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Bullpen struggles continue, as Brewers losing streak hits 7 games

The New Scoreboard at Great American Ballpark By Cincinnati Reds (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The New Scoreboard at Great American Ballpark By Cincinnati Reds (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

CINCINNATI (TSN-WSAU) Johnny Cueto worked seven solid innings, and Jonny Gomes belted a three-run homer to cap a five-run seventh inning that carried surging Cincinnati past Milwaukee, 6-3, in the opener of a two-game set at Great American Ballpark.

Cueto (3-1) yielded one run on seven hits while walking one and fanning seven to grab the victory for the Reds, who have claimed eight of their last nine to move into the top spot in the National League Central.

"I was feeling good," Cueto said through a translator. "I didn't want to give up any more runs."

Orlando Cabrera and Joey Votto each had a pair of hits, scored and drove in a run for the Reds, who have won five of their last six at home. Francisco Cordero got Ryan Braun to fly out with two runners on to end the game and earn his 13th save of the season.

Todd Coffey (1-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing all five seventh- inning runs on five hits and a walk in his lone inning for the Brewers, who dropped their seventh straight game.

"To give up five runs in embarrassing. It can't happen," Coffey said of his effort.

Yovani Gallardo left after six innings, during which he allowed a single run on four hits while working around a season-high six walks. He struck out five and has lasted at least six frames in six of his nine starts this season.

Corey Hart, who has gone deep in three straight games, belted two solo home runs for the visitors, who have been outscored 57-23 during their losing streak.

Chris Heisey led off the decisive seventh, batting for Cueto, and greeted Coffey with a triple to center field. Cabrera followed with a base hit back through the middle to plate Heisey and give the Reds their first lead of the night at 2-1. Scott Rolen added a sacrifice fly that chased home Cabrera before Gomes punctuated the rally with a blast to left field.

The Brewers tallied twice in the ninth against Daniel Ray Herrera when Hart hit his second home run of the game and Craig Counsell's pinch-hit single knocked in Gregg Zaun to trim the lead to 6-3 before Cordero was called on to put out the fire.

Both teams failed to score with a runner at third and one out in the first, and the Brewers put runners at second and third with one out in the second but were denied again after Jody Gerut was called out on strikes and Gallardo lined back to the mound.

The Brewers finally broke through in the fourth inning and took a 1-0 lead when Hart blasted a longball to straightaway center field.

Milwaukee was thwarted in an attempt to add to its lead later in the frame when Drew Stubbs threw out Zaun trying to score on a Gallardo fly ball to center field.

Cincinnati got the game tied in the home sixth when Brandon Phillips drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on Votto's double. Gallardo struck out Ramon Hernandez with the bases loaded to end the inning.

The Brewers and Reds play again at 11am Tuesday.