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Brewers hold off Reds to keep pace in playoff race

Domingo Santana hit an early three-run homer and the Milwaukee Brewers kept pace in the playoff race by holding off the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 on Tuesday night.

The surprising Brewers need help to reach the postseason. They remained 1 1/2 games behind Colorado for the second NL wild card after the Rockies blanked Miami 6-0.

Milwaukee (83-74) was six games back of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central. Chicago played at St. Louis and was one win short of clinching the division crown.

With starter Zach Davies lasting just four innings, Josh Hader (2-3) earned the win by striking out six and allowing two runs over 2 2/3 innings of relief.

Joey Votto singled with one out in the ninth off Brewers closer Corey Knebel, and pinch-runner Philip Ervin stole second. Knebel recovered to earn his 38th save by striking out Scooter Gennett and getting Eugenio Suarez to fly out to right field.

Santana connected off rookie Deck McGuire (0-1).

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