CINCINNATI (AP) -- Home runs haven't been a problem for Adam Dunn lately. Making them count was another matter.
After solo homers in each of Cincinnati's last three games -- all losses -- Dunn came through with a game-winner Wednesday, a three-run home run in the 11th inning for a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers."You can't describe the feeling," Dunn said. "It's almost like it's a relief. There's so much pressure."The Reds' left fielder helped Cincinnati end a five-game losing streak with his 23rd homer of the season, a 458-foot shot into the right-field seats.In the 11th, Ken Griffey Jr. grounded a single to center with one out against Dan Kolb (2-1) and moved to second on Rich Aurilia's infield single.Dunn followed with his first game-ending homer of the season. He is tied with Alfonso Soriano for second in the majors in home runs, two behind Albert Pujols.The homer ended Cincinnati's 0-for-24 slump with runners in scoring position."First of all, it was a long game, and frustrating," Dunn said. "We had opportunities, and we didn't capitalize. That's the difference between winning and losing. We're not 0-for-24 any more. We're 1-for-1.""If we keep getting guys on base, sooner or later, we're going to get a big hit," added manager Jerry Narron. "The big thing is to keep the line moving, and we haven't been able to do that on his homestand."This was the first time in almost 15 years that a scoreless tie went to extra innings in Cincinnati. The Reds lost to Montreal 1-0 on June 20, 1991.The Reds, who had lost seven of their previous 11 games at home, got an outstanding start from Elizardo Ramirez to salvage the finale of a three-game series.Ramirez, relying on a changeup he learned from former Reds All-Star Mario Soto, struck out a career-high 10 in eight sharp innings, his longest outing in the majors. The Brewers wasted a strong effort from Carlos Villanueva, who pitched six innings in his first big-league start."It was unbelievable," Ramirez said. "Every inning, you had to concentrate."Ramirez allowed five hits and walked one. Todd Coffey followed with two innings of one-hit relief --escaping a jam in the ninth -- and Chris Hammond (1-1) pitched a hitless 11th to get the win."My changeup was a good pitch," Ramirez said. "I was able to throw it to left-handers and right-handers, and I was using it when I was behind in the count."Villanueva, making only his second major-league appearance, gave up four hits while striking out five and walking two. His only previous game in the majors was a scoreless inning at Cincinnati on May 23.The Brewers' best chance to score came in the ninth. Corey Koskie led off with a double and stayed there when shortstop Felipe Lopez dropped Carlos Lee's routine grounder for an error.Both runners advanced on Prince Fielder's sharp one-hopper back to Coffey, who blocked the ball with the inside of his left ankle.
Koskie was thrown out at the plate on Bill Hall's chopper to Aurilia at third, and Geoff Jenkins ended the threat by grounding out to first."We had our opportunities," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "We just didn't get the hits."Both starters allowed two runners each to reach second base through the first six innings, and the Brewers got one to third. Rickie Weeks was stranded at third in the third when Lee grounded out.
The 1-0 game was third in the four-year history of Great American Ball Park. The first two were played in 2004, a Pittsburgh win on June 26 and a St. Louis loss on Aug. 26. ... Lopez had struck out five consecutive times over the past two games before
his first-inning single. ... Seventy Cincinnati Bengals, in town for a minicamp, took pregame batting practice. ... The Reds have lost their last three home series and four of their last five. ... Cincinnati right fielder Austin Kearns got the day off and Ryan Freel, his replacement, robbed Weeks of a bid for extra bases by slamming into the fence while making a backhanded catch in the eighth.