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Thames homers twice vs. Reds; Brewers win

April 24, 2017

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames is the early-season toast of Major League Baseball, but you don't have to remind the Reds. Thames has hit as many home runs in five games against Cincinnati -- seven -- as any other big leaguer has hit this season, period.Thames went deep in each of

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames is the early-season toast of Major League Baseball, but you don't have to remind the Reds. Thames has hit as many home runs in five games against Cincinnati -- seven -- as any other big leaguer has hit this season, period.
Thames went deep in each of the first two innings of the Brewers' 11-7 win over the Reds on Monday at Miller Park, where Milwaukee roughed up rookie left-hander Amir Garrett and Thames ran his MLB-best home run total to 10, matching a franchise record for April.
"I had the pleasure of facing the guy before he went to Korea," said Brewers starter Matt Garza, who came off the disabled list to make his first start of the season. "Good thing he's on my side now."
• Crew cuts: Thames rips 2 HRs! April record?

Hernan Perez also homered and drove in four runs, as the Brewers tallied multiple runs in each of the first four innings against Garrett, a promising 24-year-old who made his Major League debut this month and began his career with three straight quality starts. That streak ended emphatically on Monday, when Garrett's 1.83 ERA grew to 5.09 after he was charged with 10 runs (nine earned) on eight hits, including the three home runs.
"I felt bad that I had to leave him out there to give up 10 runs, but we were just really short in the bullpen today," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "You might do that to a veteran pitcher, but you hate to do that to a rookie. There were some limited options."

Garza was so eager to return from a groin injury that he arrived at Miller Park six hours before throwing the first of his 93 pitches in a four-inning start complicated by three Brewers errors. Because of those miscues, only one of the Reds' four runs against Garza was earned. He surrendered four hits while walking three and striking out four.
The Brewers have won four of the five matchups between the teams this season and are averaging seven runs per game.

Perez-ing the issue: Thames is one of the biggest stories in baseball, but Perez was just as big a factor in Monday's game. His three-run home run off the scoreboard in the first inning extended the Brewers' lead to 4-0 and gave Garza a comfortable cushion. The Brewers have outscored opponents, 22-7, in the first inning this season. Perez, who entered the night hitting .143, added a double in the third inning for a fourth RBI, matching his career high set last August.
"'HP' is going to get going," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, "and he's going to play an important part on this team and in this offense."

Reds make it a ballgame: Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia needed one more errorless game to claim the second-longest streak in franchise history for a shortstop. But he booted a grounder with two outs in the third for his first error since Sept. 5 of last season, snapping a streak of 42 errorless games and extending the frame for Scott Schebler's three-run home run off Garza. The homer, Schebler's fourth overall and second in as many days, cut the Reds' deficit to 6-4.
"I think the safest place for him is on third base, if he's on a base." -- Garza, on Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, who hit the game's first pitch for a single, then advanced to third on a stolen base and a throwing error charged to catcher Manny Pina before being stranded
The Brewers have five more games in April, all at domed Miller Park, giving Thames a shot at history. The Major League record for home runs by the end of April is 14, set by the Cardinals' Jose Pujols in 2006 and matched by the Yankees' Alexander Rodriguez in 2007. After games against the Reds on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Brewers host the Braves, who allowed 21 home runs in their first 18 games.
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun played part of the game in pain after fouling three pitches off his left foot during one of his early at-bats, then exited in the sixth with the Brewers leading, 10-5, because he was having trouble moving around. Braun said X-rays were negative, so he is day to day.
"That has to be a record," he joked of his trio of tough-luck foul tips.

Reds:Scott Feldman is coming off one of his best starts of the season and will face the Brewers at 7:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Feldman held the Orioles to one earned run and four hits over seven innings on Thursday.
Brewers:Zach Davies is still searching for his first quality start, as he prepares to take the mound against the Reds at 6:40 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Davies also started slow after a promotion to the Major Leagues last year, but after going 0-3 with an 8.78 ERA he rebounded to go 11-4 with a 3.54 ERA over his final 25 starts. So far this season, he has an 8.24 ERA after four starts.
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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.