Greensburg Daily News
---- — CINCINNATI (AP) — Ryan Braun’s 65-game suspension created a big hole in Milwaukee’s lineup. A hard-swinging rookie is trying to fill it in a bit.
Khris Davis hit a pair of two-run homers in consecutive at-bats for the first multihomer game of his career, powering the Brewers to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
“I don’t see any flaws in him right now,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “He’s really doing a good job.”
The Brewers played their first game since 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 the day after Braun was suspended, getting 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.
“I’m just having fun with it and trying to be loose out there,” said Davis, who is batting .386 in Braun’s absence.
Scooter Gennett also homered for Milwaukee, which won at Great American Ball Park for only the second time in seven games this season.
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 Reds’ bullpen has lost set-up man Jonathan Broxton to an elbow injury and been forced to pitch a lot of innings lately.
“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.”
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.
Bailey repeatedly went deep in the count to batters and retired the side in order only once during his six innings.
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.
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.
Davis won it with his second homer.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Gallardo said. “We saw him swing the bat in spring training. He impressed a lot of people in spring training, and he’s doing it now. He’s able to drive the ball the other way with power.
“It’s a big challenge when you have a hitter with power who can also go the other way and still drive it out of the park.”