|Milwaukee (63-60) «||0||0||3||0||0||3||0||2||x||8||12||0|
Gross and Jenkins each hit three-run homers Saturday night, leading Milwaukee past the Cincinnati Reds 8-4 and keeping the Brewers within a half-game of NL Central-leading Chicago, which defeated St. Louis 5-3 earlier in the day.
In the third inning, Gross hit a 2-2 pitch from Elizardo Ramirez that just cleared the glove of leaping Josh Hamilton in center. Gross' sixth homer followed consecutive two-out singles by starting pitcher Claudio Vargas and Rickie Weeks.
Gross' homer came after Reds catcher Javier Valentin dropped a foul ball which would've been a third strike and the end of the inning.
"When I fouled it off, I heard it hit his glove and I looked back and he was reaching for another ball," Gross said. "I thought he caught it."
Jenkins' homer came in the sixth inning, when Cincinnati intentionally walked hot-hitting Ryan Braun. The left-handed hitting Jenkins drove a 2-1 pitch from Mike Stanton well over the center-field wall for his third homer off a left-hander this season.
"That was a jolt for us," Jenkins said. "I didn't need a homer -- I was just trying to move the chains. It was nice to hit a home run."
Stanton thought the entire game changed when Jenkins hit his 19th of the year.
"It's just a shame," Stanton said. "If I can do my job and get Jenkins out, I don't think there's any doubt we win the game."
The Brewers had been outscored 42-14 during their five-game losing streak.
While Gross and Jenkins ignited the offense, Vargas (10-4) became the Brewers' second 10-game winner, matching Ben Sheets. Vargas, who won for the first time since June 27 at St. Louis, pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed one run and seven hits. He struck out five and walked five.
"Claudio came out and attacked," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He was focused and more determined as I've ever seen him."
Ramirez (0-1) made his first start for the Reds since Aug. 12, 2006, when he lasted just 1 1/3 innings and received a no-decision at Philadelphia. He was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Saturday and threw five innings, allowing three runs and five hits with a strikeout and no walks.
"I liked Ramirez," Reds manager Pete Mackanin said. "I thought he threw a lot of strikes, a lot of quality strikes. He just made that one mistake to Gross."
Ramirez may have fared better if the Reds could have taken advantage of early opportunities. Cincinnati had a runner reach base in each of the first five innings, including four who made it into scoring position.
But a runner was doubled off second base on a line drive in the fourth and another stranded on third to end the fifth inning.
Cincinnati finally broke through in the sixth when Valentin scored Brandon Phillips on a single to center. The Reds eventually loaded the bases, but reliever Brian Shouse struck out Hamilton on a breaking ball, ending the threat.
"Shousey got out of a big jam," Yost said. "That's a good lineup over there. They can put up runs pretty quick."
The Reds tried to answer Jenkins' homer in the seventh when they loaded the bases with no outs. But Carlos Villanueva got Adam Dunn to hit into a double play, allowing one run to score. Scott Hatteberg singled in a run to make it 6-3 before Villanueva recorded the final out of the inning.
|Geoff Jenkins makes the Reds pay for walking Ryan Braun by smashing a three-run round-tripper. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Josh Hamilton, CF||4||0||1||0||1||1||3||.285|
|Jeff Keppinger, SS||3||1||1||0||2||0||2||.356|
|Ken Griffey Jr., RF||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.282|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||5||2||3||0||0||2||3||.275|
|Adam Dunn, LF||3||0||1||0||2||1||1||.262|
|Scott Hatteberg, 1B||4||0||1||1||1||0||2||.301|
|Javier Valentin, C||5||0||3||2||0||0||1||.287|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||3||4||.263|
|Elizardo Ramirez, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Mark Bellhorn, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.143|
|Mike Stanton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Gary Majewski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Norris Hopper, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.313|
|Eddie Guardado, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-walked for Ramirez in the 6th|
|b-struck out for Majewski in the 8th|
|2B - Josh Hamilton (12, Vargas)|
|RBI - Scott Hatteberg (43), Javier Valentin 2 (25)|
|2-OUT RBI - Scott Hatteberg (20), Javier Valentin 2 (13)|
|SB - Brandon Phillips (25, 2nd base off Vargas/Estrada)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|DP - Encarnacion-Hatteberg, Encarnacion-B. Phillips-Hatteberg|
|E - Josh Hamilton (4, Dropped fly)|
|Elizardo Ramirez (L,0-1)||5||5||3||3||0||1||1||3.86|
|IBB - Braun by Mike Stanton|
|Pitches-Strikes - Elizardo Ramirez 65-44, Mike Stanton 27-18, Gary Majewski 5-5, Eddie Guardado 29-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Elizardo Ramirez 4-8, Gary Majewski 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Elizardo Ramirez 18, Mike Stanton 7, Gary Majewski 3, Eddie Guardado 7|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.210|
|Gabe Gross, RF||2||1||1||3||0||0||0||.242|
|a- Corey Hart, PH-RF||2||2||2||0||0||0||0||.275|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||2||1||.284|
|Ryan Braun, 3B||3||1||1||1||1||0||0||.344|
|Francisco Cordero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Geoff Jenkins, LF||4||1||1||3||0||1||1||.276|
|Bill Hall, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.262|
|Johnny Estrada, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.276|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.269|
|Claudio Vargas, P||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||.135|
|Brian Shouse, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Carlos Villanueva, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|b- Joe Dillon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.476|
|Derrick Turnbow, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Craig Counsell, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.223|
|a-doubled for Gross in the 6th|
|b-grounded out for Villanueva in the 7th|
|2B - Corey Hart 2 (22, Stanton, Guardado), Prince Fielder (30, Guardado)|
|HR - Gabe Gross (6, Ramirez), Geoff Jenkins (19, Stanton)|
|RBI - Gabe Gross 3 (13), Prince Fielder (90), Ryan Braun (61), Geoff Jenkins 3 (54)|
|2-OUT RBI - Gabe Gross 3 (5), Geoff Jenkins 3 (13)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|DP - Weeks-Hardy-Fielder, Hardy, Weeks-Hardy-Fielder|
|Claudio Vargas (W,10-4)||5.2||7||1||1||5||5||0||4.72|
|Brian Shouse (H,17)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.65|
|Derrick Turnbow (H,28)||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||4.31|
|Pitches-Strikes - Claudio Vargas 115-61, Brian Shouse 4-3, Carlos Villanueva 26-14, Derrick Turnbow 18-11, Francisco Cordero 20-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Claudio Vargas 4-6, Carlos Villanueva 1-1, Francisco Cordero 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Claudio Vargas 27, Brian Shouse 1, Carlos Villanueva 6, Derrick Turnbow 4, Francisco Cordero 6|
|Attendance - 43087|
|Game Time - 3:12|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Jim Joyce|