Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 7/5)

Game 1: Thursday, July 4
Milwaukee 5Final
Cincinnati 4
Game 2: Friday, July 5
Milwaukee 6Final
Cincinnati 8
Game 3: Saturday, July 6
Milwaukee 4Final
Cincinnati 6
Game 4: Sunday, July 7
Milwaukee 7Final
Cincinnati 4

Brewers 6

(32-54, 14-30 away)

Reds 8

(45-40, 21-22 home)

    7:10 PM ET, July 5, 2002

    Cinergy Field, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 012021000 6 - -
    CIN 20203010 - 8 - -

    W: G. White (4-1)

    L: G. Rusch (5-7)

    S: D. Graves (26)

    Graves denies Young another chance to beat Reds

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- Danny Graves wasn't going to let Eric Young beat him two days in a row.


    Graves blocked the plate and prevented Young from scoring on a wild pitch in the ninth inning, preserving the Cincinnati Reds' 8-6 victory Friday night over the Milwaukee Brewers.

    "That's not something you practice in spring training,'' said Graves, who took the throw from catcher Jason LaRue and tagged the sliding Young. "I was glad to see him trying to score.''

    Adam Dunn hit a solo homer and a two-run double off the top of the 40-foot wall in center field, rallying the Reds through a pair of comebacks and setting the tone for a back-and-forth game that had a wild finish.

    The lead changed hands four times in a game full of extra-base hits. There were five homers in all -- three by the Brewers, two by the Reds.

    It appeared the Brewers were on the verge of another comeback against Graves after Young walked and Jeffrey Hammonds singled in the ninth.

    On Thursday, Graves blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning as Young hit a two-out, two-run double for Milwaukee's 5-4 win.

    This time, Young made a bad decision under pressure. He tried to score from second base when Graves' wild pitch bounced away from LaRue and rolled to the backstop.

    With none out and a two-run deficit, it was a bad move.

    "That's our trick play 107,'' Reds manager Bob Boone joked. "That was a big break for us, no question. We were in deep trouble at that wild pitch.''

    Graves dropped his leg in front of the plate while taking the throw and making the tag, easily getting Young.

    "It looked like I tackled him,'' said Graves, who got his 26th save in 32 chances. "I didn't mean to. I was doing anything I could to keep him from touching the plate.''

    Brewers manager Jerry Royster told his deflated team to turn on the music in the clubhouse and forget the ending.

    "I told them to forget about this game -- we're not doing that again,'' Royster said. "Just treat it like it's a bad dream and your mom and dad are here and everything's all right.''

    On a night full of hard-hit balls, Dunn had the most impressive shot. His towering hit about a foot from the top of the majors' tallest wall and put the Reds ahead to stay, 7-5 in the fifth.

    Only two balls have been hit over the 40-foot wall in its two seasons.

    "It was weird,'' said Dunn, who will be the Reds' only All-Star in Milwaukee next week. "You usually know when you've hit one that's got a chance to go. That's as good as I can hit one.''

    Barry Larkin also had a solo homer, a single and a double off left-hander Glendon Rusch (5-7), who fell to 0-3 in three career starts against the Reds with a 7.71 ERA.

    Hammonds had a two-run homer and a two-run double off Elmer Dessens, rocked for a season-high five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. The Brewers also hit a pair of solo homers -- Matt Stairs' shot off Dessens and Ronnie Belliard's first career pinch-homer off Gabe White (4-1).

    Both starters fared poorly on a 90-degree night. Each failed to hold two leads and left after 4 1/3 innings.

    Dessens, the Reds' No. 1 starter, had been pushed back a day because of mild stiffness in his shoulder. He gave up eight hits, one walk and five runs, pushing his ERA from 2.58 -- fourth-best in the NL -- to 2.91.

    Rusch blew two leads as he failed to make it through the fifth inning for only the second time in 18 starts this season. He gave up eight hits and seven runs.

    Larkin led off the Reds' first with his 390th career double, moving him ahead of Davey Concepcion into second place on the franchise list.

    Sean Casey snapped an 0-for-18 skid with an RBI infield single in the seventh, raising his arms in triumph after he crossed first base.

    Game notes

    The Cardinals' Albert Pujols and the Astros' Lance Berkman are the only players to homer over the 40-foot wall. ... Hammonds' homer was the 100th of his career. ... Four of Stairs' five homers this season have come on the current trip. ... Rusch singled in his first at-bat, his ninth hit of the season. RHP Jamey Wright set a franchise record for hits by a pitcher by getting 13 last season. Rusch has hit safely in nine of his 16 starts with a plate appearance. ... Pete Rose holds the Reds' career doubles record with 601. ... Larkin's homer was his 100th career in Cincinnati. He has 186 overall.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press