CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto homered for his first hit all season against Milwaukee, Trevor Bauer dominated on short rest, and the Cincinnati Reds won a pivotal series for playoff contention, beating the Brewers 6-1 on Wednesday night.
The Reds are in position for a wild-card playoff berth after taking two of three from their NL Central rival. Cincinnati has won nine of 11, its best streak of the season, to get a shot at its first playoff appearance since 2013 under manager Dusty Baker.
Reflecting the urgency of winning the final game of the series, Cincinnati had Bauer (5-4) pitch on three days’ rest. He allowed four hits and struck out 12 in eight innings.
Bauer exited with an NL-best 1.73 ERA. Cleveland’s Shane Bieber tops the majors at 1.63 after a strong performance Wednesday night.
After a day off Thursday, Cincinnati finishes with three games in Minnesota and a chance to clinch a spot.
For Milwaukee, it was a disappointing start to a challenging final week on the road. The Brewers fell a game behind the Reds and now head to St. Louis, where they’ll play five games in four days with a doubleheader on Friday.