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Four home runs lift Reds to win over Brewers

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- A power surge struck Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night, as the Reds and Brewers combined for seven home runs over the game's first five innings. Cincinnati hit the last and most crucial, however -- a Joey Votto two-run shot that provided the winning margin in the Reds' 8-6 victory and snapped a four-game skid against Milwaukee.

"I think we hit 15-16 balls right on the screws today," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "Really good offensively, I thought. There were certainly some big blows with the home runs, but just a lot of good, quality at-bats. A lot of barrel-on balls."

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CINCINNATI -- A power surge struck Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night, as the Reds and Brewers combined for seven home runs over the game's first five innings. Cincinnati hit the last and most crucial, however -- a Joey Votto two-run shot that provided the winning margin in the Reds' 8-6 victory and snapped a four-game skid against Milwaukee.

"I think we hit 15-16 balls right on the screws today," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "Really good offensively, I thought. There were certainly some big blows with the home runs, but just a lot of good, quality at-bats. A lot of barrel-on balls."

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A day after sinking into a 3-0 deficit in the first inning against the Cardinals, Cincinnati jumped on Milwaukee's Junior Guerra early. Billy Hamilton hit Guerra's third pitch for his first leadoff home run since June 15, 2014 (also against the Brewers), Adam Duvall hit a two-run homer three batters later and Devin Mesoraco picked up an RBI single for a 4-0 lead after one inning.

Video: MIL@CIN: Mesoraco singles to extend the lead

Milwaukee stormed back over the next two innings with a trio of homers against Reds starter Tim Adleman. Manny Pina and Orlando Arcia hit solo shots in the second inning before Travis Shaw slugged a three-run homer in the third, his 16th of the season, to give the Brewers a 5-4 advantage.

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"Our offense usually doesn't go down quietly," said Shaw, who has homered in back-to-back games. "We knew in this ballpark it wasn't over. [A four-run lead] is never going to be enough here."

Video: MIL@CIN: Shaw hits a three-run dinger in the 3rd

The five runs allowed marked the most Adleman had given up in a start since the Rockies piled up six against him on May 20.

"I made some pitches out over the plate, some bad pitches," Adleman said. "And they didn't just hit singles, they hit the ball out of the ballpark. So definitely a difficult lineup to navigate through."

Guerra seeking better velocity, control

Votto and the Reds bailed out their starting pitcher with a three-run fifth inning, knocking Guerra from the game in the process. Cincinnati's last three relievers -- Tony Cingrani, Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias -- gave up just two combined hits over the final three innings to help close out the game, with the help of Scott Schebler making a great catch to cap it off.

Video: MIL@CIN: Schebler makes a great catch for the win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Votto goes deep: After Scooter Gennett singled to open up the bottom of the fifth, Votto continued his push for the All-Star Game as he gave the Reds a 7-5 lead with a two-run homer to right center on a 2-0 fastball from Guerra. Votto's go-ahead shot had an exit velocity of 106.2 mph, a launch angle of 25 degrees and traveled 406 feet.

Video: MIL@CIN: Votto gives Reds the lead with two-run jack

Brewers blow opportunity: Trailing by two in the top of the eighth, Milwaukee strung together a walk and a pair of two-out infield singles to load the bases for Stephen Vogt, who was making his Brewers debut after being picked up off waivers on Sunday. On a 1-1 pitch from Lorenzen, Vogt popped out to shallow right, ending the inning and what would be the Brewers best chance to even the score.

"That's going to be more my role here," said Vogt of coming off the bench for his Brewers debut. "I'm obviously going to get a chance to catch, but whenever I'm not starting, I'm going to come in and have a chance to impact the game like that. I got a pitch to hit -- maybe just a hair up in the zone from where I like it. … I was ready for it, but just unfortunately didn't come through."

Video: MIL@CIN: Lorenzen retires Vogt to escape trouble

QUOTABLE

"I don't really have an answer for that. I feel like if I did have an answer, it would be an excuse. You can't really have excuses right now." -- Guerra, on his drop in velocity from last season

WHAT'S NEXT
Brewers: Vogt is scheduled to make his first Brewers start when the series continues at 6:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday. He'll pair with right-hander Chase Anderson, who built the National League's seventh-best ERA at 2.92 in a battery with Jett Bandy. The Brewers optioned Bandy to Triple-A when they claimed Vogt off the waiver wire.

Reds: Luis Castillo will try to solidify a spot in the starting rotation when the Reds and Brewers meet on Wednesday. Castillo threw five innings of two-run ball in his Major League debut on Friday, but walked five batters after walking just 13 in 80 1/3 innings with Double-A Pensacola this season.

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Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.