CINCINNATI (AP) -- All Scott Hatteberg needed to regain his focus
was a day off.
Adam Dunn also homered and Aaron Harang pitched seven strong
innings to help the Reds maintain their lead in the National League
wild-card race. Cincinnati went into Sunday leading Arizona by a
game and trailing St. Louis by 2½ in the Central Division. The
Cardinals beat the Cubs 5-3 at Chicago Sunday.
Hatteberg followed Ryan Freel's leadoff single in the third with
his 12th homer of the season to snap a 0-for-17 slump, his longest
streak of hitless at bats since he was 0-for-18 last August 14-25
"Hatteberg needed a day off bad," manager Jerry Narron said of
the left-handed hitter. "I think it might've helped him. We'd
faced a long string of right-handers, and he definitely needed to
"It probably helped me mentally more than anything," said
Hatteberg, who drove in Jason LaRue with Cincinnati's fifth run on
an opposite-field double that reached the warning track in left
field in the fourth. "It was nice for me personally to help out.
The last four days, I struggled, and you want to help out at this
time of year.
"My timing was all messed up," he added. "When your timing's
off, you feel bad. I felt better today."
Edwin Encarnacion followed Hatteberg's homer with a walk and
Dunn hit his 37th homer of the season into the first row of the
right field seats to make it 4-0.
After allowing the first two batters to reach base, Aaron Harang
(13-8) settled down. He struck out Freddy Sanchez, the league's
leading hitter, All-Star starter Jason Bay, and Jeromy Burnitz to
end the first inning. All three struck out swinging on fastballs.
"I was able to hit my spots and put the ball where I wanted
to," Harang said. "That's a big part of their lineup. They've
hurt us the past couple of days, but I was able to get out of it."
"He's got a good fastball," Narron said. "He's got deception
and late movement, and that gives him a chance to get guys out.
"We needed seven innings out of our starter, and we got it,"
Harang, who'd allowed five earned runs in each of his previous
two starts, gave up just one run and five hits with nine
strikeouts. His career-high 13 wins are the most by a Reds pitcher
since Jimmy Haynes went 15-10 in 2002.
"I did some work this week on my mechanics," he said. "I was
getting out early, and my front side was flying open, and my arm
was having a tough time catching up. I was dropping my elbow, so we
did some tinkering."
"Basically, today (the Reds) had one offensive inning," Tracy
said. "Give credit to Aaron Harang. We had a good opportunity. We
started out the game the way we wanted to, but we couldn't get
Victor Santos (5-8) gave up five runs and 10 hits in five
innings. He matched a season high with seven strikeouts and walked
Bay led off Pittsburgh's fourth with his 27th homer of the
season and second in two games for the Pirates' only run of the
Sanchez, the Pirates third baseman, went 0-for-4 to see his
hitting streak snapped at 11 games. He is hitting .352. ... The
Reds placed LHP Eddie Guardado on the 15-day disabled list with
tendinitis in his left forearm and activated RHP Matt Belisle from
the disabled list. Belisle had been sidelined since July 14 with
lower back spasms. ... The Reds also placed LHP Chris Michalak on
the bereavement list following the death of his 102-year-old
grandmother and purchased the contract of IF-OF Norris Hopper from
Triple-A Louisville. He had a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning
in his first career plate appearance.