Sun. Final: Reds 5, Brewers 3
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jonny Gomes hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning Sunday, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-3 victory and a split of their four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gomes connected off Seth McClung (3-3), who had a tough time in his two appearances during the series. McClung walked two and gave up a three-run homer by Edwin Encarnacion in the opening game, but the Brewers held on to win.
Gomes also had a run-scoring single, helping Cincinnati win for only the fourth time in 12 games.
David Weathers (2-2) pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out a pair of batters. Francisco Cordero got the last three outs for his 22nd save in 23 chances, extending his recent streak of dominance. Cordero, the Reds' lone All-Star, has allowed only one hit in his last eight appearances.
The series matched a pair of NL Central teams that went into the All-Star break on pronounced downturns. Milwaukee fell out of first place in the NL Central during its slide, while the Reds fell to fifth. Milwaukee hasn't won back-to-back games since June 29-30.
Prince Fielder, who won the All-Star Home Run Derby earlier in the week, hit his second homer of the series and had three hits overall. His two-run shot off Johnny Cueto put the Brewers up 3-2 in the third. The Reds tied it on Gomes' single in the bottom of the inning off Yovani Gallardo.
Both starters went six innings and left with the score tied at 3.
Cueto got out of the first inning unscathed, a notable change for the 23-year-old pitcher. In his last two starts, Cueto gave up a total of 12 runs in the first inning.
Getting past Fielder was something else.
Fielder had a single, double and two-run homer off Cueto, extending his season-long tear against Cincinnati. The first baseman is batting .333 with five homers in a dozen games against the Reds this season.
Gallardo's problem has been a complete lack of help from Milwaukee's offense. He'd lost his last three starts, getting no runs while he was in the game. Twice, the Brewers wound up being shut out.
All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun returned to the Brewers' lineup after missing one game with a bruised right thumb. He went 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts.
NOTES: Brewers C Jason Kendall extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. ... Reds C Ramon Hernandez is sidelined by a sore left knee that could force him to go on the DL. Hernandez said Sunday that is has bothered him for about two months. He's had the knee drained. ... SS Alex Gonzalez left for Triple-A Louisville to start a rehab assignment. Gonzalez had surgery to clean out his throwing elbow on June 22. He could be activated for a series against the Cubs next weekend.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)