McDonald's RBI double lifts Reds to second straight win in extras

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun knew he made a mistake, and it cost the Milwaukee Brewers the game.

Pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald, promoted from Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday, hit an RBI double over Braun's head to drive in the winning run in the 10th inning, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Brewers 4-3 on Wednesday night.

McDonald, who threw out Braun trying to score the winning run in the ninth in Tuesday's night extra-inning victory, hit a liner that Braun in left field misjudged.

"I thought it jammed him, and by the time I recognized that it didn't, I was too late," Braun said. "Obviously, a crucial mistake in a big situation."

McDonald said that he was just trying to be aggressive and help the team win.

"I was able to find a hole," he said. "I guess the good Lord was looking out for me. Today was my day."

Dusty Baker gave him the manager's lineup cards as a souvenir.

"That was my first game-winning hit," McDonald said. "I'm going to cherish this."

Baker said that Braun probably had a tough read on the ball because the ball had a lot of back spin.

"He was playing probably a little shallow to try throw the runner out at the plate," Baker said after his team won their third straight for the first time since a four-game streak in late May.

"That wasn't no flyball. That was a line drive," Baker said. "There is a difference between a flyball and a line drive. That ball was hit a ton. We caught a break."

Brewers manager Ken Macha had a simpler explanation.

"I would say Braun took a bad route on that ball in the 10th," Macha said.

The extra-inning rally started when Wladimir Balentien hit a ground-rule double past diving right fielder Jody Gerut off Mike Burns (3-5), the fifth Brewer reliever, with one out in the 10th. Craig Tatum then hit into a fielder's choice, advancing to second when Balentien was caught in a rundown.

Baker said that Balentien, who was acquired from Seattle on July 29 for pitcher Robert Manuel, made the right decision on the base paths.

Tatum scored on McDonald's drive that went over the head of Braun, who broke in at first then watched the ball sail over his head.

Francisco Cordero pitched the 10th for his 27th save, one night after blowing his second save of the season.

Danny Herrera (3-4) pitched an inning for the win.

Claudio Vargas failed to protect a 3-2 lead for Milwaukee starter Braden Looper, letting Cincinnati tie the game on his throwing error in the eighth.

Scott Rolen legged out an infield single, advanced on a groundout, stole third and scored when Vargas fielded pinch-hitter Kevin Barker's chopper toward third and threw over the head of a leaping Prince Fielder at first.

"The little bit of a misplay on the bad throw cost us a run," Macha said as his slumping team (61-65) fell four games under .500. "It was a big run because it tied the game."

Before the All-Star Break, Milwaukee was 45-43 and tied for second 2 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. Since then, 19 of the their 22 losses have been to teams currently under .500 and Milwaukee has fallen 12 games behind the Cardinals.

Reds emergency starter Kip Wells, whose longest outing this season in three appearances was four innings of relief against Washington on Aug. 15, made a 2-0 lead stand up until the Brewers broke through with three runs in the fifth.

Gerut homered to make it 2-1, and then after a walk, Wells, making the spot start for Aaron Harang, who had an emergency appendectomy over the weekend and is out for the year, gave up a homer to Fielder. The 435-foot towering drive to right barely stayed fair.

Fielder's 34th home run of the season pushed his major league-leading RBI total to 112.

Wells walked three and struck out two in his first start since July 21, 2008, for Colorado. His start snapped a string of 66 consecutive relief appearances.

After hitting two solo home runs Tuesday in the Reds' 8-6 extra-innings victory, Laynce Nix hit his 13th of the season, off Looper for a 1-0 lead. The Milwaukee right-hander leads the majors in home runs allowed with 32.

Corky Miller, promoted Tuesday from Triple-A Louisville in time to catch all 13 innings of Tuesday's win, singled and scored on Janish' single.

Game notes
Brewers 2B Felipe Lopez, who hurt the arch of his foot while scoring in the ninth inning Tuesday, was walking very gingerly through the clubhouse before the game Wednesday and was not in the starting lineup. He pinch hit in the ninth. ... The Reds' home game against the Dodgers on Saturday starts at 4:10 p.m. ET to accommodate FOX's national broadcast.