MILWAUKEE (AP) - As good as Sam Demel has been this season, Josh Collmenter struggled mightily his last four starts.
The roles were reversed for the Arizona pitchers on Wednesday.
Collmenter reverted back to the outstanding form he showed his first six starts, but Demel allowed a slumping Casey McGehee to hit a three-run, pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning that gave the Milwaukee Brewers a 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.
``You have to tip your cap sometime,' said Demel, who gave up his first earned run in 19 games. ``Sometime they win.'
After Collmenter threw six shutout innings, reliever Joe Paterson (0-2) gave up consecutive one-out singles in the seventh.
Manager Kirk Gibson summoned Demel, and McGehee hit a 3-2 pitch for a three-run homer off the slight overhang in center field. McGehee then spiked his batting helmet in the dugout, letting out weeks of frustration.
McGehee, benched three of the previous five games because of a season-long slump, hit his first home run since May 20. He had been hitting .171 since last homering.
``It's been a long time coming to feel like I came up in a big spot and was able to have some success, and have a big at bat for us,' McGehee said. ``I felt like it had been a long time coming, it was kind of a release, I guess.'
It was Demel's third appearance since coming off the disabled list on June 30 after missing 36 games with right shoulder tendinitis.
``He had a great at-bat,' Demel said. ``Everything I threw him he was getting a piece of. I tried to get a two-seam sinker down and over the plate and I got it up a little bit.'
Collmenter's first six starts this year resulted in a 3-1 record and a 1.05 ERA. The bottom then fell out for the right-hander, who was 0-4 with a 7.54 ERA in his next four starts.
He gave up only three hits and a walk with three strikeouts while more than matching Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo.
``All week long I was working on (throwing my) fastball down,' Collmenter said. ``It was key for me.'
Gallardo (10-5) pitched seven strong innings, giving up a run and four hits, and helped prevent Arizona from sweeping the Brewers for the first time. He had lost three of his past four decisions, allowing 14 runs in 28 innings over that stretch.
``He is tough,' said Kelly Johnson, who homered on the third pitch of the game to account for Arizona's only run. ``He just rears back and throws really hard, hits corners, and never just barely gives you anything.'
LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless eighth and John Axford earned his 22nd save in 24 chances by striking out the side in the ninth.
``It was a very tight game with not a lot of good opportunities,' Gibson said. ``They got the big hit.'
NOTES: Johnson hit his ninth career leadoff home run. ... Gibson said Arizona CF Chris Young was being hampered by his sore left thumb, but it was not enough of an injury to remove him from the lineup. Young went 1 for 12 in the three-game series.
The Associated Press News Service
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