CINCINNATI (AP) -- Wily Mo Pena did more than just recuperate
during his eight-day layoff. He also found his home run stroke.
Pena homered for the second straight night after not hitting one
since Aug. 18, Adam Dunn stole home on a double steal and the
Cincinnati Reds snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-4 win
over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
"I feel good," said Pena, who left the Reds' game on Aug. 31
after bruising his left chest when he slammed into the wall while
making a catch. "Sometimes, I feel it if I have to turn on inside
pitches, but I just have to try to keep going."
Pena connected on the first pitch he saw from Ben Hendrickson
with Austin Kearns on first base in the second inning, lining a
drive into the left-field stands and wiping out a 1-0 Brewers lead
with his 24th homer.
"I know they throw inside a lot, so I was looking for something
inside," Pena said. "The last time I played against them, they
were throwing me away. Now, they're throwing inside. You have to be
quick with your hands. You have to be ready and get quick."
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said: "He's come a long way. He's
made the most improvement in the shortest period of time of any
player I can remember."
Dunn stole home on a double steal in the fifth inning and
Anderson Machado had the first two hits of his major league career
for the Reds, who had lost nine of their previous 10 games.
Cincinnati starter Josh Hancock (4-2) went six innings for his
first win in four starts since Aug. 18. Hancock allowed seven hits,
including three solo homers, and one walk with three strikeouts.
"The solo homers I'd like to have back, but at least they were
solo homers," Hancock said. "I was able to keep guys off base,
and that minimized the damage."
John Riedling and Joe Valentine each pitched an inning of
scoreless relief, and Danny Graves gave up an RBI groundout to
Scott Podsednik in the ninth before finishing for his 38th save in
47 opportunities. The save was his first since Aug. 18 for Graves,
who was on the disabled list from Aug. 19-Sept. 2 with lower back
Hendrickson (1-7), working with a limited pitch count, gave up
four hits and three runs. He walked three and struck out one before
leaving the game after three innings and 67 pitches. The Brewers
restricted Hendrickson's pitch count because he has thrown 158 2-3
innings this season, splitting time between the minors and majors.
"His first inning was OK, but he labored in the second and
third innings," Yost said. "At this time of year, if you're
laboring, you're not getting anything out of it."
Brady Clark, who went 4-for-4 Thursday, made it five straight
hits with a home run leading off the second to put Milwaukee up
1-0. It was his sixth homer of the season, tying his career high.
Clark grounded to second in his next at-bat.
The Reds responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Pena's homer put the Reds up for good, 2-1. One out later, Machado
hit a double into the right-field corner and scored on Ryan Freel's
two-out single to right.
Russell Branyan cut Cincinnati's lead to 3-2 with a two-out
homer in the fourth, his eighth.
The Reds took control with a three-run fifth. Freel and D'Angelo
Jimenez led off with back-to-back doubles. After Sean Casey struck
out, Dunn walked and Kearns grounded a single up the middle to
drive in Jimenez from second. Dunn went around to third on the hit
and scored on a double steal. Second baseman Bill Hall's throw beat
Dunn to the plate, but Dunn bowled over catcher Mark Johnson to
knock the ball loose.
Geoff Jenkins made it 6-3 when he led off the sixth with his
22nd homer of the season.<
^Notes: Reds INF Juan Castro missed the game after having four
wisdom teeth removed on Friday afternoon. ... Jimenez extended his
hitting streak to eight games, Cincinnati's longest current streak.
... Wes Obermueller's three innings of relief for Milwaukee were
his longest relief stint of the season. His seven strikeouts in
relief were a Milwaukee season high. ... Branyan's homer was his
first since hitting one against the Reds in Milwaukee on Sept. 4
... Graves's save was the first for Cincinnati since Joe Valentine
saved a 2-0 win at Arizona on Aug. 20. The Reds bullpen had blown
three straight opportunities.