Brewers 6, Reds 2
CINCINNATI (AP)—A fastball, and a foul. Another fastball, another foul. With the bases loaded and the count full, Lyle Overbay settled into a rhythm of desperation.
Four times, Jimmy Haynes threw him a sinking fastball. All four times, Overbay fouled it off. Finally, he straightened one out.
It was the kind of at-bat that sticks in everyone’s minds.
“Great at-bat,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “He was just battling and kept fouling off pitches until he got one to hit.”
It eventually came.
Haynes (0-3) wasn’t about to walk Overbay with the bases loaded and the Brewers already up by two runs in the third inning. He noticed that Overbay was having trouble with his sinking fastball, and kept throwing it.
“It was 3-2 with the bases loaded, and he knew I was coming with fastballs,” Haynes said. “I probably could’ve walked him and given up just the one run, but he wasn’t getting around on the fastballs.
“Then I got one up, and he got around on it.”
Actually, Overbay was expecting something other than a fastball on Haynes’ 11th pitch. He guessed wrong, but still hit it over the 404-foot marker in center.
“I was thinking he was going to throw a changeup or something inside,” Overbay said. “He was making great pitches, and he just stuck with it.”
As an extra thrill, the first baseman got a compliment from Barry Larkin after the Reds shortstop reached first on a single in the bottom of the inning.
“He was like, ‘Great at-bat,”’ Overbay said. “He said it’s an art, fouling them off. I said, ‘I don’t know where that came from.”’
Right-hander Victor Santos (1-0) allowed only one hit in five innings to get his first victory since July 18, 2001, when he beat the Yankees while with Detroit.
A Reds lineup missing Ken Griffey Jr., held out because of a tight hamstring, managed only two hits off Santos and Matt Kinney until the ninth, when Sean Casey had an RBI single and Brandon Larson doubled home a run.
Milwaukee ended a three-game losing streak by beating a team it has bedeviled for the past week. The Brewers came from behind twice for victories in Milwaukee last week, including a 10-9 win that could end up defining the Reds’ season.
Cincinnati blew a 9-0 lead in that game, its biggest collapse in 74 years. The Reds haven’t recovered, losing six of their last seven games.
This one didn’t have much drama after the Brewers sent 11 batters to the plate for six runs in the third off Haynes, who has a 9.60 earned run average and might lose his spot in the rotation.
“We have a staff meeting tomorrow,” Reds manager Dave Miley said. “I’m sure that will be one of the topics, and we’ll probably come to a decision at that time.”
Catcher’s interference on Javier Valentin let in the first run—a strange way to start a big inning. Keith Ginter singled home another run, and Overbay followed with the Brewers’ first slam of the season.
Overbay has been on a tear, going 10-for-21 while hitting safely in his last five games.
Santos got a long-awaited win by lasting five innings in a steady rain. He walked three and struck out six before leaving for a pinch-hitter, having thrown 77 pitches.
He was promoted from Triple-A on April 25, when rookie starter Chris Saenz was sent back down. Santos has pitched for Detroit, Colorado and Texas.
He hadn’t started a game since last June 17 and had lost his last sixdecisions overall.
Milwaukee has won 10 of its last 11 against Cincinnati. … Santos is 3-5 in 14 career starts. … 3B Wes Helms emerged from an 0-for-14 slump with a pair of singles. … The Reds committed three errors, including the catcher’s interference on Valentin with Craig Counsell batting and the bases loaded in the third. … Griffey’s hamstring tightened during a game Monday night in Houston. He was held out Tuesday as a precaution, but said the leg felt much better. … Reds OF Austin Kearns swung a bat Tuesday for the first time since he slightly cracked a bone in his left forearm eight days earlier. Kearns hadthe cast removed on Monday, and hopes to return in two or three weeks.