Created on Saturday, 24 August 2013 Written by JOE KAY, AP Baseball Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds' bullpen finally had a bad day.
Khris Davis hit a pair of two-run homers in consecutive at-bats for the first multihomer game of his career, powering the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-4 victory over Cincinnati on Friday night.
The Reds lost for only the fifth time in their last 17 games, a surge that has tightened the NL Central race. They came in a season-high 18 games over .500.
Davis connected in the sixth off Homer Bailey and again in the eighth off Alfredo Simon (5-4), who had a rough inning. He also gave up Gennett's solo homer, which was upheld on review. Gennett also singled and doubled and scored twice.
The bullpen has pitched a lot of innings lately, which could have been a factor. Simon had been consistent lately, allowing only two runs in his last nine appearances.
"That was uncharacteristic of Simon," manager Dusty Baker said. "I think you saw some signs of fatigue, and that Davis is the best young player I've seen come into the league this year."
Scooter Gennett also homered for Milwaukee, which won at Great American Ball Park for only the second time in seven games this season.
Rob Wooten (2-0) hit a batter during his one inning in relief. Zack Cozart singled home a run in the eighth off Brandon Kintzler. Jim Henderson gave up a hit in the ninth while getting his 20th save in 23 chances, leaving him with 14 straight scoreless appearances.
The Brewers played their first game since Ryan Braun acknowledged in a statement that he used performance-enhancing drugs while recovering from an injury in 2011, when he won the National League MVP award. Players called it a good first step for Braun, who is serving a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball.
Davis rejoined the Brewers when Braun was suspended, his third stint of the season. He's hit all eight of his homers in the 23 games since, including the two-run shot that put Milwaukee ahead 3-2 in the sixth. His next homer snapped a 3-all tie.
The rookie is batting .386 since Braun started his suspension.
"I don't see any flaws in him right now," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He's really doing a good job."
Bailey repeatedly went deep in the count to batters and retired the side in order only once during his six innings. Baker considered letting him go another inning, but was concerned about his pitch count over his last two starts.
"I contemplated leaving him out there a little longer, but he went 118 pitches in the last outing and he had 102 tonight," Baker said. "It was a struggle."
Norichika Aoki singled home a run in the third. Aramis Ramirez doubled ahead of Davis' homer to left-center field in the sixth off Bailey, who is 2-7 career against Milwaukee.
"Physically, I felt fine," Bailey said. "I thought we cruised through there pretty good, except for one inning. What'd I give up otherwise? Four hits? Walked one? One of my mistakes cost me."
The Reds got a pair of runs in the fourth off Yovani Gallardo with the help of an error. Brandon Phillips singled, Ryan Ludwick walked, and both runners scored when Cozart singled to center and Carlos Gomez bobbled the ball. Gomez hadn't played since last Thursday when he ran into the outfield wall, hurting his right knee.
Phillips led off the sixth inning with his 16th homer, which cleared the wall in center and tied it at 3. Gallardo also went six innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs.