MILWAUKEE -- Brewers sluggers Eric Thames and Ryan Braun are no strangers to the long ball against the Reds.Both hit a solo home run off Reds reliever Kevin Shackelford in the Brewers' 6-5 extra-innings win over the Reds on Saturday at Miller Park, reaching personal and franchise milestones in the
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers sluggers Eric Thames and Ryan Braun are no strangers to the long ball against the Reds.
Both hit a solo home run off Reds reliever Kevin Shackelford in the Brewers' 6-5 extra-innings win over the Reds on Saturday at Miller Park, reaching personal and franchise milestones in the process.
Thames' homer to left field in the sixth inning was his 10th against the Reds this season, making him the first Brewers player to hit double-digit home runs against a single opponent in a season. The only other players who have hit more home runs against the Reds in a season are the Boston Braves' Earl Torgeson (11, 1950) and the Milwaukee Braves' Eddie Mathews (11, 1953).
"I was happy I was able to help the team out, because we have been grinding a bit offensively," Thames said. "For us to score the runs last night and then tonight, it's definitely rewarding to be a part of that."
Thames, who leads the Brewers with 27 home runs, is the only player in the Majors with 10 homers against any single opponent this season. The next highest is the Yankees' Aaron Judge, who has hit eight against the Orioles.
Thames crushed a three-run homer in Friday's series opener with the Reds, making Saturday the sixth time he's homered in consecutive games this season. He credited his recent power surge to an improved mentality.
"I've changed a lot of my mental mindset the last few games," Thames said. "I'll have a good at-bat, then I'll have a bad at-bat. I'll take two or three great pitches, and then I'll swing at my head or in the dirt. I've been working a lot on my mental mindset, so for me, it doesn't matter who's on the mound or what team it is. It's just a game."
Before Thames' homer on Saturday, Braun clobbered his 13th of the season to center field in the fifth inning, giving him 40 against the Reds in his career, the most by an opposing player since Braun's debut in 2007. The Brewers slugger is just two homers shy of 300 in his career.
Braun is the 27th player to hit at least 40 home runs against the Reds, and he's one of two active players to do so, along with Jose Pujols (47). He entered Saturday's game with six straight multi-hit games and has now reached base in seven straight games, batting .346 in that span.
"I think Braun has been swinging the bat pretty darn [well]," manager Craig Counsell said. "He's been having very good at-bats. These past 10 days, he's been really locked in. He's been swinging the bat outstanding."
*Carson Mason * is an associate reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.