Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Braun's go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the middle test of a three-game set.
Scooter Gennett hit a one-out bloop double against J.J. Hoover (1-5) before Braun whacked his two-run shot, an opposite-field blast over the wall in right that gave Milwaukee a 4-2 edge.
"In the last week or two, my swings probably fluctuated somewhere between terrible and awful," Braun said of his recent slump. "It's not fun, it's always frustrating, eventually things work themselves out."
Francisco Rodriguez then spun a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his 21st save of the year.
Yovani Gallardo struck out eight and allowed a run on six hits and two walks over seven frames in a no-decision for the Brewers, who have won five of their last seven games.
Mat Latos, who yielded just two hits over six scoreless frames, made his first start of the season for the Reds. He underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the spring, then dealt with an elbow strain while working on his return.
"(It) was emotional for sure," said Latos. "First time back in a while. I felt good. The outcome kind of sucks but that's baseball. We'll come back strong tomorrow."
Billy Hamilton smacked a solo homer among his two hits and two runs scored for Cincinnati, which had won five of its last seven contests coming in.
The Reds opened the scoring in the first inning, but neither team could muster much offense until Milwaukee took the lead with a pair of runs in the seventh.
Hamilton led off the game with a ground-rule double into left-center before Todd Frazier grounded out and Joey Votto struck out. Brandon Phillips, though, came through with a two-out RBI with a single up the middle to bring home Hamilton.
In between the first and seventh frames, Cincinnati squandered a leadoff double by Ryan Ludwick in the second and Jay Bruce lined out with runners on first and second and two outs in the sixth.
Gennett hit a two-out double for Milwaukee in the bottom of the sixth, but Braun flied out to end that mini-threat.
Logan Ondrusek replaced Latos in the seventh, and the Brewers finally got on the board.
Jonathan Lucroy walked and Carlos Gomez singled before both runners moved up a base on Aramis Ramirez's flyout to center. Khris Davis' RBI groundout pushed Lucroy across.
Manny Parra replaced Ondrusek on the mound and threw a wild pitch which allowed Gomez to scamper to third. Pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks then rolled a base hit through the hole on the left side to plate Gomez and put Milwaukee in front, 2-1.
The Reds immediately got the run back in the eighth. Will Smith (1-0) took over for Gallardo on the hill and served up Hamilton's one-out solo shot to left, which tied the game at 2-2.
Milwaukee was 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position, while the Reds were 2- for-7 in those situations ... To make room for Latos on the roster, Cincinnati placed pitcher Sean Marshall of the 15-day DL with a strained left shoulder.