• 37°

Votto’s home run keys Reds’ win over Brewers

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Joey Votto homered for his first hit of spring training, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-1 victory over a Milwaukee Brewers split-squad on Thursday.

The first baseman was 0 for 9 before his long solo drive off left-hander Chris Capuano, who is trying to resume his career after elbow problems kept him out of the majors for the last two seasons.

“It was just a matter of time because Joey Votto can hit,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Still, it’s nice to see him hit one on that (outfield) bank up there.”

The 31-year-old Capuano had reconstructive elbow surgery and is trying to get back to the majors for the first time since 2006, when he won 11 games for the Brewers. He pitched 2 1-3 innings against the Reds, giving up two runs, three hits and two walks.

Chris Dickerson, trying to fill Cincinnati’s opening in left field, had a run-scoring triple following a walk to Laynce Nix.

“The walk to Nix was very costly,” manager Ken Macha said. “I don’t worry about Joey Votto’s home run because he can hit. He isn’t the first or last guy to hit a home run off him. He was free and easy, but he got (deep) into his pitch count, so they worked him pretty good.”

Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto pitched three scoreless innings, a major improvement over his first spring outing. He gave up four runs to Cleveland last Saturday, but kept the Brewers in check — one hit and one walk — after fixing a flaw in his delivery.

“I was working on using my legs to step more toward home plate,” Cueto said.

Chris Narveson started for the Brewers and gave up one hit and one walk in three scoreless innings, striking out three.

“Narveson was very good,” Macha said. “He had two baserunners, but threw a double-play ball. All of his pitches were working. His location was good.”

Jim Edmonds, in the Brewers’ camp as a non-roster player, had a pair of hits.

NOTES: The Brewers chose not to use a designated hitter. The Reds did. … OF Trent Oeltjen was back in Milwaukee’s lineup and drew a walk. He’d been out since he was hit on the left wrist by a pitch on March 5. … The Brewers sent RHP Cody Scarpetta to their minor league camp. … Reds INF Aaron Miles was cleared to play. He suffered a hairline fracture of the tip of his right middle finger on March 2. “When they told me it was broken, I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I lost some time, but I’m excited to get back.” … Former Reds SS Barry Larkin arrived in Goodyear to spend time as a guest instructor.