MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Ken Griffey Jr. homered for the fourth straight
game, and Ryan Dempster pitched seven strong innings as the
Cincinnati Reds ended an eight-game losing streak by beating the
Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 Friday night.
The Reds scored four runs in the sixth inning to break a
scoreless tie and take control of the game.D'Angelo Jimenez led off with a triple that was just out of the
reach of right fielder John Vander Wal, and came home on a grounder
by Barry Larkin. Third baseman Wes Helms fielded the grounder and
threw wildly to home, allowing Larkin to take second. Jose Guillen
then drove in Larkin with a single before Griffey hit a towering
405-foot shot to right for the 480th homer of his career.The last time Griffey, who also struck out three times and
walked once, homered in four straight games was May 20-23, 1994.That was the last pitch thrown by Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets
(7-7), who allowed four runs on six hits. He struck out four and
walked none.Dempster (3-6), who was relieved by Felix Heredia to start the
eighth, allowed eight hits, seven of which came in three innings.
Dempster struck out six and walked two.Milwaukee center fielder Scott Podsednik doubled with two outs
in the ninth inning to reach base for the 41st consecutive game,
the longest such streak in the majors this season.The Brewers blew a chance in the fourth when they loaded the
bases with none out on a walk to Geoff Jenkins and singles by
Richie Sexson and Vander Wal. Dempster struck out Helms and, after
falling behind 3-0, got Keith Osik to hit into a double play to end
the inning.Helms drove in Milwaukee's lone run with a two-out single in the
sixth that scored Vander Wal.The Reds added two insurance runs in the eighth against reliever
Leo Estrella. Guillen had an RBI double, his third hit, and later
scored on a throwing error by Estrella.
All-Stars Sexson (25) and Jenkins (20) are the first Brewer
teammates to hit 20 home runs prior to the All-Star break. ... The
Reds are 1-5-2 in their last eight series. ... Guillen, who doubled
and singled twice, continues to play while appealing his two-game
suspension for bumping umpire Matt Hallowell on June 25 at St.