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Loss to Reds knocks Brewers right out of first in NL Central

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers haven't quit -- it just looks that way.

Bronson Arroyo and the Cincinnati Reds knocked slumping and error-prone Milwaukee out of first place in the NL Central, beating the Brewers 8-3 Friday night.

The Brewers (62-60) lost their season-high fifth straight at home, falling a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs (62-59), who beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 Friday afternoon in the opener of their four-game series.

"When you don't win, people always seem to think that you're pressing or doing something just because you're not winning," Prince Fielder said. "As far as for me, I don't see that from none of my teammates."

He said that it's hard to explain the current bad stretch. Milwaukee has lost 14 of its last 19 contests and 11 of 15 in August.

It's the first time the Brewers have been in second since Aug. 2 -- they regained the top spot a day later.

"We're playing hard and we're just not winning," Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan said.

Arroyo (6-13) gave up nine hits in 7 1/3 innings, including three solo home runs -- two by J.J. Hardy and one by Gabe Gross. He struck out seven and also doubled and scored a run.

"It was one of those days where you get lucky," Arroyo said. "Through seven, it was probably the easiest start I've had all year. They were being really aggressive and I was getting lucky and getting outs."

Arroyo said that in the past, the Brewers had shown patience at the plate. Not in this one.

"Tonight it seemed like everybody top-to-bottom was swinging at one of the first two pitches and putting the ball into play," he said.

Adam Dunn launched a 455-ft drive into the upper deck in right for a two-run homer in the top of the ninth. His 33rd home run gave him 81 RBI for the season, and was the third consecutive game in which he's gone deep.

Trailing 6-1, Hardy and Gross each homered in the eighth to chase Arroyo. But the rally ended against relievers Bill Bray and Jared Burton, and Dave Weathers pitched a perfect ninth.

The Reds padded a 4-1 lead with two runs in the seventh as the Brewers committed two errors.

Jeff Keppinger singled and advanced on Ken Griffey Jr.'s grounder to third baseman Ryan Braun, who threw the ball wide of second and into right field. Keppinger and Griffey kept on running and both scored when right fielder Gross' throw sailed into foul territory behind third.

Milwaukee had four errors in the game.

Suppan (8-10), the Brewers' $42 million free agent acquisition, is 0-3 in 10 starts since an 11-6 win over Kansas City on June 22. He gave up four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Brewers starting pitchers are 1-10 over the last 18 games. Rookie right-hander Yovani Gallardo had the lone victory in a 2-1 win Aug. 3 against Philadelphia.

Scott Hatteberg hit a solo shot leading off the sixth. After a one-out single by Edwin Encarnacion and a sacrifice by Arroyo, Brewers manager Ned Yost pulled Suppan and Brian Shouse got Josh Hamilton looking to end the inning.

Keppinger figured in the Reds' first three runs off Suppan.

He reached on shortstop Hardy's fielding error and scored on Brandon Phillips' double in the first inning, then walked and came around to score on Griffey's double into the right-field corner in the third.

In the fifth, center fielder Corey Hart's fielding error on Keppinger's liner up the middle allowed Arroyo, on with a leadoff double, to score.

"I'm happy because he did score," Reds manager Pete Mackanin said of Arroyo. "But it was funny watching him run around the bases."

Hardy made up for his miscue in the third when he hit his 21st homer of the season, trimming the Reds' lead to 2-1.

Notes

  • RHP Chris Spurling, designated for assignment when Gross was recalled from Triple-A Nashville, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Nashville. Spurling was 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 38 games.
  • Keppinger, recalled from Triple-A Louisville on July 7, stole his first base of the season in the first inning.
  • Griffey's double in the third extended his hitting streak to six games.
 
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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J.J. Hardy smacks the first of two homers in the game, but it doesn't help the Brewers much in the end. (AP)
J.J. Hardy smacks the first of two homers in the game, but it doesn't help the Brewers much in the end. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

J. Hardy
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
Cincinnati

J. Keppinger
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Cincinnati Reds
Josh Hamilton, CF5010032 .286
Jeff Keppinger, SS4320111 .357
Ken Griffey Jr., RF5221002 .282
Brandon Phillips, 2B4021112 .272
Adam Dunn, LF4122113 .261
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
Scott Hatteberg, 1B5111002 .302
Javier Valentin, C5010011 .276
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4010001 .264
Bronson Arroyo, P3110010 .093
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
    Jason Ellison, LF0000000 .250
Totals39813538  
Batting
2B - Ken Griffey Jr. (17, Suppan), Brandon Phillips (21, Suppan), Bronson Arroyo (1, Suppan)
3B - Josh Hamilton (2, Wise)
HR - Adam Dunn (33, Linebrink), Scott Hatteberg (10, Suppan)
SH - Bronson Arroyo (4)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (77), Brandon Phillips (67), Adam Dunn 2 (81), Scott Hatteberg (42)
2-OUT RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (24), Brandon Phillips (28)
SB - Jeff Keppinger (1, 2nd base off Suppan/Estrada), Brandon Phillips (24, 2nd base off Shouse/Estrada)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - B. Phillips-Keppinger-Hatteberg
Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo (W,6-13) 7.1933073 4.58
Bill Bray0000100 2.70
Jared Burton (H,4) 0.2000000 3.12
David Weathers 1000000 3.65
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 89-66, Bill Bray 6-2, Jared Burton 11-7, David Weathers 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 7-6, David Weathers 1-2
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 29, Bill Bray 1, Jared Burton 2, David Weathers 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Gabe Gross, RF4131000 .237
Joe Dillon, 2B4010012 .500
Prince Fielder, 1B3010101 .285
Ryan Braun, 3B4010003 .344
Geoff Jenkins, LF4010012 .276
Johnny Estrada, C4000011 .277
Corey Hart, CF3000020 .271
    Matt Wise, P00000001.000
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
   a- Craig Counsell, PH1000000 .223
J.J. Hardy, SS4222000 .272
Jeff Suppan, P2000010 .087
    Brian Shouse, P0000000 .000
    Bill Hall, CF1000010 .260
Totals3439317  
a-lined out for Linebrink in the 9th
Batting
2B - Joe Dillon (1, Arroyo), Geoff Jenkins (21, Arroyo)
HR - Gabe Gross (5, Arroyo), J.J. Hardy 2 (22, Arroyo, Arroyo)
RBI - Gabe Gross (10), J.J. Hardy 2 (68)
CS - Ryan Braun (4, 2nd base by Arroyo/Valentin)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Fielder-Hardy-Suppan, Estrada-Dillon
E - Ryan Braun (19, Throwing), Gabe Gross (2, Throwing), J.J. Hardy (12, Misplayed grounder), Corey Hart (2, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Suppan (L,8-10) 5.2843241 4.89
Brian Shouse 1.1221110 2.68
Matt Wise 1100020 3.67
Scott Linebrink 1222011 3.67
WP - Jeff Suppan (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 114-76, Brian Shouse 22-12, Matt Wise 19-11, Scott Linebrink 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 7-6, Brian Shouse 3-0, Scott Linebrink 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 27, Brian Shouse 7, Matt Wise 4, Scott Linebrink 5
Game Information
Attendance - 41008
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Tim Tschida