Joey Votto homered and drove in three runs while Vladimir Gutierrez allowed just two runs over six innings as the charging Cincinnati Reds beat the host Milwaukee Brewers 10-2 in the opener of a three-game series between the two National League Central rivals.
Leadoff hitter Jonathan India had three hits and reached base four times, and Aristides Aquino homered for the Reds, who won their fourth straight and their 11th in 14 games.
Daniel Vogelbach homered for the Brewers, who lost for just the third time in 12 games in June and had their seven-game home win streak snapped.
Gutierrez (3-1) struck out six and allowed just four hits in his six innings in beating Milwaukee for the second time in five days. For the second straight day, the Reds bullpen showed promise, as Heath Hembree, Amir Garrett and Art Warren closed out the game over the final three scoreless innings with no walks and six strikeouts.
Cincinnati pitchers retired the final 22 of 23 Milwaukee batters while the offense reached double figures in scoring for the third time in four games and a major-league-leading 11th time this season.
Milwaukee lefty Eric Lauer (1-3) walked four and allowed five hits and four runs over his five innings to take the loss.
The Reds jumped on top in the first when Votto drove home Jesse Winker with a groundout to first base, extending his streak of driving in a run to six games. Lauer needed 31 pitches to finish the first inning.
Vogelbach tied the game in the bottom of the inning when he launched a hanging Gutierrez changeup 410 feet to the second deck in right-center.
But Lauer continued to labor in the second inning, as the first two Reds reached. India doubled home Kyle Farmer for a 2-1 lead. Jesse Winker drove home Gutierrez with a single. and Nick Castellanos finished off the three-run frame with a fielder’s choice to second that put Cincinnati ahead, 4-1.
After Lauer’s sacrifice fly in the second made it 4-2, Gutierrez settled into a groove, setting down 10 straight at one point.
Votto increased Cincinnati’s lead to 6-2 in the seventh when he launched his eighth homer of the season, a towering two-run shot off Eric Yardley to the second deck in right field.
Eugenio Suarez singled home Tyler Stephenson and Votto in the ninth for an 8-2 lead. Then Aquino, who was playing his first game since a sustaining a hamate fracture in his left hand in mid-April, belted his first homer of the season to left to finish off the scoring.
–Field Level Media