“When you’re right and you feel comfortable, it really doesn’t matter who the pitcher is sometimes, and I felt like he was that locked in tonight,” Reds manager David Bell said.
The homers came in the 125th and 126th at-bats of Barrero’s career. They were the first two hits this season for Barrero, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday.
“It’s incredible. To have this come up today just feels amazing,” Barrero said through a translator.
Barrero, a Havana native, said he dedicated the home runs to his late mother, Tonia Barrero, who died in Cuba from symptoms related to COVID-19. He changed his name last year from Jose Garcia to honor her.
Milwaukee scored twice off reliever Hunter Strickland in the ninth to make it 7-5, but squandered two good chances when the game was closer.
Trailing 4-3 in the fifth, the Brewers loaded the bases with one out against rookie starter Nick Lodolo. The left-hander struck out Mike Brosseau before righty Buck Farmer (1-1) retired Hunter Renfroe to end the inning.
Down 5-3 in the sixth, Milwaukee had two runners on with two outs when right fielder Aristides Aquino threw out Victor Caratini at the plate on Christian Yelich’s single.
Andrew McCutchen hit a solo homer and Keston Hiura had a two-run shot for Milwaukee in the fourth.
McCutchen also had a sacrifice fly in the ninth.