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Freel doubles up as Reds cash in against Brewers

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Eric Milton got stronger with every inning he
pitched.

The left-hander bounced back from a shaky first with six
scoreless innings and Ryan Freel doubled home the go-ahead run in
the eighth as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3
Friday night.

"I felt my best in the last inning," Milton said. "I just
couldn't get loose for some reason."

The loss dropped the Brewers, who have watched their playoff
hopes fade while losing nine of 13, a season-high seven games below
.500. Earlier in the day, Milwaukee dealt All-Star outfielder
Carlos Lee to the Texas Rangers after failing to sign him to a
contract extension.

Milwaukee is seven games behind Cincinnati in the wild-card
race. The Reds have won 10 of 14 since the All-Star game.

The Brewers got reliever Francisco Cordero and outfielders Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix from the Rangers. Cordero worked a scoreless
inning against the Reds. Mench was on the bench late in the game.

Milton (7-6) had allowed four runs or more in five of his last
seven outings, but was sharp against the Brewers.

He had a rough first inning when the Brewers pushed across three
runs, but then settled down. He held the Brewers to one hit in the
next six innings before being lifted for pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia in the eighth.

"It was more important for me to throw up six zeros," Milton
said. "That was the big key."

Denorfia singled up the middle with two outs off reliever Matt Wise (5-5) and scored on Freel's double to left.

"You make a mistake to him, and he takes advantage of it,"
Wise said of his hanging changeup to Freel.

Todd Coffey and Bill Bray combined to pitch a scoreless eighth,
but the Reds defense helped when third baseman Edwin Encarnacion's
diving stab robbed Geoff Jenkins with runners at first and second.

Eddie Guardado worked the ninth and put runners on first and
third with one out before getting Tony Graffanino to ground into a
double play. Guardado earned his sixth save.

"It's another Reds' win," Guardado said. "It's exciting
baseball."

Tomo Ohka, who beat the Reds and Milton in his last start, went
five innings and allowed two runs on five hits with four walks and
five strikeouts. He missed more than 2½ months with a right rotator
cuff tear, but has gone 1-0 with a 2.50 in three starts since
returning to the staff.

"Ohka wasn't nearly as sharp as his last time out," Brewers
manager Ned Yost said.

Rick Helling took over to start the sixth, but failed to hold
the 3-2 lead as the Reds pushed across one run.

Milton walked with one out and one out later Adam Dunn walked.
Milton scored on Ken Griffey Jr.'s double to the right-field corner
and Dunn was thrown out at the plate, colliding with catcher Damian Miller. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Dunn hit the 6-3, 220-pound Miller
shoulder high, sending the catcher's mask flying. Miller bounced up
and dropped the ball at Dunn's feet and the inning was over.

Jeff Cirillo doubled home two runs in the first and Prince
Fielder followed with a one-out single that scored Cirillo.

Milton got one run back with his sacrifice fly in the second.

Dunn doubled, advanced on a groundout and scored, making it 3-2
in the fifth, when he beat the throw home on Encarnacion's grounder
to third. Third baseman Cirillo threw high to the first-base side
of the plate.

Game notes
Saturday, the Reds will recall RHP Justin Germano from
Triple-A Louisville and designate for assignment OF Dewayne Wise.
Germano will start the second game of the weekend series. It will
be his first start since Sept. 14, 2004 at Los Angeles for the
Padres. ... The Brewers acquired 3B David Bell from the
Philadelphia Phillies for minor-league RHP Wilfrido Laureano. ...
Brewers placed RHP Jose Capellan on the 15-day disabled list Friday
with a right shoulder strain. He is 2-0 in 40 appearances with a
4.29 ERA and no saves. The move is retroactive to July 25. ... With
Lee traded, Corey Hart made his first start in left and ninth
overall for the Brewers. ... Reds manager Jerry Narron was ejected
in the bottom of the second by homeplate umpire Brian Runge for
arguing about pitch location. It was his fourth ejection this
season. "Watching the game in here [the Reds' clubhouse], I
thought the umpiring was better as the game went along," Narron
said.