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Homegrown Votto helps Reds avoid sweep in Toronto

TORONTO — Joey Votto made sure the Cincinnati Reds didn’t get swept out of his hometown.

Votto had a tiebreaking home run among his four hits and the Reds avoided a sweep, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 on Thursday night.

Born in suburban Toronto, Votto came in 2 for 18 in five career games here but turned that around by doubling home a run in the first, hitting an RBI single in the second, reaching on a leadoff single in the fourth and homering to begin the sixth.

‘‘Boy, that was some performance in front of his home people here in Toronto,’’ Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Votto said snapping Cincinnati’s four-game losing streak meant more than playing well before friends and family.

‘‘Getting the W today is far more important,’’ Votto added. ‘‘I wish we’d had a better series in Games 1 and 2 but playing well today and contributing to the win was really big for me.’’

Batting cleanup for the first time this season, Votto’s homer was his first since May 26, against Houston. He returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing 21 games because of stress and anxiety issues related to his father’s death last August.

‘‘It was nice feeling good without having to think about the problems I’ve been having,’’ Votto said. ‘‘I felt like yesterday was a good step and today was an even better step.’’

Votto, who struck out in his final at-bat, had his second four-hit game of the season and the third of his career.

‘‘It’s good to get back here and have a night like he did,’’ Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said. ‘‘Everyone knows what he’s capable of. Getting four hits anytime is tough. He’s a big part of our lineup and it’s good to have him back.’’

Right-hander Johnny Cueto (7-4) allowed five runs and five hits in six innings for the win and improved to 6-2 on the road.

Nick Masset and David Weathers each pitched one inning of relief and Francisco Cordero finished it in the ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances.

The loss went to Toronto righty Shawn Camp (0-3), who had pitched three scoreless innings before giving up Votto’s homer.

Cincinnati jumped in front with a four-run first against Blue Jays rookie left-hander Brett Cecil, doing all its damage with two outs. Votto and Jonny Gomes had RBI doubles and Bruce capped it with a two-run double off the wall in left.

Reds’ boxscore

Reds 7, Blue Jays 5

Cincinnati Toronto

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Tavers cf 5 1 3 1 Scutaro ss 4 0 0 0

HrstnJr 3b 4 0 1 0 A.Hill 2b 3 2 1 1

BPhllps 2b 5 0 0 0 V.Wells cf 4 1 2 2

Votto 1b 5 2 4 3 Rolen 3b 4 0 1 2

Gomes dh 4 1 2 1 Lind lf 2 0 0 0

RHrndz c 4 1 1 0 Rios rf 4 0 0 0

Bruce rf 5 0 1 2 Overay 1b 2 1 0 0

Janish ss 4 1 2 0 Barajs c 4 0 0 0

Dickrsn lf 3 1 1 0 RAdms dh 4 1 1 0

Totals 39 7 15 7 Totals 31 5 5 5

Cincinnati 410 000 110 — 7

Toronto 100 040 000 — 5

DP—Cincinnati 1, Toronto 2. LOB—Cincinnati 9, Toronto 4. 2B—Taveras (8), Votto (11), Gomes (6), R.Hernandez (9), Bruce (10), Janish (4), V.Wells (20). HR—Votto (9), A.Hill (17). SB—Taveras (15). S—Dickerson.

IP H R ER BB SO

Cincinnati

Cueto W,7-4 6 5 5 5 3 4

Masset H,5 1 0 0 0 0 1

Weathers H,12 1 0 0 0 0 0

Cordero S,18-19 1 0 0 0 1 0

Toronto

Cecil 3 9 5 5 3 2

Camp L,0-3 4 3 1 1 0 2

League 1 2 1 1 0 1

Carlson 1 1 0 0 0 2

HBP—by Cueto (Lind). WP—League. Umpires—Home, Damien Beal; First, Scott Barry; Second, Phil Cuzzi; Third, Tom Hallion. T—2:49. A—15,329 (49,539).