Joey Votto hit a two-run homer, an encouraging sign that he's progressing in his recovery from knee surgery that robbed him of his power last season, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the split-squad Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Monday.
Votto didn't homer after June 24 last season. He missed 48 games after tearing cartilage in his knee, and was reduced to hitting mostly singles when he returned because the knee wasn't fully healed.
He connected in the third inning off Robert Wooten. Votto also had an RBI groundout off Tyler Thornburg, a third-round draft pick in 2010 who is trying to win a spot in the Brewers' revamped rotation.
Right fielder Jay Bruce was scratched from the Reds' lineup after batting practice because of a sore right heel.