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Reds catching duo leads the way against Brewers

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The Cincinnati Reds pounded out 12 hits including home runs from catchers Tucker Barnhart and Brayan Pena to knock off the first place Milwaukee Brewers 8-3 on Thursday at Great American Ballpark.

Homer Bailey (2-2) tossed eight solid innings to help rest a bullpen that was knocked around Wednesday after an early exit by Tony Cingrani. Cingrani was placed on the disabled list after the game with shoulder tendinitis as the Reds called up Curtis Partch to fill the roster spot. The Reds (13-15) are closer to getting back a key piece of their pitching staff as Aroldis Chapman made an appearance for the Dayton Dragons with his fastball topping out at 101 mph.

The Reds did suffer a setback right off the bat when Billy Hamilton made a diving catch to rob Carlos Gomez of extra bases. Hamilton landed awkwardly on his glove hand and was taken out after the inning and replaced by Chris Heisey. Gomez got his revenge in the bottom of the inning when he robbed Joey Votto of a home run, something he's done to the Reds slugger before.

The Brewers (20-9) got on the board first when Jean Segura singled in Khris Davis in the second inning. Gomez had another shot at a hit taken away by a Reds' outfielder as this time Ryan Ludwick made a diving catch to end the inning. That score held until Marco Estrada allowed the first home run hit by Barnhart in his MLB career. Todd Frazier added on to that in the sixth with a two-run homer over the left field wall that just escaped the glove of Davis.

Bailey was unable to hold that lead as Milwaukee mounted a two-out rally with back-to-back singles by Segura and Rickie Weeks. Gomez finally notched the big hit he had been robbed of when he doubled in both runners to tie the game at three. The Reds had a chance against Brandon Kintzler in the bottom of the inning when they loaded the bases with two outs, but failed to score.

The eighth inning was much different as Zack Cozart singled and then scored on a pinch-hit homer by Pena, his second long ball in as many games. Two hits and the second intentional walk to Jay Bruce brought on Rob Wooten to replace the ineffective Jim Henderson (2-1). Wooten, who was just called up by Milwaukee, walked Frazier on a full-count to score Heisey. Ludwick delivered the big blow with a sharp ground ball that bounced off the glove of Aramis Ramirez and into left field to score Votto and Bruce. Cozart was hit by a pitch in his second at bat of the inning to load the bases again, but Barnhart grounded out to end the scoring.

Jonathan Broxton came on and worked a 1-2-3 inning to lock down the victory. The two teams continue the four game series Friday with Mike Leake (2-2, 3,82 ERA) taking on Wily Peralta (3-1, 2.56 ERA). The game also marks the first of three Star Wars themed games. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.

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