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Hart homers, Brewers beat Reds 7-2

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JOE KAY
June 1, 2011
— An ailing outfielder led the Milwaukee Brewers to a breakthrough win.

Corey Hart homered and drove in four runs on a hot, muggy night that reminded him he's been sick lately, and the Brewers beat the Reds 7-2 on Tuesday, snapping their six-game losing streak in Cincinnati.


The road has been a bad place overall for Milwaukee this season the Brewers are 9-18 away from home. Great American Ball Park has been a real problem, with Milwaukee losing 12 of its previous 13 games there in all sorts of numbing ways.


Finally, the Brewers got a happy ending.


"Oh, these guys are tough," Hart said. "We play a lot of teams good, but for some reason this team is our nemesis. It's always a struggle. Especially playing them here is tough."


Hart had a tough time the last few days, missing two games over the weekend with a severe stomach illness. He hit a three-run homer off Chad Reineke (0-1), who made his first big league appearance in two years. Hart later singled home a run.


He's gotten seven bags of intravenous fluids over the last few days, trying to get him rehydrated. The humidity and 89-degree temperature at the first pitch didn't help.


"I felt better than yesterday," said Hart, who lasted only five innings in a 7-3 loss on Monday. "I'm still not 100 percent. I told them I definitely am going to have to go out there and give everything. It ended up being a pretty good night."


Zack Greinke (4-1) got his fourth straight win, giving up a pair of runs in six innings despite struggling with his control.


"The first four innings were a real struggle for me personally," said Greinke, who threw 72 strikes in 109 pitches. "I started a little slow, but I got through it."


The Reds have dropped 11 of 14, a two-week nosedive that includes a 19-inning loss and four pitchers going on the disabled list. The 29-year-old Reineke replaced Homer Bailey, who's back on the disabled list with an injured shoulder.


Things fell apart for him in the third, which opened with shortstop Edgar Renteria's error. Nyjer Morgan singled home a run, and Hart added his fifth homer. Jonathan Lucroy ended an 0-for-10 slump with a solo homer in the sixth.


Reineke gave up five hits and five walks in 6 1-3 innings, with Hart's homer making the difference.


"I felt like I made a decent pitch to him, but he put a good swing on it," Reineke said. "That one didn't bother me as much as the second homer (by Lucroy) and the walks."


Greinke had faced the Reds only one other time, beating them 7-3 last June 13 in Cincinnati with a complete game for Kansas City. He didn't face them in the season-opening series at Great American Ball Park because he was still recovering from a broken rib suffered during an offseason pickup basketball game.


The right-hander was coming off the best of his five starts since returning from the injury. He fanned 10 in a season-high seven innings against Washington last Wednesday.


The Reds made him work deep into counts on the humid night, but he held up.


"That was a battle," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He just couldn't put guys away."


Greinke escaped the Reds' best threat, when they loaded the bases with none out in the fourth. Reineke, who has one career hit, grounded into a double play that brought in a run and cut it to 4-2. Drew Stubbs then struck out.


Jay Bruce singled home a run in the first inning, giving him 33 RBIs in May. It's the most by a Reds player in any month since Greg Vaughn drove in the same number in September 1999.


NOTES: Brewers RHP Takashi Saito threw in the bullpen without problem. The reliever is recovering from a strained muscle in his left side. He'll have another bullpen session, then perhaps a simulated game. ... The Reds designed LHP Tom Cochran for assignment to open a spot for Reineke. The reliever was called up on Sunday but didn't get into a game. ... Reineke grew up in Defiance, Ohio, and attended Miami University in nearby Oxford.



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