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05/30/09 11:54 PM ET
Diamond vision: Brewers touch all bases
Cameron, Braun, Fielder hit home runs to take Bush off hook
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee starting pitcher Dave Bush struggled through the first four innings Saturday night at Miller Park, but the Brewers' offense and bullpen came to his rescue. Mike Cameron hit a go-ahead home run as part of a six-run fifth inning and Seth McClung pitched three scoreless innings in relief as the Brewers beat Cincinnati, 9-5. "I stunk today, simply," said Bush, who was pulled from the game after giving up five runs in four innings. "I'm sure glad the offense and bullpen picked me up because they were both outstanding today. I just had a real hard time with my command today, had a real hard job of getting my fastball in the strike zone -- at least where I wanted it to be." Milwaukee starting pitchers hadn't been getting much help from the lineup as of late, as the Brewers entered Saturday having scored four runs or less in each of their last 10 games, batting .218 during that stretch. Those numbers were all but forgotten after Saturday's show. The Brewers' nine runs are the most they have scored since May 9. They also had a season-high seven hits in the six-run fifth, while they scored a season-high six runs in an inning for the second time, the other being a 12-6 win against the Cubs on May 9. Ryan Braun started the offensive fireworks, hitting a solo home run with one out in the fifth inning to bring the Brewers to within one, 5-4. Prince Fielder followed with a single, and Cameron's two-run homer to left-center field put Milwaukee ahead, 6-5. The Brewers continued to pour it on, as Corey Hart, Bill Hall and Mike Rivera each knocked a hit and came around to score. In all, eight straight Milwaukee batters reached base, as the lineup batted around. Cincinnati starter Aaron Harang (5-5) took the loss, giving up eight runs on a season-high 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings. It was Harang's first loss to the Brewers since July 30, 2006. "He's good. He has good stuff," Fielder said. "Anytime you get the opportunity to get some runs against him you have to take a shot." The comeback came after Bush also struggled to keep opposing batters in the ballpark. Cincinnati's Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Brandon Phillips followed two batters later to put the Reds up by 3-0. Fielder evened the score in the bottom of the inning with a three-run homer -- his second first-inning home run in as many games -- but the Reds added one run each in the second and fourth innings to knock Bush out of the game. "We've had a bunch of tight games here, and the home run by Prince was a huge answer," manager Ken Macha said. "There was a lot of life in the dugout after that. ... Guys are shaking loose a little bit, and hopefully that will carry over." Amid all the offense, Macha praised his defense for keeping the Reds in check in the middle innings. In the fourth, Bush walked leadoff man Laynce Nix before Ramon Hernandez rocketed a line drive to second baseman Craig Counsell, who threw to first in time for a double play. That play loomed large when Alex Gonzalez followed with a double, though Gonzalez scored for a 5-3 lead on a Ryan Hanigan hit. Hanigan tried to score as well when Harang hit a double to left field, but Braun relayed to shortstop J.J. Hardy, who threw home for the final out of the inning. In the fifth, McClung gave up consecutive singles to open the inning, including Hairston's infield hit that could have been a double down the line had third baseman Hall not knocked it down. Hall's quick reaction kept the double play in order, and McClung escaped the inning. "Them hitting the ball hard in the fourth and fifth inning and us responding with some good defensive plays really helped us out there," Macha said. "Then in the fifth inning we got the big home run by Cam to give us the lead."
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.