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Brewers End Losing Streak At 6


Rich Becker came off the bench and came through Saturday night for the Milwaukeee Brewers.

Becker, batting only .227, had a pinch-hit double in the seventh inning and doubled again in the eighth as the Brewers rallied against the majors' best bullpen to beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4, ending a six-game losing streak.

Reds relievers led the majors with 27 wins and a 2.96 ERA. But the Brewers broke through for a run in the seventh inning and three in the eighth to make a winner of reliever David Weathers (7-4).

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Game Summary

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  • "It happens once in a while," Cincinnati manager Jack McKeon said. "They stopped us pretty good after the fifth inning, but we still had the lead and we generally hold it. This was one of those rare occasions."

    "You're going to keep going after it," Becker said. "We haven't given up. We're capable of playing better."

    Geoff Jenkins made it 4-4 with a 405-foot homer against Danny Graves leading off the eighth. With two out in the same inning, Jose Valentin walked and scored on a double by Becker, who scored on the same play when the throw to third went into the Cincinnati dugout.

    "I lost the game," Graves said. "It's my fault for getting behind the hitters. You can't do that at this level. It was a tough loss."

    Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.

    The Reds scored in the first inning for the second straight game. Greg Vaughn's sacrifice fly off Scott Karl drove in Mike Cameron, who led off with a walk and went to third on a single by Sean Casey.

    "The game started like a lot of our last six games," Brewers manager Phil Garner said. "It looked like a case of here we go again, the same old routine."

    Milwaukee tied it against Brett Tomko in the first on consecutive two-out doubles by Dave Nilsson and Alex Ochoa. Nilsson's low liner to left was lost in the County Stadium background by Vaughn and Ochoa followed with a drive that bounced high off the left-field fence.

    Cincinnati went ahead on Cameron's solo home run with one out in the third. The Reds went up 3-1 later in the inning when Ochoa lost Vaughn's high fly ball to right, as the ball fell in for a single and allowed Jeffrey Hammonds to score from second.

    The Brewers closed within one in the bottom of the third on one-out doubles by Mark Loretta and Jeff Cirillo.

    Cincinnati made it 4-2 on singles by Hammonds, Casey and Barry Larkin in the fifth. Larkin's two-out blooper barely made it out of the infield and scored Hammonds.

    Tomko departed in the seventh after allowing a single to Valentin and a double by Becker. Reliever Stan Belinda got out of the inning by allowing only Valentin to score, thanks to a fine play by shortstop Larkin on a grounder by Cirillo.

    Notes

  • Reds catcher Eddie Taubensee has 33 RBI in his last 33 games and has hit safely in 25 of his last 28 starts to raise his average to .313. He didn't start Saturday and went 1-for-1 as a pinch hitter.
  • The Reds hadn't allowed a home run since July 31, a span of 52 innings.
  • Pete Harnisch (10-6, 3.55 ERA) starts Sunday for the Reds. He pitched briefly for the Brewers in 1997, going 1-1 in four appearances. He notched the last Milwaukee victory in the American League.
  • Hideo Nomo (9-4, 4.29), who has lost his last two decisions, will start for Milwaukee.
  • Jeromy Burnitz, on the disabled list since July 18 after breaking a bone in his right hand when hit by a pitch, doesn't expect to play for three more weeks. He started in the All-Star game.
  • The Brewers honored Hall of Famer Robin Yount prior to the game, which attracted 35,096 fans, the fifth-highest attendance of the season at County Stadium. "That ceremony is something I'll never forget," Jenkins said. "If that doesn't motivate you, nothing can."

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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