MILWAUKEE - José Barrero hit his first two major league home runs and the Cincinnati Reds beat Milwaukee 7-5 on Saturday night, dropping the Brewers into second place in the NL Central.
Joey Votto and Donovan Solano each had a solo homer for the Reds, who hadn’t scored more than three runs since an 8-2 win July 30 over Baltimore.
Milwaukee fell a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who blanked the New York Yankees 1-0 for their sixth consecutive victory.
With the Reds leading 2-0 in the fourth inning, Barrero launched a two-run homer into the Brewers' bullpen off starter Aaron Ashby (2-10).
The third-year shortstop added a solo shot into the Milwaukee bullpen in the sixth off reliever Hoby Milner, extending Cincinnati's lead to 5-3.
The homers came in the 125th and 126th at-bats of Barrero’s career. They were the first two hits this season for Barrero, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday.
Milwaukee scored twice off reliever Hunter Strickland in the ninth to make it 7-5, but squandered two good chances when the game was closer.
Trailing 4-3 in the fifth, the Brewers loaded the bases with one out against rookie starter Nick Lodolo. The left-hander struck out Mike Brosseau before righty Buck Farmer (1-1) retired Hunter Renfroe to end the inning.
Down 5-3 in the sixth, Milwaukee had two runners on with two outs when right fielder Aristides Aquino threw out Victor Caratini at the plate on Christian Yelich's single.
Andrew McCutchen hit a solo homer and Keston Hiura had a two-run shot for Milwaukee in the fourth.
McCutchen also had a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Reds: Rookie RHP Hunter Greene (right shoulder strain) had an MRI but won’t need surgery, manager David Bell said.
Brewers: RHP Adrian Houser (right flexor strain), on the 15-day injured list since July 1, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville.
Reds rookie RHP Graham Ashcraft (5-2, 4.12 ERA) faces Brewers RHP Corbin Burnes (8-5, 2.49) on Sunday to complete the three-game series. Ashcraft did not permit an earned run over 8 1/3 innings in his last start, a win at Miami. Burnes, an All-Star and the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, gave up four runs and walked five over 5 1/3 innings in his last start, a loss at Pittsburgh.