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Reds only one game back in NL Central

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jason LaRue's new batting stance appears to be
working.

He has opened up his stance at the plate, and Saturday night he
drove in four runs as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4.

"We just talked about getting him into position to relax, where
he doesn't have to swing too hard,'' Reds manager Bob Boone said.

LaRue hit a bases-loaded double in the sixth and an RBI single
in the fifth as the Reds drew within one game of the NL Central
lead. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the first-place St. Louis
Cardinals 4-2 in 11 innings earlier in the night.

"I'm just trying to get a good pitch to hit and make solid
contact,'' LaRue said. "I just try to put a good swing on a good
pitch. That's all I was trying to do in both situations. Both of
those pitches were pretty good. I was just trying to make solid
contact.''

Jimmy Haynes (10-6) allowed 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings. He left
after a sacrifice fly by Jeffrey Hammonds and a two-run homer by
Richie Sexson -- his 19th, after going 59 at-bats without a homer --
cut the Reds' lead to 6-4.

Haynes became the first Reds pitcher to win 10 games by the
All-Star break since Tom Browning went 10-5 in 1991.

"It means a lot,'' Haynes said. "I've never gotten to 10 this
fast. My (season) high is 12, so I'm not too far off from that
right now.''

Juan Encarnacion singled to lead off the Reds' sixth, and Austin
Kearns doubled one out later. Barry Larkin was intentionally walked
to load the bases, and LaRue followed with a three-run double down
the left field line to give Cincinnati a 6-1 lead.

All six Cincinnati runs were off Jamey Wright (2-7), who allowed
eight hits in six innings, walked three and struck out three.

Wright was struck in the left calf by a hard comebacker by Sean
Casey in the second inning. It hurt after the game but did not
affect his pitching, Wright said.

Instead, he blamed poor judgment for his trouble in the sixth.

"I'm so mad at myself,'' Wright said. "I didn't have real good
command of my curveball. It was a perfect situation there to just
keep throwing sinkers. That's what I should have done.''

Cincinnati broke a 1-all tie in the fifth when Larkin doubled,
stole third and scored on LaRue's single up the middle. LaRue moved
up on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Aaron Boone's single that
skipped over the glove of second baseman Eric Young to make it 3-1.

Encarnacion's sacrifice fly gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead in the
fourth, but the Brewers tied it in the fifth on an RBI single by
Young, the third base hit of the inning.

Scott Sullivan got the last four outs for his first save in
three chances.

Sullivan, primarily a setup man, was 0-for-3 in save situations
last season. His last save was on Aug. 13, 2000, at Chicago.

"I thought I was done after eight,'' Sullivan said. "Then they
told me I was going back in and I was like, 'Oops.' I felt like a
school kid out there.''

Game notes
Ken Griffey Jr. will not travel with the Reds when the team
goes to Houston for a four-game series following the All-Star
break. Griffey went on the 15-day DL effective June 24 with a
strained right hamstring. Manager Bob Boone said Griffey might
rejoin the team July 15 in Milwaukee or July 17 in Pittsburgh. ...
Larkin is No. 2 on the Reds' all-time doubles list, but a long way
from No. 1. Larkin doubled Friday night to pass Dave Concepcion and
doubled again Saturday to give him 391. Pete Rose heads the list
with 601. ... Wright, who set a Brewers franchise record for most
hits by a pitcher with 13 last season, struck out with the bases
loaded in the second and grounded into a bases-loaded force out to
end the sixth. ... The Brewers are on their longest road trip of
the season, a 13-game swing through St. Louis, Minnesota,
Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.