CINCINNATI (AP) — Hunter Renfroe hit a pair of two-run homers and had a season-high five RBIs to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to their fourth straight win, a 10-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Renfroe’s shots boosted Milwaukee’s homer count against the Reds this season to 42, tied with the 2016 Cubs for the most by any team against Cincinnati in franchise history.
The Brewers (82-70) gained ground in the playoff chase. They moved within 6 1/2 games of first-place St. Louis in the NL Central and are 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for the third and final NL wild card.
Milwaukee has won four straight for the first time since July 26-30. The Brewers last reached double figures during that run in a 10-4 win over Minnesota.
“I think we have to take turns offensively doing it,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “Home runs come in bunches. I think it’s going to take different guys every night.”
Renfroe tied his career high with four hits in support of Corbin Burnes (11-8). The reigning Cy Young Award-winner gave up four hits and two runs with three walks and eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
“He’s had a tough month,” Burnes said about Renfroe. “Other guys have stepped up to fill his shoes. If we all got hot at the same time, that would be great.”
“Hunter Renfroe had a great game — a huge game,” Counsell said. “We were able to put together some hits. As the game went on, our at bats got better.”
The Brewers have outscored the slumping Reds 20-6 in the first three games of the four-game series. Cincinnati (59-93) is a season-high 34 games under .500.
“We swung the bats well today,” Renfroe said. “We grinned out some at bats today and put balls in play.”
“We’re doing what we can do,” Counsell said. “We’ve had a good series. We have a chance to make it a great series.”
Reds infielder Alejo Lopez pitched the ninth and gave up Rowdy Tellez’s leadoff homer.
Renfroe blasted a Graham Ashcraft 3-2 pitch into the second deck in left field for a 2-1 lead in the fourth. The shot was Renfroe’s 26th of the season and first since Sept. 9 at Colorado.
“I’ve been feeling good,” Renfroe said. “I’ve felt pretty good the past few days. I’ve been seeing the ball well. I just wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Tonight, I was able to barrel a couple.”
Omar Narváez and Tyrone Taylor added back-to-back RBI singles as Milwaukee sent nine batters to the plate in the inning.
The Reds activated Ashcraft (5-4) from the injured list (right biceps soreness) for his first start since Aug. 19. The Brewers tagged the rookie right-hander for eight hits and four runs with two strikeouts in four innings.
FEELING AT HOME
Renfroe has seven home runs at Great American Ball Park this season, the most of any player not on the Reds.
Reds RHP Connor Overton made his first appearance since May 17 at Cleveland. He’d been sidelined with a stress reaction in his lower back.
Brewers: CF Tyrone Taylor ran face first into the wall tracking down Matt Reynolds’ leadoff drive in the second. Taylor held on to the ball and was limping slightly, but he stayed in the game.
Reds: Spencer Steer was hit on his right (back) foot by a Taylor Rogers pitch in the eighth. Steer stayed in the game. … RHP Art Warren had his ulnar collateral ligament repaired but not reconstructed, manager David Bell said on Saturday.
LHP Nick Lodolo (4-7, 3.90) allowed five hits and two runs with 11 strikeouts and no walks over eight innings in Cincinnati’s 8-2 win at Milwaukee on Sep. 9. RHP Freddie Peralta 4-3, 3.45) will make his first appearance since May 23. He’s been sidelined with right shoulder inflammation.
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