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Milwaukee at Cincinnati

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Milwaukee (55-44)000100000000180
Cincinnati (42-58) «001000000001291

Harang pitches 10 strong innings, Reds edge Brewers in 12th

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Aaron Harang knew his grandfather would have wanted it this way.

Harang returned from his grandfather's funeral and pitched 10 innings Monday night, setting up the Cincinnati Reds' 2-1, 12-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers that was special for one particular player.

"He wanted to win that game so bad," said catcher Javier Valentin, whose single ended it.

Harang rejoined the Reds after spending the last three days in San Diego, where his grandfather died. He pitched on schedule because he figured it was a fitting tribute.

Earlier this season, Harang stayed behind after a series in San Diego to spend time with his grandfather, who loved the game.

"I know he's out there with me," Harang said. "He was a baseball fan. He wouldn't have wanted me to miss a start. When we were out there and I stayed an extra day, he was mad because he thought I might miss a start."

This time, the only thing Harang missed was the victory.

Valentin's bases-loaded single off Grant Balfour (0-2) ended a game between two free-swinging teams. The struggling reliever walked Jeff Conine and Pedro Lopez to open the inning, then threw to third base too late on David Ross' bunt to get an out.

Manager Ned Yost went to the mound and gave Balfour a pep talk halfway through the four-pitch walk to Lopez. It didn't work.

"He just needs to find a way to throw more strikes," Yost said. "I told him, `You've worked hard for two years. This is your game to win or lose right here. Bang some strikes and get your first win in two years."'

Instead, Valentin pinch-hit and lined Balfour's first pitch to right field to end it.

Balfour missed the 2005 season with shoulder and elbow injuries, and spent last season on rehab in the Reds' farm system. He was called up by the Brewers last week after pitching well and throwing 95 mph in the minors.

He has made three off-target appearances for Milwaukee, giving up four hits, six runs, one homer and four walks in 2 2/3 innings.

"I'd better do something quick, I guess," Balfour said. "I don't know what I'm doing different. I'd been throwing strikes all year. I need to get back to doing that quick."

Reds closer David Weathers pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out threat in the 11th, inducing slow-moving catcher Johnny Estrada to ground into a home-to-first double play. Rookie Jared Burton (1-1) got the final two outs in the 12th for his first major league win.

But it was Harang who pitched as though this one had special meaning.

Harang gave up Ryan Braun's solo homer in the fourth, then retired the next 17 batters before Braun singled with two outs in the ninth. The tall, stoic pitcher showed no emotion while he tore through the Brewers' lineup, limiting Milwaukee to seven hits.

The crowd of 23,489 gave a loud cheer when Harang went back out for the 10th -- he'd thrown 107 pitches at that point. He escaped a two-on, two-out threat by fanning Corey Hart for his 10th strikeout.

"It was one of those games where I got through nine and they asked me how I felt and I said I feel good," Harang said. "That's the best I've felt."

Harang became the second pitcher in the majors to go 10 innings this season, joining Toronto's Roy Halladay. Harang hasn't lost since May 20, and could have more than his 10 wins if he wasn't followed by one of the majors' worst bullpens.

This time, the offense was his biggest problem. The two most homer-reliant teams in the majors -- both scoring roughly 46 percent of their runs off homers -- were in form.

Milwaukee's Chris Capuano allowed only Ross' solo homer during eight innings, giving up seven hits in all. The left-hander hasn't won since May 7, going 0-6 in his last 11 starts around a two-week stint on the disabled list with a groin strain.

All the Brewers managed off Harang was Braun's leadoff homer in the fourth, which extended the rookie's impressive tear. The third baseman has 16 homers in 51 games since he made his major league debut on May 25, the best pace for a rookie in franchise history.

The Brewers opened a four-game series in Cincinnati hoping to do something about their fast-disappearing lead. Since they pulled ahead by 8 1/2 games on June 23, the NL Central leaders have gone 12-13 and given themselves reasons to sweat.

