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, 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

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