Series: Game 3 of 4

Cincinnati leads 2-1 (as of 7/10)

Game 1: Thursday, July 8
Game 2: Friday, July 9
Game 3: Saturday, July 10
Game 4: Sunday, July 11

Reds 0

(46-41, 21-26 away)

Brewers 5

(45-40, 25-19 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 10, 2004

    Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

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    CIN 000000000 0 5 1
    MIL 01110101 - 5 7 0

    W: B. Sheets (9-5)

    L: C. Lidle (6-7)

    Sheets pitches eight shut out innings

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds are hoping Ken Griffey Jr.'s latest injury doesn't keep him out of the lineup long.

    Griffey strained his right hamstring in Cincinnati's 5-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night while trying to run down Brady Clark's flyball in the fourth inning.

    The Reds said the All-Star outfielder will return to Cincinnati to have an MRI on Sunday to determine the severity of the injury.

    "He seemed to walk off the field OK," Cincinnati manager Dave Miley said. "Other than that, I don't have any information on it. Hopefully, we get good news."

    Ben Sheets threw eight shutout innings in frustrating the Reds, who were focused on Griffey after the game.

    Griffey, 20th on the career home runs list with 501, chased down Clark's hit into the right-center field gap. As Griffey neared the warning track in a full sprint, the ball bounced off his glove and ended up as a triple.

    Griffey appeared to hurt his leg as he landed on it, but continued to track down the ball and walked off the field immediately after the play with no apparent limp.

    Griffey, voted an All-Star starter for the 12th time last weekend, missed more than a month with a torn hamstring that bothered him throughout the 2001 season. He spent two long stints on the 15-day disabled list with a torn patella tendon and a torn right hamstring in 2002, then went to the DL twice again last year for a dislocated right shoulder and torn ankle tendon.

    "Just when you think he has turned the corner as far as health is concerned -- it's very frustrating," shortstop Barry Larkin said. "I saw him take that last step and he pulled up."

    Sheets (9-5), headed to his second All-Star game, allowed five hits -- all singles -- and struck out eight and walked one to win his third consecutive start. He lowered his NL-leading ERA to 2.26.

    "Today was a lot of fun," said Sheets, who hasn't allowed a run in the last 16 innings. "I'm enjoying (the first half). It's been a whole lot of fun so far."

    Luis Vizcaino pitched a perfect ninth to complete the shutout, Milwaukee's sixth.

    Milwaukee manager Ned Yost was asked if any other pitcher in the league is better than Sheets right now.

    "It'd be hard to imagine," Yost said. "He's just been phenomenal, and against good offensive teams, too. What can you say about his performance up to this point? It's a redundant redundancy."

    In the fourth, Clark hit a one-out triple off Cory Lidle (6-7), and Griffey was injured trying to make the play. On the next pitch after Griffey left and was replaced in center field by Wily Mo Pena, Bill Hall attempted a suicide squeeze. Cincinnati called for a pitchout, but catcher Javier Valentin allowed Clark to score when his throw sailed over the head of third baseman Brandon Larson.

    Lidle, who allowed five hits and walked four in six innings, allowed a leadoff single to Lyle Overbay in the second and an RBI double by Clark one out later.

    In the third, Scott Podsednik drew a leadoff walk and scored on a groundout by Geoff Jenkins to make it 2-0.

    Milwaukee took a 4-0 lead in the sixth when Keith Ginter led off with a double and scored on a groundout by Chad Moeller with one out.

    Hall added a run-scoring double in the eighth.

    Game notes

    Ryan Freel was examined in Cincinnati on Saturday after he left Wednesday's game with a deep bruise on the undersurface of his left kneecap. Although his status has improved, he won't join the Reds in Milwaukee. ... Lidle made his 200th major league appearance. ... Sheets joined Doug Davis for the team lead with nine victories. It's the first time Milwaukee has two pitchers with at least nine victories before the All-Star break since Don August and Chris Bosio in 1989. ... Milwaukee's four stolen bases were a season-high and matched the Brewers' NL club record, set on Sept. 28, 2001, at Colorado. ... Milwaukee reached the 1 million mark in attendance in its 44th home game. The Brewers needed 53 games to reach the total last season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press