MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have seen more than enough of Eugenio Suárez this week.
Brewers starter Zach Davies hadn't given up a home run in almost a month, but the Cincinnati Reds slugger had hit two home runs less than 24 hours earlier, and when the two clashed Tuesday night, Suárez prevailed.
Suárez hit a two-run, opposite-field home run to right in the first inning, and two batters later, Jesse Winker followed with his own two-run homer as the Reds routed the Brewers 14-6.
Joey Votto also hit a two-run homer and pinch-hitter Phillip Ervin had a three-run triple as Cincinnati beat the Brewers for the fifth straight time.
"Who we're playing doesn't matter," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "You've got to play a good game to win. And we're not playing well enough in these games. We didn't come close to playing well enough tonight."
Davies (8-3) had not allowed a home run since June 25, going 1-0 in four starts since, but allowed six earned runs and nine hits in four-plus innings. His ERA rose from 2.79, sixth-lowest among qualified pitchers, to 3.17.
"He's very patient, aggressive when he needs to be, but stays within the zone," Davies said of Suárez. "He's a tough out. Good swing, strong guy. You can make your pitch and he can still be able to get a hit out of it."
Suárez's homer was his 27th. He leads the major leagues with 10 home runs in the first inning.
"When you face a guy a lot, you know how they pitch and you've got to be prepared. Today, we were really ready for him," Suárez said of Davies. "Everybody knows he's got really good stuff. Really good sinker, change-up, cutter, curveball. But today, he threw a lot of sinkers and we were ready."
Suárez chased Davies with an RBI single in the fifth, Ervin tripled off left-hander Alex Claudio and Scooter Gennett had a sacrifice fly for a 9-0 lead.
"It was tough in one respect in that Jesse is swinging the bat really well right now," manager David Bell said of replacing Winker with Ervin. "On the other hand, we have an opportunity to do what Phil ends up doing. It's just so important in these games to keep adding on. We had the edge right there for Phil with the left-hander. Just trying to take advantage of the matchup."
Tanner Roark (6-6) gave up two runs and six hits in five innings.
Sal Romano, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Monday, made his first appearance of the season and earned a save by pitching three innings, giving up one run.
Manny Piña hit a three-run home run and had four RBIs for the Brewers.
The grand slams hit by the Brewers' Tyler Saladino on Sunday and Monday made him the first player to hit grand slams in consecutive games since the Yankees' Jorge Posada in 2010.
Despite Saladino's slam, the Brewers lost on Monday, which was the first time this season Milwaukee lost when leading after eight innings (48-1).
Woodruff’s been there before
Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff has experience coming back from an oblique injury. He’ll rely on that while navigating his current stint on the injured list, which the club estimates will sideline the All-Star right-hander six weeks.
“I had one in 2015 [at advanced Class A Brevard County], but it was further back,” Woodruff said in his first comments since an MRI scan offered a firmer timeline for his return. “I think it lasted a month to the day from it happening; I was pitching in games again. But this is a little different spot. Further up front. [Six weeks] is about what I expected when they told me.
“I’ve been through it. It sucks. It’s a slow process. But you can’t rush it. That’s the worst thing about it; you don’t want to come back too early and then re-injure it and it be even worse. So it’s something I’m going to have to take my time with and be smart with. That’s going to be the toughest thing because we’re right in the meat of the schedule and I really want to be out there pitching. I just have to be smart and take things slow.”
The good news, Woodruff said, was he was already starting to feel better.
“The big test is, for me, getting out of bed and laying down and this morning was a lot better,” he said. “I was able to get up pretty easy. So that’s a good sign for me and hopefully each day it keeps getting better.”
As he hinted Monday, manager Craig Counsell said the Brewers would proceed for now with a four-man rotation in the immediate wake of Woodruff’s injury. That means Gonzalez, Chase Anderson and Davies were tentatively scheduled to start the team’s upcoming three-game series against the Cubs. An off-day Thursday means everyone will pitch on at least regular rest.
Around the horn
The Brewers and their longtime flagship radio station, Newsradio 620 WTMJ, agreed to extend their radio rights agreement with a multiyear extension, the terms of which were not disclosed. WTMJ has been the flagship for all but two seasons since the franchise moved to Milwaukee in 1970. ... The Brewers introduced a new policy for carry-in bags this week that they will begin enforcing next season, when only single-compartment bags will be allowed. The aim is to speed the flow of fans through stadium security, said club spokesperson Tyler Barnes, who encouraged fans without any carry-in bags to use express lanes already in place this year.
Reds' right-hander Lucas Sims (1-0) makes his second start of the season, and his first since May 28, on Wednesday. The Brewers will send out right-hander Jhoulys Chacín (3-10), who has not won since April 30.