Lee snapped a 3-for-30 slump by going 2-for-3 with two-run shot off Brandon Claussen (3-5), who fell to 1-6 in his career against Milwaukee.
“It felt like Barry Bonds getting 714,” Lee said as the ball he hit for the milestone homer was being authenticated. “It was the reason I slid a little bit. It feels good to get it—plus we got the win.”
Lee’s homer was his 16th of the season and first since May 9.
“When you make pitches up in the zone to Carlos Lee, there’s a good chance you’re not going to get it back,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said.
“We don’t seem like we hit Davis too well,” Narron said. “I think it’s a rhythm thing. He works slow and has a slow delivery, and I think our guys get settled in against him.”
The left-hander, who had two no-decisions and a loss in that stretch, gave up five hits and two runs with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.
“I thought I was making my pitches for most of the night,” Davis said. “My changeup was big all night. If you stay out of the big inning, you have a chance to go deep in the game. Tonight was a big help. It got the bullpen some rest.”
The Brewers took a 1-0 lead before making an out in the first inning. Claussen walked Rickie Weeks to lead off the game, and Weeks came around to score on Jeff Cirillo’s double. After Geoff Jenkins lined out to second, Cirillo moved to third on Lee’s single to right and scored on Prince Fielder’s sacrifice fly.
“It was brutal,” Claussen said. “I started the game off bad. I never got in a rhythm out there. I threw pitches that should have gotten hit.”
Narron said, “I think he came out and wasn’t aggressive in the first inning. We’d like to see him throw more strikes. He even admitted that he was picking. We’ve told him that we’d like to see him get guys out early in the count.
Milwaukee, which had lost four of its last five games, extended the lead to 3-0 in the second when Davis put down a squeeze bunt to score Miller.
The Reds cut the lead to 3-1 in the third when Claussen scored on Ken Griffey Jr.’s bases-loaded chopper to first, but Lee gave the Brewers a four-run lead with a 424-foot homer to left in the fifth after Jenkins was hit by a pitch with two outs.
“Two outs and I hit a guy,” Claussen said. “I feel like, sometimes, I’m my own worst enemy. I go out and try to be too fine. The first two innings, I was pitching scared.”
Austin Kearns made it 5-2 in the sixth with his 10th homer and second in three games, an opposite-field shot into the visitors’ bullpen down the right-field line. The Brewers regained their four-run lead in the seventh when Weeks scored on Fielder’s bases-loaded groundout.
Claussen lasted six innings while falling to 1-3 over his last five starts. He allowed seven hits and five runs with two walks and four strikeouts.
“He’s a guy who can be tough on us, too,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “There’ve been a couple of times where he’s been tough and didn’t get the win.”
Cincinnati 2B Brandon Phillips batted leadoff for the first time this season and LF Cody Ross made his first start for the Reds since being acquired from Los Angeles on April 24. Ross was on the disabled list from May 2-22 with a bruised left pinky finger. … SS Felipe Lopez missed his second start of the season and LF Adam Dunn missed his first. … Miller missed the previous two games after leaving Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Minnesota in the fourth inning with back spasms. … Cirillo is hitting .412 (14-for-34) in his eight starts.