Reds 9, Brewers 3

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Paul Wilson and the Cincinnati Reds didn’t fritter away their big lead at Miller Park this time, although they sure had flashbacks.

Ken Griffey Jr. homered and drove in four runs and Wilson earned his career-best ninth win, leading the Reds past the Milwaukee Brewers 9-3 Thursday night.

Adam Dunn also connected for Cincinnati, his 25th of the season. Wilson, who helped blow a nine-run lead in the Reds’ last trip to Miller Park in April, made an eight-run lead stand up this time.

“I thought about that,” Wilson said. “And I just needed to go out there and challenge guys and not get behind in the count and I felt like I did that.”

On April 28, Wilson was spotted a nine-run lead and left with a seemingly safe 9-4 cushion. But the Brewers rallied for a 10-9 win as the Reds blew a nine-run lead for the first time since 1930.

There was no coming back this time thanks to Griffey’s slump-snapping performance, two crucial errors on third baseman Wes Helms that led to a five-run sixth inning and another fine performance by Wilson.

Wilson (9-2), who scattered seven hits over 6 2-3 innings, took a three-hitter and a shutout into the seventh, when Keith Ginter hit a two-run homer, his 10th, and Craig Counsell chased the right-hander with an RBI single that made it 8-3.

Suddenly, memories of April 28 came rushing back for both teams.

“Obviously, it was something that didn’t happen long ago,” Reds manager Dave Miley said. “And, really, that’s the type of club they’ve got, a good-hitting club that is always one or two hits away. I don’t know about flashbacks, but I definitely remember it.”

So do the Brewers.

“We did it once, why can’t we do it again?” Ginter said.

Because Gabe White came in and retired Geoff Jenkins on a line drive to the mound to snuff the Brewers’ hopes of another magnificent comeback, that’s why.

“It just didn’t fall our way this time,” Brewers cleanup hitter Lyle Overbay said. “Jenkins hit the ball as hard as you can hit it—right at him. It was one of the little things that didn’t allow us to get the tying run to the plate.”

“If that ball gets through,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost lamented, “there’s no telling what will happen.”

Dunn’s homer, off Jeff Bennett, made it 9-3 in the eighth.

Griffey broke out of a long funk with a two-run homer and a two-run double.

He had been mired in a .177 slump since hitting his 500th homer on Father’s Day at St. Louis, going just 8-for-45 with no homers and one RBI after reaching the exclusive plateau. He sent Wes Obermueller’s first pitch 415 feet into the right-field stands in the fifth for his 20th homer, giving the Reds a 3-0 lead.

“It’s just a sigh of relief after the traveling circus,” Griffey said. “I was going up there swinging like I had no clue. But mainly it was just me swinging at some bad pitches and not being patient. But that’s everybody when things are going bad, you’re just not being real selective at the plate.”

Griffey’s shot followed an infield single by Barry Larkin, who drove in the Reds’ first run with a sharp single that scored D’Angelo Jimenez in the first inning.

The fan who caught Griffey’s homer tossed it back onto the field, to both applause and amazement from those around him.

Obermueller (3-5), who hasn’t won since May 29, failed for the sixth straight time to get his fourth win. He gave up five runs, three earned, and four hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Obermueller and the Brewers still had a chance until Helms booted back-to-back groundballs for a pair of two-base errors that led to the Reds’ five-run sixth.

Yost defended Helms’ play before the game, saying he got off to a slow start and was still feeling his way back from a stint on the disabled list, but Helms did nothing to reward his manager’s faith in him.

Helms allowed Jason LaRue’s bouncer to glance off his glove, then let Brandon Larsen’s routine grounder go through his legs, allowing LaRue to score. Right-hander Dave Burba replaced Obermueller and gave up RBI singles to Wilson and Larkin and a two-run double to Griffey that made it 8-0.

This time, that lead was plenty big enough for Wilson and the Reds.


Obermueller extended his hitting streak to five games with a single off Wilson in the third, his fifth hit in eight at-bats. … Reds INF-OF Ryan Freel had an MRI that revealed a deep bruise underneath his left kneecap. Freel was hurt when he slid into the outfield wall in a 4-2 loss at St. Louis onWednesday night.

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