Even when they’re lacking power, the Cincinnati Reds aren’t likely to give up on too many games.
Looking to build off an impressive comeback victory, the Reds hope to keep putting plenty of runs on the board Thursday as they begin a four-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers.
“We will keep playing hard and playing until the ninth inning, no matter what happens,” said Encarnacion, who went 5-for-12 with five RBIs and five runs as the Reds took two of three games from the Marlins.
Cincinnati has scored 31 runs in the last four games, and leads the NL with 95 this season.
Dunn went 0-for-3 on Wednesday, but drew two walks for the fourth consecutive game. He’s failed to homer in the last two games after hitting one in three straight.
He also has eight of Cincinnati’s major league-leading 29 home runs.
However, none of those came Wednesday and the Reds didn’t even have an extra-base hit until Encarnacion’s double.
“It just shows we don’t have to hit home runs to win games, either,” said Ryan Freel, who went 2-for-4. “We’ve shown we can score five or six runs an inning. With this lineup, there’s no reason to drop your head and give up.”
Dunn may have a good chance to go deep again—he’s 8-for-18 (.444) with three homers against Tomo Ohka, who will be starting Thursday for Milwaukee (8-7).
Ohka (1-1, 3.00 ERA) is looking to shut down one of the NL’s hottest lineups for the second consecutive outing. He limited the New York Mets to two runs— one earned—and five hits in seven innings of an 8-2 win on Saturday.
The right-hander has gone 4-2 with a 3.23 ERA in eight starts against the Reds.
Cincinnati is scoring 6.3 runs per game, the same average its pitching staff is allowing.
Dave Williams (0-2, 8.00) hopes to help the Reds reduce the latter, looking to avoid his third loss in as many starts. Williams, acquired from Pittsburgh during the offseason, lasted only three innings and allowed six runs in a 9-3 loss at St. Louis on Sunday.
The left-hander has beaten the Brewers more than any other opponent, going 4-1 with a 4.26 ERA in five starts against them.
Williams is facing a Milwaukee team that scored 26 runs in its three-game series at Houston this week.
“I’m happy with the way we’re swinging our bats,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Weeks has hit safely in eight straight games and has scored seven runs over the last four, and fellow second-year player J.J. Hardy has driven in at least one run in four of the last five games.
Rookie Prince Fielder had a pinch RBI double Wednesday and is 12-for-25 over the last seven games.
The production of those youngsters may be benefitting cleanup hitter Carlos Lee, who went 6-for-11 with three homers, five RBIs and five runs in the three games against Houston.
A career .263 hitter in April entering this season, Lee is batting .345 and leads the team with eight homers and 15 RBIs.