CINCINNATI (AP) - On a night that the Reds honored one of their greats, Cincinnati didn't put up much fight against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Yovani Gallardo struck out a career-high 13 and Ryan Braun hit his third home run in two nights to help the Brewers inch closer to a Central Division championship with a 10-1 win over the Reds on Saturday night
Before the game, Cincinnati dedicated a statue to its Hall of Fame catcher, Johnny Bench.
``I don't think we impressed Johnny too much with our performance. Volquez threw the ball good he just made one mistake,' said Reds manager Dusty Baker. ``The first run came on a bloop by Braun. He was good until the seventh then he walked (Craig) Counsel and hit (Nyjer) Morgan and things began to unravel.'
Milwaukee isn't far off from dethroning the Reds as division champs. Milwaukee lowered its magic number to five with their fourth win in their last five games and St. Louis's loss at Philadelphia.
Any combination of Milwaukee wins and Cardinal losses adding up to five gives the Brewers their first division championship since 1982, when they won the American League East.
Volquez spent two months in Louisville trying to straighten out his pitching after a rough start to the season.
``Volquie had good tempo and good velocity. He threw more strikes,' Dusty Baker said.
Volquez (5-6) has allowed at least one first inning run in nine of his 18 starts. He lasted 6 2-3 innings, giving up six hits and five runs with three walks, six strikeouts and one wild pitch. He also hit a batter.
``My outing wasn't bad,' said Volquez, who gave up six hits and five runs in 6 2-3 innings. ``I made a mistake to (Yuniesky) Betancourt.'
Volquez is determined to get back his form.
``I want to be more aggressive and throw more strikes,' Volquez said.
Gallardo (17-10) was definitely aggressive. His previous single-game strikeout high was 12, which he'd reached four times, including last Sunday. He threw 117 pitches, 75 of them strikes, in his six innings, giving up just two hits, one run, and two walks.
Gallardo became the second pitcher in Milwaukee to strike out four batters in one inning when Brandon Phillips reached on a third-strike wild pitch with two outs in the fifth. Edgar Renteria struck out swinging to end the inning.
Drew Stubbs struck out twice against Gallardo, pushing him to 195 for the season. That ties the club record set by Adam Dunn in 2004.
Milwaukee grabbed a first inning lead. Corey Hart led off by grounding a double between third baseman Juan Francisco and the bag. He moved up on Nyjer Morgan's groundout to second and scored on Braun's broken-bat bloop single to short center field.
Yonder Alonso tied the score with a home run to lead off the second inning. The 382-foot drive on Gallardo's 3-1 pitch appeared to glance off the glove of leaping center fielder Morgan and land in the first row of seats.
The Brewers regained their one-run lead in the fourth on Betancourt's 12th homer of the season, a 391-foot shot into the right-center field seats on a 2-2 pitch with two outs. His two-out single in the sixth drove in Morgan from second, giving Milwaukee a 3-1 lead. Braun added his 31st homer, a three-run shot into the left field seats off of Jose Arredondo, in the seventh.
Mark Kotsay had a pinch-hit, three-run double in Milwaukee's four-run eighth.
Notes: Bench was honored in pre-game ceremonies, which included seeing a portion of the street surrounding the ballpark renamed ``Johnny Bench Way,' and he threw a ceremonial first pitch to his former teammmate, Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan. ... Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks didn't start Saturday after slightly aggravating the left ankle injury that forced him to miss 39 games from July 27 to Sept. 8. ... Reds C Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez both were sidelined on Saturday, Hanigan with back spasms and Hernandez with a bruise on his left shin after a foul tip on Friday. ... LHP Dontrelle Willis will take his 13th stab at win No. 1 of the season when he starts Sunday against the Brewers. Willis, 0-6 since being called up from Triple-A Louisville on July 10, has been victimized by three blown saves, including his first start at Milwaukee. ... Brewers RHP Zack Greinke is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts in Cincinnati.
The Associated Press News Service
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