Reds manager Bryan Price was asked before Friday's game if the Reds would keep Alfredo Simon in the rotation for the rest of the season given that Simon is quickly approaching his career-high for innings.

Price said the Reds would. A couple of hours later, Simon showed why. He went 7 1/3 innings to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 before a sellout crowd of 42,120 at Great American Ball Park.

Simon allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three to improve to 11-3. He tied for the National League lead in wins. It was his 15th quality start in the 17 outings this year.

"That was fun," he said. "I kept the ball down. I did what I do before. I try to win this game."

The Reds are 6-2 against the first-place Brewers this year. Friday's win moved the Reds to within six games of the Brewers -- as close as the Reds have been since May 24.

"There's a lot of reasons it was important to win," Price said. "No. 1, it would have been our fourth consecutive loss if we lose. No. 2, it would have put us eight games behind with only the opportunity to pick up a game over the next two. We don't want to get further back going into the All-Star Break and create a mountain.

"It was a big victory no doubt about it."