lucroy at first.

"To repeat something like that, really tough," Roenicke said about Lucroy's chances of success again off Chapman. "At a 101 mph, it's tough."

Chapman walked two in the ninth, but struck out the last two batters to finish off his 36th save.

Brewers rookie Johnny Hellweg (1-4), making his fifth career major-league start, allowed eight hits and four runs, and hit three batters over five innings.

Carlos Gomez had two hits and an RBI for the Brewers, while Jean Segura stole his NL-leading 43rd base of the season.

They got outmuscled by Choo and Votto at the plate.

Choo reached on a walk with one out in the sixth. One out later, Votto turned on a fastball from reliever Michael Blazek for his 23rd homer and a 6-3 lead. Bailey allowed five hits, with the Brewers causing all their damage in the fourth. Khris Davis, back in the lineup after missing more than a week with a sore left wrist, doubled home Scooter Gennett.

Gomez singled home Davis. The speedy Gomez then stole his 36th base before advancing home on two consecutive sacrifice flies to get Milwaukee to 4-3.

Votto's homer two innings later gave the Reds a three-run cushion again.

Notes

Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez (left wrist) was unavailable after being hit by a pitch Friday night. He was considered day to day ... Milwaukee is testing different tinting and shading on windows near the roof down the right-field line in an effort to help reduce glare during day games. The team hopes to have its chosen option in place for next season.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo each goes 2 for 3 with three RBI and two-run HRs as Cincy stays close to St. Louis and Pittsburgh. (USATSI)
Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo each goes 2 for 3 with three RBI and two-run HRs as Cincy stays close to St. Louis and Pittsburgh. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

S. Choo
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Milwaukee

C. Gomez
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, CF3323101 .289
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010002 .262
Joey Votto, 1B3123101 .306
Jay Bruce, RF3100113 .263
Ryan Ludwick, LF5020022 .264
Todd Frazier, 3B4021002 .237
Zack Cozart, SS5000025 .252
Ryan Hanigan, C2000101 .210
   Billy Hamilton, PR0100000 .000
   Devin Mesoraco, C0000000 .246
Homer Bailey, P2110010 .167
   a-Derrick Robinson, PH0000000 .247
   Zach Duke, P00000001.000
   Sam LeCure, P0000000 .000
   Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
Totals31710746  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Bailey in the 8th
Batting
2B - Shin-Soo Choo (33, Hellweg)
HR - Shin-Soo Choo (21, Hellweg), Joey Votto (23, Blazek)
SF - Shin-Soo Choo (2), Joey Votto (6)
SH - Brandon Phillips (4), Derrick Robinson (5)
RBI - Shin-Soo Choo 3 (51), Joey Votto 3 (69), Todd Frazier (66)
2-OUT RBI - Joey Votto 2 (20), Todd Frazier (26)
SB - Billy Hamilton (5, 2nd base off Figaro/Maldonado)
CS - Todd Frazier (4, 3rd base by Hellweg/Maldonado)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Cozart-B. Phillips-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Homer Bailey (W,11-10) 7533430 3.40
Zach Duke 0.1000000 7.01
Sam LeCure 0.1100210 2.72
Aroldis Chapman (S,36) 1.1000240 2.56
Pitches-Strikes - Homer Bailey 109-68, Zach Duke 3-2, Sam LeCure 17-8, Aroldis Chapman 28-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Homer Bailey 8-9
Batters Faced - Homer Bailey 29, Zach Duke 1, Sam LeCure 4, Aroldis Chapman 6
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Norichika Aoki, RF3000210 .283
Jean Segura, SS4000102 .298
Scooter Gennett, 2B3120001 .342
   a-Sean Halton, PH-1B2000012 .261
Khris Davis, LF4111114 .278
Carlos Gomez, CF3121100 .285
Yuniesky Betancourt, 1B-3B4000014 .207
Jeff Bianchi, 3B-2B1001201 .247
Martin Maldonado, C3010011 .175
   b-Jonathan Lucroy, PH-C1000013 .284
Johnny Hellweg, P2000011 .000
   Michael Blazek, P0000000 .000
   Jimmy Nelson, P0000000 .000
   c-Juan Francisco, PH0000100 .233
   Alfredo Figaro, P0000000 .250
   Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
   Burke Badenhop, P0000000 .000
   d-Caleb Gindl, PH1000010 .241
Totals3136388  
a-flied out for Gennett in the 8th
b-struck out for Maldonado in the 8th
c-walked for Nelson in the 7th
d-struck out for Badenhop in the 9th
Batting
2B - Khris Davis (9, Bailey)
SF - Jeff Bianchi (2)
RBI - Khris Davis (22), Carlos Gomez (63), Jeff Bianchi (23)
SB - Jean Segura (43, 2nd base off Bailey/Hanigan), Carlos Gomez (36, 2nd base off Bailey/Hanigan)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Norichika Aoki 1
DP - Gennett-Betancourt
E - Scooter Gennett (4, Misplayed grounder), Jonathan Lucroy (8, Interference)
PB - Martin Maldonado (3)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Johnny Hellweg (L,1-4) 5844111 8.31
Michael Blazek 1122121 6.75
Jimmy Nelson 1000020 0.00
Alfredo Figaro 1011100 4.46
Mike Gonzalez 0000100 4.56
Burke Badenhop 1100010 3.54
HBP - Bailey (by Johnny Hellweg)
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Hellweg 84-50, Michael Blazek 19-9, Jimmy Nelson 11-8, Alfredo Figaro 15-7, Mike Gonzalez 11-6, Burke Badenhop 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Hellweg 8-5, Alfredo Figaro 2-1, Burke Badenhop 1-0
Batters Faced - Johnny Hellweg 26, Michael Blazek 5, Jimmy Nelson 3, Alfredo Figaro 4, Mike Gonzalez 2, Burke Badenhop 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25929
Game Time - 3:23
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Victor Carapazza, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom