MILWAUKEE (AP) — Joey Votto continues to quietly put up eye-popping numbers.
Votto hit his 19th home run of the season and added a double in the Cincinnati Reds’ 7-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
“He’d be easy to overlook,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “It’s remarkable to watch, it really is.”
Cincinnati is in last place in the NL Central, and Votto hit only .252 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in the first half of the season.
Since the break, he’s gone 44-of-95 to raise his average to .303 with five homers and 20 RBIs, to go along with a .558 on-base percentage in the second half — not that Price believes many people have been watching.
“You go out and watch the MLB channel, the highlights, and the Reds are always the last game to be played,” Price said. “His numbers, they have to be historic — just from a batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage — from where they stand pre-and post-All-Star break.”
Ryan Braun hit two homers, doubled and drove in six runs for Milwaukee, which took advantage of rookie Cody Reed (0-7) for six runs on five hits and three walks.
Reed was pulled after Braun’s three-run shot in the second.
Billy Hamilton had three hits for the Reds, including two doubles. He scored from first on Votto’s bloop double in the sixth.
Wily Peralta (5-8) allowed one run on four hits over six innings to earn his first win since June 11.
Brandon Phillips left the game in the second inning with a bruised left knee. The Reds second baseman was injured when Orlando Arcia slid into his left leg on a stolen base attempt in the first inning. X-rays were negative.
“I don’t think it’s serious,” Price said.
Braun hit a two-run double in the first inning, a three-run homer in the second and his 22nd home run in the fourth.
It was Braun’s fourth multihomer game of the season and the 26th of his career.
He is hitting .381 (32 for 84) with nine home runs and 21 RBIs in 23 games since the All-Star break.
“Over the last couple weeks I’ve swung the bat pretty well and the pitches that I have gotten to hit, I haven’t missed many of them,” Braun said. “That’s what leads to sustained success.”
Milwaukee has homered in 17 straight games, its longest run since setting the franchise record at 20 games from July 1-24, 2008.
Reds: RHP Alfredo Simon (right trapezius) and RHP A.J. Morris were scheduled to throw one inning for Triple-A Louisville on Sunday.
Brewers: OF Domingo Santana (right elbow soreness) hit a home run Saturday during a game on a rehab assignment for Class A Wisconsin.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (7-8, 4.45 ERA) will face Miami for the first time in his career Monday. He allowed three runs on six hits with six walks over six innings Aug. 9 against St. Louis.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (4-4, 4.83 ERA) and RHP Chase Anderson (7-10, 4.93 ERA) will start a day-night doubleheader Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.