CINCINNATI -- The Reds have started piling up home runs during this homestand, and they continued the trend on Friday with a 5-1 victory over the Brewers. Using early home runs by Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati gained its first three-game winning streak since the first three games of the season.
Facing starter Tyler Cravy, who filled in for Milwaukee while Wily Peralta was on paternity leave, Votto gave the Reds a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning. The shot on a 2-2 pitch to center field gave Votto his fourth homer of the season. Adam Duvall hit an RBI double through the gap to the wall in left-center field in the second inning. With one out in the third inning, Phillips connected on a 1-2 pitch for a three-run homer to left field and a 5-0 lead.
"You want to attack a team early, try to get things going, try to make your pitcher feel comfortable," Phillips said.
Cincinnati's streak of quality starts ended at five, but Tim Adleman gave his club a solid five-inning performance for the win in his second big league game. Aldeman gave up one earned run and four hits with three walks and four strikeouts but threw 101 pitches. Alex Presley's leadoff homer to right field on a 1-0 pitch in the fifth was the lone run notched against the right-hander.
"Any time you can go out there and have a clean inning and the team put up some runs, that helps any pitcher, especially someone making their second start," Adleman said. "I breathed a little sigh of relief, and it allowed me to go out there and attack and be aggressive."
The Brewers finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men on base.
"We didn't lay down, we just didn't get the big hit," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Look, I know it's easier for the other starting pitcher, pitching with a lead. We just didn't get the hit tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Dat Dude goes deep again: With his third inning three-run shot, Phillips has a homer in each of his last three games for the first time since June 13-15, 2012. The three RBIs also gave him 800 RBIs as a member of the Reds. His homer on Friday left the bat at 104 mph and traveled 380 feet, according to Statcast™.
"The home run to Phillips was the play of the game," Counsell said.
"I'm going to do my job as long as I stay healthy. I just try to remind people that I can still play this game," Phillips said. "I know a lot of people have forgotten what I can really do. I'm just out there having fun. That's the only thing I can really do."
Lacking quality: It's tough to lay much blame on Cravy, who made just one Triple-A start before a surprise call-up to pitch in Peralta's place, but his brief outing perpetuated the Brewers' starting pitching problems. Milwaukee's starters have a 6.34 ERA after 29 games, which would tie the 1939 St. Louis Browns for second-worst in Major League history. The 1996 Tigers own the worst starters' ERA of all time, at 6.64. More >
Big escape: Milwaukee had its best chance to score in the top of the eighth when Cingrani issued a two-out walk to pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy that loaded the bases. Representing the tying run, Hernan Perez lifted a 1-0 pitch for a short flyout to left field.
"So we threw the slider, and it kind of got [Perez] off the heater to give him something different to look at," Cingrani said. "Then threw that fastball inside, and he just popped it up and ended the threat."
He's left the building: Presley has made the most of his starts in place of injured right fielder Domingo Santana, with multi-hit games Wednesday and Thursday, and home runs on Thursday and Friday. His solo homer in the fifth inning Friday night put the Brewers on the board and gave Presley three home runs in 12 games.
"I obviously didn't do an awesome job at times of hitting my spots , but I was able to make some pitches in spots where if I didn't, they'd get a couple of runs and protect the lead the guys did such a good job to build. It wasn't as crisp as the last time, but glad I was able to get the win." -- Adleman, who notched his first big league victory
REDS LOSE CHALLENGE
In the top of the second inning, Chris Carter reached on a ground ball to third base. As the throw from Eugenio Suarez was caught by Votto, Carter collided with the first baseman's arm and knocked him down. Carter was ruled safe with a single because the ball came out of Votto's glove on contact with the ground. The Reds challenged the call, but it was confirmed by replay view because Votto failed to demonstrate firm and secure possession and maintain complete control of the ball throughout the catch and subsequent tag.
UMPIRE COOPER EXITS
First base umpire Eric Cooper left the game in the ninth inning when he appeared to injure his leg getting out of the way of a pickoff play. Cingrani made a pretty pickoff move to retire the Brewers' Jonathan Villar, with Cooper skipping out of the way while Villar tried to get back to first base. Cooper walked off with a Reds trainer, and play resumed with a three-man umpiring crew for the game's final two outs.
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers: The Brewers' best starter takes the mound when the series continues Saturday at 6:10 p.m. CT, as Jimmy Nelson aims to reverse his career results against the Reds. Nelson is 4-2 this season with a 3.05 ERA and a .204 opponents' average, but he owns a 6.21 ERA in seven games (five starts) against the Reds, including a 10.38 ERA in three starts at Great American Ball Park.
Reds: The Reds' best and only starter to not miss an outing this season, Brandon Finnegan, will pitch against Milwaukee on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Finnegan, who leads the staff with four quality starts, came out of Monday's game after six innings when bothered by left hamstring soreness..