The latest loss left them 3 games ahead of the idle Chicago Cubs.

Notes

  • Harang is the first Reds pitcher to go 10 innings since Rick Mahler threw 10 during a 2-0, 13-inning win in St. Louis on Aug. 30, 1989.
  • Harang is the first NL pitcher to go 10 innings since the Cardinals' Mark Mulder did it on April 23, 2005, against Houston.
  • Braun had three hits, extending his hitting streak to six games.
  • The Reds sent reliever Ricky Stone outright to Triple-A Louisville to open a roster spot for Harang, who had been on bereavement leave.
 
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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Reds pitcher Aaron Harang is the first to congratulate David Ross for his solo shot in the third.  (US Presswire)
Reds pitcher Aaron Harang is the first to congratulate David Ross for his solo shot in the third. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

A. Harang
IP 10.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 0
K 10
Milwaukee

C. Capuano
IP 8.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 0
K 7
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Hart, CF6010033 .284
J.J. Hardy, SS5000001 .264
Ryan Braun, 3B5131020 .345
Prince Fielder, 1B4020110 .283
Johnny Estrada, C5000014 .277
Geoff Jenkins, LF4000021 .256
Kevin Mench, RF5010004 .276
Craig Counsell, 2B5010010 .245
Chris Capuano, P3000000 .250
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000 .000
   a- Tony Graffanino, PH1000002 .247
    Matt Wise, P00000001.000
    Brian Shouse, P0000000 .000
   b- Rickie Weeks, PH0000100 .222
    Grant Balfour, P0000000 .000
Totals43181210  
a-popped out for Turnbow in the 10th
b-walked for Shouse in the 12th
Batting
2B - Corey Hart (17, Harang)
HR - Ryan Braun (16, Harang)
RBI - Ryan Braun (43)
Team LOB - 9
Milwaukee Brewers
Chris Capuano 8711071 4.64
Derrick Turnbow 1000020 3.30
Matt Wise 1.2100000 2.70
Brian Shouse 0.1000000 2.28
Grant Balfour (L,0-2)0111200 20.25
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Capuano 107-74, Derrick Turnbow 10-9, Matt Wise 25-17, Brian Shouse 4-2, Grant Balfour 14-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Capuano 9-8, Matt Wise 1-4, Brian Shouse 1-0, Grant Balfour 1-0
Batters Faced - Chris Capuano 31, Derrick Turnbow 3, Matt Wise 6, Brian Shouse 1, Grant Balfour 4
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF5000021 .240
Jeff Keppinger, 3B5010011 .323
Ken Griffey Jr., RF5010001 .278
Brandon Phillips, 2B5010012 .280
Adam Dunn, LF5010011 .259
Jeff Conine, 1B4010120 .256
    Norris Hopper, PR0100000 .268
Pedro Lopez, SS4000112 .184
David Ross, C4121000 .195
Aaron Harang, P3010011 .128
   a- Scott Hatteberg, PH1000000 .304
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   b- Javier Valentin, PH1011000 .260
Totals4229229  
a-fouled out for Harang in the 10th
b-singled for Burton in the 12th
Batting
2B - David Ross (5, Capuano)
HR - David Ross (15, Capuano)
SH - David Ross (5)
RBI - David Ross (33), Javier Valentin (16)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Conine-Ross, B. Phillips-Lopez-Conine
E - Pedro Lopez (1, Dropped fly)
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang107110101 3.45
David Weathers 1100100 3.22
Mike Stanton 0.1000000 5.29
Jared Burton (W,1-1) 0.2000100 3.38
HBP - Jenkins (by David Weathers)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 121-87, David Weathers 23-12, Mike Stanton 2-1, Jared Burton 6-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 7-13, David Weathers 1-2, Jared Burton 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 37, David Weathers 6, Mike Stanton 1, Jared Burton 2
Game Information
Attendance - 23489
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - John Hirschbeck, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Bill Welke