MILWAUKEE (AP) — Joey Wiemer and Willy Adames hit two-run homers and Corbin Burnes allowed just three hits in six innings as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds 7-3 on Friday night in an matchup of the division’s top teams.
The victory lifted the Brewers to within a game of the Reds, who saw their five-game winning streak halted. Milwaukee won for the fourth time in five games against Cincinnati.
Burnes (7-5) walked four and struck out six to win consecutive games for the first time since mid-April.
“The first three innings was probably the best stuff we’ve seen all year,” Reds manager David Bell said of Burnes. “We were able to get on base with the walks and Joey had the big night, but early on, he was really tough and that kind of set the tone for the game.”
Joey Votto hit a two-run homer for Cincinnati, which entered the key series a season-high 10 games over .500 and had won eight of their last nine, and 20 of the last 24.
Burnes’ only trouble came in the fifth inning. Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz blooped a single into short left field. One out later, Votto crushed a 0-1 pitch into the second tier of the right-field bleachers.
“The first AB we pounded him in. The second AB he cheated and caught out front,” Burnes said of cutter Votto hit for a home run. Burnes struck out Votto with a cutter in the second inning.
Since coming off the 60-day injured list because of left shoulder and left biceps surgery on June 19, Votto has six home runs and 15 RBIs in 18 appearances.
Adames hit his 14th home run, a two-run shot, in the bottom of the fifth.
The Brewers jumped out 2-0 in the first on consecutive doubles by William Contreras, Adames and Owen Miller. Wiemer slugged a two-run homer in the second.
Victor Caratini had an RBI single for Milwaukee in the seventh.
“This game, you go through stretches where you pitch really well and you don’t swing it, you swing really well and you don’t pitch,” Burnes said. “Sometimes you don’t do either really good.”
Trying to protect a five-run lead in the top of the ninth, Tyson Miller walked two and gave up a run-scoring double to Votto with one out. Brewers manager Craig Counsell turned to his closer, Devin Williams, who struck out Spencer Steer, walked Tyler Stephenson and fanned pinch-hitter Nick Senzel for his 19th save in 21 chances,
Andrew Abbott (4-1) allowed six runs on nine hits, a walk and six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings, the shortest of his seven starts this season and second against Milwaukee. His ERA jumped to 2.38 after he came in with a 1.21 ERA in his previous six starts.
“I just mainly didn’t execute at all,” Abbott said. “Just left fastballs middle, left every off-speed up. They put some really good swings on them.”
The Brewers had 14 hits, two off their season high set June 7 against Baltimore.
Abbott won his major league debut, 2-0, against the Brewers on June 5th. In that game, he allowed one hit over six innings with four walks and six strikeouts.
“He’s had a lot of success so far in this league in his six starts,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Any time you hit a bunch of balls hard against a pitcher, they’re going to start thinking I’ve got to do something different and change something up. That’s what you try to do. I thought we did a nice job being offensive right away.”
VOTTO PASSES BENCH
With his sixth home run of the season, Votto now has 3,645 career total bases, one more than Johnny Bench. He is chasing Pete Rose (4,645).
During the Reds’ road trip, Votto is batting .467 (7 for 15) with three home runs, seven RBIs, a walk and four runs.