MILWAUKEE (AP) With Jonathan Lucroy no longer around, the Milwaukee Brewers have needed Ryan Braun to carry an even heavier offensive load.
Braun continued his torrid second half by hitting two homers, doubling and driving in six runs Sunday as the Brewers avoided a sweep with a 7-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
''He's really locked in and producing, for sure,'' Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. ''We were worried a little about what would happen after losing the hitter (Jonathan Lucroy) behind him, but he's responded really well and he's certainly been swinging the bat great.''
Braun hit a two-run double in the first inning, a three-run homer in the second and his 22nd home run in the fourth.
It was Braun's fourth multihomer game of the season and the 26th of his career. He is hitting .381 (32 for 84) with nine home runs and 21 RBIs in 23 games since the All-Star break.
''Over the last couple weeks I've swung the bat pretty well and the pitches that I have gotten to hit, I haven't missed many of them,'' Braun said. ''That's what leads to sustained success.''
Joey Votto homered, doubled and drove in all three Reds runs.
Wily Peralta (5-8) allowed one run on four hits over six innings to earn his first win since June 11.
Making the most of a second chance, Peralta has a 2.25 ERA in two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Aug. 8. He was clocked as high as 99 mph Sunday.
''It feels great,'' Peralta said. ''I think I'm in good shape right now. My mechanics have been pretty good. That's one of the reasons my velocity has been there, has been up in my last few starts. Just being consistent in my delivery, that's all.''
Rookie Cody Reed (0-7) was tagged for six runs on five hits and three walks before being pulled after Braun's home run in the second. Braun homered later off reliever Keyvius Sampson.
Reed needed 46 pitches to get through the first inning. Nine Brewers came to the plate, combining for two hits, three walks, a hit batter and four stolen bases.
''I just wasn't making very good pitches,'' Reed said. ''It's not like I'm trying to make bad pitches. I just, like I said, getting out there and compete the best I can, and I'm not giving my team a very good chance to win. Ever since I've been here, every time I go out, I'm not giving them a very good chance. It's frustrating for me.''
Billy Hamilton had three hits for the Reds, including two doubles. He scored from first on Votto's bloop double in the sixth.
Votto hit his 19th homer of the season off Carlos Torres in the eighth.
Milwaukee has homered in 17 straight games, its longest run since setting the franchise record at 20 games from July 1-24, 2008.
GETTING INTO THE ACT
Brewers 1B Chris Carter stole his first base in 182 games when he swiped second in the first inning. His last steal came June 7, 2015, while playing with Houston.
Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips left the game in the second inning with a bruised left knee. He was injured when Orlando Arcia slid into him on a stolen base attempt in the first inning. X-rays taken on his left knee were negative. ... RHP Alfredo Simon (right trapezius) and RHP A.J. Morris were scheduled to throw one inning for Triple-A Louisville on Sunday.
Brewers: OF Domingo Santana (right elbow soreness) hit a home run Saturday during a game on a rehab assignment for Class A Wisconsin.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (7-8, 4.45 ERA) will face Miami for the first time in his career Monday. He allowed three runs on six hits with six walks over six innings Aug. 9 against St. Louis.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (4-4, 4.83 ERA) and RHP Chase Anderson (7-10, 4.93 ERA) will start a day-night doubleheader Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.