Series: Game 1 of 2

Cincinnati leads 1-0 (as of 7/19)

Game 1: Monday, July 19
Game 2: Tuesday, July 20

Brewers 4

(47-44, 22-24 away)

Reds 8

(49-44, 27-18 home)

    7:10 PM ET, July 19, 2004

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 010000111 4 11 0
    CIN 40201001 - 8 12 0

    W: A. Harang (6-2)

    L: B. Hendrickson (0-2)

    Harang fights control but wins

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- Wily Mo Pena isn't satisfied with one wristwatch.

    The NL's latest Player of the Week hit his sixth homer in his last eight games, a two-run shot off the upper deck that sparked the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

    The 22-year-old outfielder also had a run-scoring single and a double on his proudest day in the majors, and was honored before the game for winning the player of the week.

    Told by a teammate that he'll get a watch for the honor, Pena said he'd keep it at home in a place of honor instead of wearing it.

    "It's my first time," Pena said. "I hope there's more coming."

    With outfielders Austin Kearns and Ken Griffey Jr. on the disabled list, Pena is going to get a chance to expand his jewelry collection and keep his average climbing from its current .299.

    "I don't want to jinx him, but he's close to .300 now," manager Dave Miley said. "That's great for him. We're excited for him."

    Pena's emergence has been one of their few bright moments during a 5-7 skid that bumped the Reds out of contention in the NL Central, dropping them 9½ games behind St. Louis.

    Right-hander Aaron Harang (6-2) won his second straight start against the Brewers, fighting through control lapses while protecting an early lead.

    The Reds batted around in the first inning for four runs off right-hander Ben Hendrickson (0-2), whose second career start turned out much like the first.

    Hendrickson, a 10th-round pick in 1999, lost his major league debut 5-2 in Los Angeles on June 2. He was called up from the minors again to face the Reds, who knocked him out after only three innings.

    Cincinnati strung together four singles in the first, and Hendrickson hit two batters to nudge the rally along. He threw 30 pitches in the inning, which featured Pena's run-scoring single and prompted Matt Kinney to start loosening in the bullpen.

    "Maybe I was a little bit nervous," said Hendrickson, 23, who was the International League's starter in the Triple-A All-Star game. "I've just got to relax. It's the same game as in the minor leagues, just with a little better players."

    Hendrickson craned his neck and watched Pena's long drive smack off the facing of the upper deck in left field in the third inning, a two-run shot that made it 6-1.

    Pena came to the Reds as part of the Drew Henson trade with the Yankees in 2001. He had only six homers for the Reds in the last two years, spending most of his time on the bench, but has hit 13 this season.

    "He's come a long way in a year," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He's gone from being an out to being a guy who's real hard to get out. He has made adjustments and turned himself into a player."

    And, it might be only the start. Shortstop Barry Larkin thinks the NL honor might give him a little more self-confidence.

    "He actually might start believing," Larkin said. "Then it might really get interesting."

    Jason LaRue added a solo homer, his 10th, off Kinney in the fifth. Adam Dunn drove in another run on an RBI double in the eighth.

    Harang hadn't pitched since July 9, when he threw a career-high 7 2-3 shutout innings during a 3-0 victory in Milwaukee. He wasn't as sharp Monday, but repeatedly worked out of threats while hanging on for 7 1-3 innings.

    Milwaukee had seven hits, four walks and at least one baserunner in each inning against Harang. Gary Bennett had a run-scoring single in the second, the first of his four hits.

    Bill Hall singled home another run in the seventh off Ryan Wagner. Gabe White allowed an RBI double to Wes Helms in the eighth, and a solo homer to Geoff Jenkins in the ninth.

    Game notes

    LHP Doug Davis will make his second start of the season Tuesday against the Reds. ... It was Bennett's second four-hit game. He also had four on June 22, 2002, against Tampa Bay. ... Lyle Overbay had a pair of singles, his third straight multihit game. ... RHP Homer Bailey, one of the nation's top prep pitchers, got a $2.3 million signing bonus Monday. He was the Reds' top pick and the seventh overall in the June draft. ... Reds 2B D'Angelo Jimenez has hit safely in nine consecutive games. ... Reds 1B Sean Casey is 3-for-21 since returning from a strained calf, dropping his average to .338.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press