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Griffey Jr. hits his first homer this year in loss to Brewers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Ken Griffey Jr. found his home run swing. The Milwaukee Brewers found a way to win.

Griffey hit his first homer this season, No. 502 of his career, but the Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 Saturday on Damian Miller's game-winning single in the ninth inning.

Milwaukee rallied from a four-run deficit for its third consecutive victory, matching a season high set by winning the first three games of the year.

"It's a fun clubhouse right now," Miller said.

Sean Casey also connected for the Reds, who led 5-1 in the seventh before the Brewers rallied on Junior Spivey's two-run single and Russell Branyan's two-run double.

Griffey connected for a two-run shot off reliever Victor Santos in the fourth inning, ending his longest drought to start a season. Griffey did not homer in his first 21 games and 79 at-bats this year.

It was Griffey's first home run since last July 8, also in Milwaukee. That one came against Wes Obermueller, who started for the Brewers on Saturday.

"I think you guys make more out of it than me," Griffey said. "I haven't done anything different. I just went down and got one today."

Griffey, who tore his hamstring off the bone last August, also failed to hit a homer in 48 at-bats during spring training.

He sent a 3-1 pitch from Santos just over the center-field wall at Miller Park, which measures 400 feet. The home run was estimated at 401 feet, giving Cincinnati a 4-1 lead.

It was not the longest home run drought of Griffey's career. He went 101 at-bats without one from May 22 to June 20 in 1990 with Seattle.

"It was bound to happen," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "Hopefully, it will add up."

Derrick Turnbow (1-1) got two outs for the win, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the ninth when Rich Aurilia flied out.

Carlos Lee opened the bottom half with a single off Joe Valentine (0-1), ending an 0-for-21 slump, and Lyle Overbay walked. Valentine's error on Chris Magruder's sacrifice loaded the bases with none out. After Branyan flied out to shallow right, Miller singled over Ryan Freel's head in right to win it.

"We manufactured a run," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "That was a huge win. That's the first time in a while where we battled back, especially from a four-run deficit."

Freel scored the first run in the first inning. He opened the game with a walk, stole second and third on consecutive pitches and scored on Casey's groundout.

Casey's first home run of the season gave the Reds a 2-0 lead in the third.

Three walks helped Milwaukee score in the third on an RBI groundout by Bill Hall.

Two wild pitches by Jorge De La Rosa allowed Freel to score in the seventh, making it 5-1. But the Brewers scored four times with two outs in the bottom half, tying it on Branyan's two-run double after Spivey's two-run single.

Reds starter Paul Wilson did not give up a hit until Hall's single with two outs in the fifth. But Wilson was lifted after walking six in six innings. He allowed one run and three hits.

Notes

  • Reds RHP Ramon Ortiz will come off the disabled list to start Sunday in Milwaukee.
  • Freel stole a career-high three bases.
  • Obermueller made his first start of the season in place of ace Ben Sheets, on the 15-day disabled list with inner ear inflammation.
  • Casey's last home run came on Sept. 17, against the Cubs.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Ken Griffey Jr. keeps his eyes on his first home run since last July, also against Milwaukee. (AP)
Ken Griffey Jr. keeps his eyes on his first home run since last July, also against Milwaukee. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Branyan
AB 2
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Milwaukee

J. Spivey
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, 2B-RF3200213 .341
Ken Griffey Jr., CF5112022 .244
Sean Casey, 1B4112111 .276
Austin Kearns, RF3010120 .238
    Ryan Wagner, P0000000 .000
    Kent Mercker, P0000000 .000
   a- Jacob Cruz, PH1010000 .333
    Joe Valentine, P0000000 .000
Adam Dunn, LF4000113 .292
Joe Randa, 3B3010200 .269
Rich Aurilia, SS4010106 .224
Jason LaRue, C4010032 .224
Paul Wilson, P3110022 .231
    Felipe Lopez, 2B1000001 .259
Totals3558481220 
a-singled for Mercker in the 9th
Batting
2B - Austin Kearns (3, Obermueller)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (1, Santos), Sean Casey (1, Obermueller)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. 2 (9), Sean Casey 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. 2 (4), Sean Casey (3)
SB - Ryan Freel 3 (5, 2nd base off Obermueller/Moeller, 3rd base off Obermueller/Moeller, 2nd base off De La Rosa/Moeller)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
E - Joe Valentine (1, Wild throw)
Cincinnati Reds
Paul Wilson 6311630 5.25
Ryan Wagner (BS,1) 1344210 3.65
Kent Mercker 1100010 3.27
Joe Valentine (L,0-1) 0.1211100 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Wilson 103-56, Ryan Wagner 31-16, Kent Mercker 14-9, Joe Valentine 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Wilson 7-8, Ryan Wagner 1-1, Joe Valentine 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Wilson 27, Ryan Wagner 8, Kent Mercker 4, Joe Valentine 5
Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF4010100 .295
Bill Hall, SS-2B5121001 .229
Geoff Jenkins, RF4100124 .244
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000 .000
Carlos Lee, LF5110000 .215
Lyle Overbay, 1B3110200 .310
Junior Spivey, 2B3122110 .227
    Ricky Bottalico, P0000000 .000
    Chris Magruder, RF0000000 .208
Russell Branyan, 3B2012303 .333
Chad Moeller, C2100115 .095
   a- Damian Miller, PH-C2011011 .304
Wes Obermueller, P1000002 .250
    Victor Santos, P0000000 .000
   b- Wes Helms, PH1000000 .077
    Julio Santana, P0000000 .000
   c- Jeff Cirillo, PH1000003 .191
    Jorge De La Rosa, P0000000 .000
    J.J. Hardy, SS1000000 .143
Totals346969519 
a-struck out for Moeller in the 7th
b-grounded out for Santos in the 5th
c-flied out for Santana in the 6th
Batting
2B - Lyle Overbay (6, Wilson), Russell Branyan (3, Wagner)
SH - Chris Magruder (1)
RBI - Bill Hall (3), Junior Spivey 2 (10), Russell Branyan 2 (14), Damian Miller (4)
2-OUT RBI - Junior Spivey 2 (5), Russell Branyan 2 (7)
Team LOB - 13
Milwaukee Brewers
Wes Obermueller 3.1533351 3.29
Victor Santos 1.2111021 3.25
Julio Santana 1000020 0.00
Jorge De La Rosa 1.1011320 4.09
Ricky Bottalico 1200110 3.27
Derrick Turnbow (W,1-1) 0.2000100 1.59
WP - Jorge De La Rosa 2 (2), Derrick Turnbow (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Wes Obermueller 75-43, Victor Santos 22-12, Julio Santana 9-7, Jorge De La Rosa 36-16, Ricky Bottalico 18-8, Derrick Turnbow 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wes Obermueller 2-3, Julio Santana 1-0, Jorge De La Rosa 1-1, Ricky Bottalico 2-0
Batters Faced - Wes Obermueller 18, Victor Santos 6, Julio Santana 3, Jorge De La Rosa 7, Ricky Bottalico 6, Derrick Turnbow 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23880
Game Time - 3:18
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Bruce Froemming, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Mike Winters