Nice series opening win

Lots of items worthy to note from an 8-3 Reds win over the Brewers to open a four-game series on Thursday.

*Homer Bailey looked good for the most part with a season-high eight innings pitched. He allowed three runs and eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Bailey, who gave up seven homers coming in, had none tonight. Until a two-out, two-run seventh, he had retired 12 of 13.

“We didn’t do much until the end there when we scored the runs,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Bailey. “He had a real nice fastball, good split-finger, his slider was good. When he’s on, he’s tough. Early on I thought he threw a nice ballgame.”

*Tucker Barnhart hit his first Major League homer, with a leadoff shot to right field in the fifth that made it a 1-1 game. Bailey praised Barnhart’s work in the game.

“We really commanded the zone very well. I thought Tucker did an outstanding job at the plate and then behind the plate. For a young guy, he has a good clue of what he’s doing. It’s good to have that. Good for him, first home run.”

*The other Reds catcher picking up for the injured Devin Mesoraco also came up big. Brayan Pena broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning with a pinch-hit two-run homer. It was his second career pinch-hit home run.

“Every time I get the opportunity to be in the lineup or being in there to pinch-hit, I just try to do my best,” Pena said. “I try to help my team to win. I was very excited because I didn’t want to let the skipper down. He trusted me in that big situation. He gave me the opportunity to come through.”

*Another injury bites the Reds: On the very first pitch of the game by Reds starter Homer Bailey, Carlos Gomez lined a rocket to right-center field. Billy Hamilton made a nice diving catch but got up slowly. He was replaced by pinch-hitter Chris Heisey to begin the bottom of the first. Hamilton was diagnosed with a sprained third and fourth knuckle on his left hand.

“He dove for a ball and jammed his fingers, and unfortunately, it was the same hand he had jammed earlier in the year in New York [on April 4],” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We’re optimistic it will only be a day or two. But again, you never know until you see him in a day or two. We won’t anticipate him playing tomorrow, or at least starting in the outfield. But there are probably some things he can do to help us win a game.”

*Gomez got his revenge on defense in the bottom of the first. Joey Votto tattooed a deep drive to center field, where Gomez made a leaping catch at the wall to take away a homer. Gomez showed his excitement and in a funny moment, Votto could be seen motioning to him with two fingers in the air. Gomez ended a game in Milwaukee with another homer-robbing catch at the fence last season.

*Jonathan Broxton pitched a seven-pitch, seven-strike 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation. Broxton has allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings this season.

*Reporter Andy Call, who covered Aroldis Chapman’s rehab start at Class A Dayton for MLB.com, said that the lefty threw 18 pitches, including 11 strikes Chapman had two called strikeouts and a fly out to left field. He touched 101 mph on the fourth pitch, 100 on another and 99 on four others. Click here to read the full Chapman story on Reds.com

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