MILWAUKEE (AP) — José Barrero hit his first two major league homers and the Cincinnati Reds beat Milwaukee 7-5 on Saturday night, dropping the Brewers to second place in the NL Central.
Joey Votto and Donovan Solano each hit a solo homer for the Reds, who hadn’t scored more than three runs since an 8-2 July 30 win over Baltimore.
Milwaukee lost a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who shut out the New York Yankees 1-0 for their sixth straight win.
With the Reds leading 2-0 in the fourth inning, Barrero hit a two-run homer into the Brewers bullpen off starter Aaron Ashby (2-10).
The third-year shortstop added a solo shot in the same bullpen on sixth reliever Hoby Milner, taking Cincinnati’s lead to 5-3.
“When you’re right and you feel comfortable, it doesn’t matter who the pitcher is sometimes, and I felt like he was locked in tonight,” Reds manager David Bell said.
The homers came on Barrero’s 125th and 126th career at-bats. Those are the first two hits of the season for Barrero, who was recalled from Louisville’s Triple-A on Wednesday.
“It’s amazing. That it’s happening today is just amazing,” Barrero said through a translator.
Barrero, originally from Havana, said he dedicated the tours to his late mother, Tonia Barrero, who died in Cuba from symptoms related to COVID-19. He changed his name last year from Jose Garcia to honor him.
Milwaukee scored twice against reliever Hunter Strickland in the ninth to make it 7-5, but wasted two good chances when the game was tighter.
Trailing 4-3 in the fifth, the Brewers charged with one out against rookie starter Nick Lodolo. The southpaw struck out Mike Brosseau before right-hander Buck Farmer (1-1) retired Hunter Renfroe to end the inning.
Trailing 5-3 in the sixth, Milwaukee had two runners with two out when right fielder Aristides Aquino ejected Victor Caratini at home plate on Christian Yelich’s single.
Andrew McCutchen hit a solo homer and Keston Hiura hit a two-run shot for Milwaukee in the fourth.
McCutchen also had a sacrifice ball in the ninth.
Reds: RHP rookie Hunter Greene (strained right shoulder) had an MRI but won’t need surgery, Bell said.
Brewers: RHP Adrian Houser (right flexor flex), on the 15-day disabled list since July 1, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville.
Prince Fielder has joined the Brewers Walk of Fame, and Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy have joined the club’s Wall of Honor.
Bell played for the Brewers in late 2006, his final season in the majors and Fielder’s second.
“He was like a team leader already. He just had that personality,” Bell said. “He had like all the wisdom and experience, everything you’d expect from a much older player.”
Bell’s father, Buddy, coached Fielder’s father, Cecil, on the 1996 Tigers.
Barrero became the second hitter in Reds history to hit his first two major league home runs in the same game. The first was Harry Steinfeldt on July 31, 1900 in Boston, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … Fourteen rookies, including nine pitchers, have appeared in at least one game for the Reds this season. Six times, most recently from July 31 to August 2, the Reds have started rookie pitchers in three straight games.
RHP rookie Graham Ashcraft (5-2, 4.12 ERA) will face Brewers RHP Corbin Burnes (8-5, 2.49) on Sunday to end the three-game series. Ashcraft did not allow an earned run in 8 1/3 innings in his last start, a win at Miami. Burnes, an All-Star and defending NL Cy Young Award winner, allowed four runs and walked five in 5 1/3 innings in his last start, a loss at Pittsburgh.
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Jose Barrero of the Cincinnati Reds hits a home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday August 6, 2022 in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Jose Barrero of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run home run in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Cincinnati Reds’ Jose Barrero (2) is congratulated by Albert Almora Jr. (3) after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday August 6, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)