MILWAUKEE (AP)—It took Arizona eight innings to hit the ball hard, and when Mark Reynolds finally did it made the Diamondbacks a winner.
Reynolds hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning as Arizona beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Wednesday night to win for only the third time in 11 games.
“We needed that game bad,” the rookie third baseman said. “I was just fortunate enough to be up there in the right spot to help the team win. I got a good swing on it.”
Milwaukee reliever Grant Balfour recorded the first two outs in the eighth before hitting Eric Byrnes in the left arm with a pitch. Byrnes stole second and Conor Jackson walked, before Reynolds hit his eighth home run.
“We didn’t really have a hard-hit ball until that ball,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said with a smile. “We got one ball in the screws and we end up winning the game.”
Balfour (0-1) was making his first appearance in a major league game since Oct. 3, 2004, when he pitched for Minnesota. The Australian right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005.
“It’s frustrating, obviously,” Balfour said. “One pitch and it turns into a good outing, and one pitch makes it a not-so-good outing.”
Pena pitched two innings and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 31 chances.
Kevin Mench homered for the Brewers, who managed only four hits and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position to end their four-game winning streak.
“Right now, we’re just not really swinging the bats great,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “We’re swinging enough to score a run or two here and there.
“We’re going to have to start scoring a few more runs here in the near future,” he said.
Milwaukee starter Chris Capuano pitched seven innings, giving up two tough-luck runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. He has not won since May 7, a span of 10 starts, and is 0-6 with four no decisions in that time.
Arizona took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Byrnes was credited with a double after Mench slipped in right field and fell while trying to catch a routine fly. Capuano walked Reynolds one out later, and Scott Hairston followed with a weak fly to center that fell in front of Corey Hart for an RBI single.
Chris Snyder then hit another weak fly, this one to right field, scoring Reynolds to make it 2-0.
“Capuano pitched great,” Melvin said.
In the bottom half of the inning, Ryan Braun led off with a walk and Mench hit his sixth home run of the year to the left-field second deck, tying the score at 2.
Arizona starter Doug Davis, facing his former team for the first time, gave up two runs and three hits in six innings, walking five and striking out one.
“It was just fun to go against them,” said Davis, who was traded to Arizona in the offseason. “A lot of the guys who came up as rookies last year and the year before I watched them develop.”
Balfour missed all of 2005 recovering from surgery and spent 2006 and this year in the minors until being summoned from Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday. … Davis was 37-36 in 111 appearances for the Brewers from 2003-06. He was traded in a six-player deal that sent C Johnny Estrada and RHP Claudio Vargas to Milwaukee. … Graffanino started in left field for Milwaukee, the first time he played the position since 2001 when he was with the Chicago White Sox.