CINCINNATI (AP) -- Geoff Jenkins' sore back doesn't hurt when he swings, just when he runs. Five swings were all he needed to carry the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
Jenkins tied his career high with five hits and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to back the efficient pitching of Tomo Ohka as the Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-1."It won't get any worse," said Jenkins, who had two doubles and an RBI while personally outhitting the Reds 5-4. "It doesn't hurt when I hit or throw. It only hurts when I run or occasionally get out in front. It's as bad as it's been for the past few weeks, but I'll make it through the season."With the score tied at 1 and one out in the eighth, the Brewers loaded the bases against reliever Matt Belisle (3-7) on singles by Jenkins and Wes Helms and a walk to Damian Miller. With the Cincinnati infield at double-play depth, J.J. Hardy bounced a single through the hole into left field to drive in Jenkins with the go-ahead run.Kent Mercker replaced Belisle and gave up an almost identical run-scoring single to pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo. Brady Clark hit into a double play to end the inning.Jenkins had five hits for the third time in his career, second this season."Jenkins had a great night," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "He's been swinging the bat really well. They have a good ballclub. They have a great lineup. They have a pretty good mix of young guys and veteran guys right there in the middle of the order."Ohka (10-7), who improved to 4-1 with two no-decisions in his last seven starts, needed 74 pitches to get through his seven innings, allowing three hits and one run with six strikeouts."My command was good," Ohka said. "I felt like I could throw a strike every time. I tried to keep the ball down because they've got a good-hitting team."Narron said the Reds couldn't get anything going against Ohka."He got a lot of outs early in the count. It looked like he had pretty good movement. His slider or cutter was moving away from our right-handers," Narron said. "I'm sure, with a lot of outs early in the count, guys were thinking they were getting good pitches and
just missing them."Rookie Dana Eveland pitched the last two innings for his first career save.The fifth-place Reds fell 24½ games behind Central Division-leading St. Louis. Cincinnati has 25 games left.Reds starter Brandon Claussen, who had won five consecutive decisions before losing 10-0 at Houston last Wednesday, gave up seven hits and one run with six strikeouts and two walks in seven innings."My job is to make sure I give our team a chance to win," Claussen said. "I felt like I did that. I have to tip my cap to Ohka. He pitched a great game, too.""Brandon was outstanding," Narron said. "It's a shame to waste that kind of effort."Carlos Lee and Jenkins hit consecutive doubles with one out in the fourth to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead. Lee extended his hitting streak to eight games with his ground-rule double, a bloop down the right field line that bounced into the stands.Adam Dunn tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a one-out homer to right on the first pitch. It was his 36th of the season and first in 30 at-bats since Aug. 26. It also broke a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. for the team lead.Milwaukee added three runs in the ninth on doubles by Lee and Jenkins and a passed ball.
Cincinnati shortstop Rich Aurilia made his first start since Aug. 27. He had been limited by a viral infection to one pinch-hit appearance in seven games. ... The Reds collected donations from fans for a local relief agency trying to help Hurricane Katrina victims. ... The Reds activated infielder Ryan Freel from the 15-day disabled list. Freel hasn't played since Aug. 16 because of torn cartilage in his right knee and a sore right quadriceps. He had arthroscopic surgery on his knee Aug. 18. ... The Reds recalled right-handers Joe Valentine and Allan Simpson and catcher Miguel Perez from Triple-A Louisville and purchased the contract of right-hander Chris Booker from Louisville. ... Booker started the ninth in his major-league debut after 11 seasons in the minor leagues.