Kearns and Dunn, outfielders who were picked back to back in the 1998 draft and have been friends and roommates during their professional careers, each homered to provide all of Cincinnati's offense in a 3-2 victory Sunday over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Kearns hit a two-run shot off Doug Davis in the fourth inning to put the Reds ahead 2-1. Dunn led off the ninth by hitting a 2-2 pitch from Julio Santana (2-4) into the right field bleachers to snap a 2-all tie and give the Reds their ninth win in 13 games.
"It's fun," said Kearns, recalled by the Reds on Wednesday after being optioned to Triple-A Louisville on June 12. "We came up together, and we're as good a friends as you can be. It's nice. It's been a while, but it was nice."
David Weathers (6-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win as the Brewers wasted a gutty effort by their starter, Davis. The left-hander set a career high with 11 strikeouts but was left with his fifth no-decision in five starts. He allowed six hits and two runs with one intentional walk in eight innings.
"The only mistake I made was locating a pitch up and away to Kearns," Davis said. "If it's down and away, it's a groundball. I was happy with my performance, but I wasn't happy that we didn't get anything out of it as a team."
Davis is 0-1 in six starts since beating the Cubs 9-5 on June 22.
"He pitched as good as you can pitch," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "It's a shame we couldn't get some runs."
Cincinnati's Luke Hudson, who was 0-5 with a 10.72 ERA in his previous six starts, lasted six innings for the first time since his first start this season on June 9.
"It's about time," he said. "It's been too long between quality starts. I felt good, and it was all the better that we won the game."
Hudson allowed six hits and two runs.
"We know it's in there," Reds interim manager Jerry Narron said. "It's just a matter of getting it out of him."
Carlos Lee, who went into the game leading the NL with 82 RBI, gave Milwaukee a 1-0 lead in the first. He followed Lyle Overbay's
two-out single with a ringing double to the warning track in left-center.
The run was Milwaukee's first off Hudson in 12 2/3 innings.
"I know his numbers aren't good, but he's been tough on us," Yost said. "He's effectively wild."
Sean Casey singled leading off the fourth and Kearns followed with his seventh homer and first since June 3 to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. The opposite-field shot bounced off the top of the fence in the right field corner.
"I think everybody's happy to see Austin Kearns back," Narron said. "He's a bona fide major-league player."
Since returning to the Reds' lineup on Thursday, Kearns has at least one hit in all four starts and is batting .438 (7-for-16) with five RBI.
"With two strikes, you can't be thinking home run, but I can't deny that, on my first two swings, I was trying to hit it into the river," Dunn said.
Reds center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. got the day off after making 21 consecutive starts. ... Infielder Rich Aurilia also got the day off despite a seven-game hitting streak, which ended when he grounded out as a pinch-hitter to end the seventh. ... Overbay extended his hitting streak to eight games. ... Geoff Jenkins went 0-for-4, snapping his career-best hitting streak at 16 games, also Milwaukee's season high. ... The first five of Davis' 11 strikeouts were looking. He also got Wily Mo Pena looking to end the sixth for his 10th strikeout, surpassing his previous career high of nine.