Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 7/20/12
By JEFF BARTL, STATS Writer The Cincinnati Reds didn't panic when they learned injured slugger Joey Votto would miss at least three weeks, nor did they when trailing by six runs in their latest contest. While teams like the Milwaukee Brewers who are chasing them in the NL Central may be looking to pounce on the Votto-less Reds, Brandon Phillips helped show there's still some pop in the lineup. First-place Cincinnati seeks its fifth win in seven meetings with Milwaukee when it hosts the opener of a three-game series Friday night. Votto was hitting .342 when he had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee Tuesday. The Reds lost two of their first three games without Votto, scoring a combined eight runs, before falling behind 6-0 to Arizona on Thursday. Phillips, though, hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and a tying two-run double in the seventh, then scored the go-ahead run later in that inning as Cincinnati won 7-6. He's hitting .438 over his last eight. "Brandon can hit all over the order," manager Dusty Baker said. "He's the only guy we've got who can do that. This lets you know you can come back. It shows us what we can do without Joey. You've just got to keep doing what you can do." The Reds (52-40) have won four of the first six meetings with Milwaukee (44-47), which has won six of nine and is 7 12 games behind the division leaders. "Joey Votto is out for the next month - that completely changes the dynamic of the division," Ryan Braun told the Brewers' official website. "When one of the teams ahead of you loses its best player for a month, that changes everything. "There is no good reason to lose optimism when there are still all of these games left." Braun hopes to be back in the lineup for the series opener after sitting out Wednesday's 4-3 win over St. Louis due to a right groin strain. He's 6 for 14 with four extra-base hits over the past 2 12 seasons against Homer Bailey, who takes the mound for the Reds on Friday. Bailey (8-6, 3.93 ERA) has won three consecutive starts, posting a 1.99 ERA, after giving up one earned run in eight innings of a 4-2 victory over St. Louis on Sunday. The right-hander went into his last outing 1-4 with a 5.86 ERA at home, including giving up five runs in four innings of an 8-4 loss to the Brewers on June 27. Bailey also allowed six runs in 3 2-3 innings of an 8-3 defeat at Milwaukee on May 8, and he's 0-5 with a 6.50 ERA in 10 career starts versus the Brewers. Rickie Weeks is 11 for 21 with two homers against him but enters this contest batting .197. Milwaukee counters with Marco Estrada (0-3, 4.13), who has 29 strikeouts over his last three starts. He had 11 on Saturday, giving up three runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh. The right-hander did not get a decision in that game or June 26 against the Reds despite striking out a career-high 12, allowing three runs in six innings of a 4-3 loss. He's 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA in seven career appearances - three starts - versus Cincinnati. Phillips is 6 for 12 against him. Jay Bruce is 4 for 11 with three homers off Estrada but is in an 0-for-16 drought.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Brandon Marshall on Newton’s presser: ‘You can’t do that’

Sabathia on post-rehab health: The best I've felt in three years

Carmelo Anthony says he's putting his trust in Phil Jackson

Lynn Swann: Calvin Johnson not a Hall of Famer

NFL requiring background checks for combine participants

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch


Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Oscillation, thy name is Pablo Sandoval

Mat Latos could be the steal of free agency

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker