Brewers seeking first winning season since '92

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers have a shot at their first winning season in 13 years. Carlos Lee and Bill Hall are two big reasons why.

Lee drove in two runs to match his career high with 113 RBI and Milwaukee defeated the Cincinnati Reds 12-9 on Monday night. A total of 12 runs were scored in the seventh and eighth innings.

"It was wild, all right," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.

After Cincinnati scored twice in the eighth for a 9-7 lead, Milwaukee rallied for five runs in the bottom half to reach 78 victories for the first time since 1997. The Brewers (78-78) are seeking their first winning season since 1992.

"It definitely adds to the excitement," said Hall, who is 13-for-23 in the past six games. "We're all excited about this opportunity. We haven't had it here in so long. I feel great for Geoff Jenkins and Ben Sheets after all the hard times, and to finally have a chance for a winning season and go home happy for a change."

Hall led off the eighth with a home run, his 17th, to cut the deficit to one. Hall finished 4-for-4 with two RBI. He also went 4-for-4 with two RBI against St. Louis last Friday.

"He's really had a great season for himself," Yost said. "From where he's come from last year to this year, it would be hard-pressed if you think about it to find a more improved player in this league."

Pinch-hitter Prince Fielder followed with a single and Damian Miller's triple down the right field line, his first since April 22, 2003, tied the score. Brady Clark's RBI single put Milwaukee ahead, and Lee added a sacrifice fly to match his career best for RBI set in 2003 with the White Sox.

Jenkins followed with another run-scoring single.

Jose Capellan (1-1) got two outs for his first career victory. Derrick Turnbow pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 40 chances for the Brewers, who have won five of seven.

"It seemed like everything I did the whole game was wrong," Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron said.

Jenkins and Russell Branyan also homered for Milwaukee. Wily Mo Pena and Javier Valentin connected for the Reds.

Todd Coffey (4-1) took the loss.

"This game is funny," Valentin said. "We have to continue what we've been doing and come back tomorrow and start over."

Cincinnati broke a 7-7 tie with two runs in the eighth. Austin Kearns walked with the bases loaded and Valentin added a sacrifice fly for the brief 9-7 lead.

The Reds trailed 6-3 when Milwaukee starter Tomo Ohka was replaced at the start of the seventh.

With one out, reliever Dana Eveland walked Felipe Lopez and Adam Dunn before he hit Kearns with a pitch, loading the bases.

Eveland was replaced by Matt Wise, who threw four straight balls to Valentin, trimming Milwaukee's lead to 6-4. After Pena flied
out, Edwin Encarnacion fought back from an 0-2 count and hit a 3-2 pitch down the left field line for a three-run double and a 7-6 lead.

Milwaukee tied the score in the bottom half on Lee's RBI single.

"Tonight our bullpen struggled," Yost said. "It was their time to struggle. Luckily for us the offense was there to pick them up. Our bullpen has really been picking us up all year."

Game notes
Wise left after one pitch in the eighth with right shoulder spasms. ... Branyan's homer was his first since Aug. 5 at
Philadelphia. ... Cincinnati's Ken Griffey Jr. had surgery to remove loose fragments and clean out the cartilage in his left knee on Monday morning. He is expected to recover in four weeks. ... Twelve of Ohka's 16 home runs allowed since he was traded to Milwaukee have come at Miller Park. ... Ohka had eight strikeouts, one shy of his season high.