CINCINNATI (AP) — Victor Caratini and Hunter Renfroe hit two-run homers as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 on Sunday.
The Brewers swept the three-game series and have won seven of their last nine.
Cincinnati has lost four straight.
Milwaukee took a 4-3 lead into the seventh inning before Renfroe hit his 13th home run, a drive into the upper deck in left field off reliever Joel Kuhnel.
The Reds loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh off reliever Trevor Kelley.
Left-hander Hoby Milner was brought in to face lefty-hitting Joey Votto, who struck out on four pitches.
“I mean, that’s what I’m here for,” Milner said. “Get those outs in that situation, so I hope I keep getting them.”
He chuckled a bit when asked what his plan was entering that sticky situation against the Reds slugger.
“Mix it up. In and out. Slow when down and speed them up. He’s a good hitter. He doesn’t have a big hole or anything,” Milner said.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell liked what he saw.
“He’s pitching wonderfully,” Counsell said. “Our bullpen had a great series, period. They were excellent. For Hoby it was a big at-bat, it’s a good hitter, it’s their spot to make it real game and make those guys make pressure pitches, and he threw a bunch of great pitches to Joey.”
Brewers starter Adrian Houser (4-7) had a solid outing, allowing four hits and three runs through six innings while striking out five. Devin Williams pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
The Brewers scored three in the fourth off Mike Minor (1-3).
Andrew McCutchen doubled off the glove of leaping left fielder Tommy Pham and scored on a double by Luis Urías before Caratini’s homer.
“I hung the change up to Caratini,” Minor said.
The Reds scored three in the third, two of them on a double by Albert Almora Jr.
After walking Aramis Garcia, Houser retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
Counsell praised Houser’s ability to rebound after the Reds’ outburst.
“He had a tough fourth inning, but he kept it there,” Counsell said. “Then he had two great innings. I thought the sixth inning was excellent. He made some great pitches, was aggressive, wanted to finish that inning and pitched like it.”
TAKING SOME LUMPS
The Reds lost 7-3 on Saturday. On Friday night, Votto flied out to center with two outs in the ninth and the tying run on third base in a 5-4 loss.
“We had a tough series against the Brewers,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We played them well in the past and wanted to keep the momentum going, so yes, it was a tough series. We have the off day (Monday). Sometimes it is easier to just come back the next day, but we really need it.”
Reds: Put RHP Alexis Díaz (right biceps tendinitis) on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Thursday. … LHP Nick Lodolo (back) struck out six in two innings during Saturday’s rehab at Triple-A Louisville. The Reds have been without Lodolo since late April.
The Reds recalled RHP Dauri Moreta from Triple-A Louisville and sent down OF TJ Friedl.
Brewers: RHP Corbin Burnes (4-4, 2.52) was scheduled to start against St. Louis RHP Miles Mikolas (5-4, 2.62) to open a four-game series in Milwaukee. Burnes surrendered five hits and two runs and struck out eight in over six innings in beating the Mets Wednesday. Mikolas came within one strike of a no-hitter against the Pirates last Tuesday night.
Reds: After an off day, Cincinnati opens a three-game set with the Dodgers at home on Tuesday, sending RHP Tyler Mahle (2-5, 4.46 ERA) to the mound against RHP Tony Gonsolin (8-0, 1.42). Gonsolin has already doubled his career high in wins.