Series: Game 1 of 2

Milwaukee leads 1-0 (as of 4/27)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 27
Game 2: Wednesday, April 28
in 10

Reds 8

(12-8, 6-5 away)

Brewers 9

(11-10, 6-4 home)

    7:35 PM ET, April 27, 2004

    Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 200104001 8 9 5
    MIL 011040003 9 11 0

    W: J. Bennett (1-0)

    L: D. Graves (0-2)

    Hall hits two-run homer for win

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Chad Moeller felt awful -- except at the plate.

    Fighting muscle aches and chills the past few days, the Milwaukee Brewers catcher hit for the cycle Tuesday night in a 9-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

    Chad Moeller


    Chad Moeller triples in the fifth inning.

    The Brewers rallied from an 8-6 deficit in the ninth inning and won on pinch-hitter Bill Hall's two-out, two-run homer off closer Danny Graves.

    Moeller was in the dugout tunnel near a heater when he saw Hall's line drive leave the park on television.

    "I really do feel under the weather," he said. "My whole focus today was really just getting through nine innings behind the plate somehow, some way. It probably just helped me out because I didn't think about anything except just three more outs, or six more outs.

    "If we would have gone extra (innings), it would have been a real battle for me. I don't know if I would have made it through," Moeller said.

    Hall's home run made sure he didn't have to. Hall was quick to credit his sick teammate, however.

    "Those are the times when you have your best games," Hall said. "It means you are not trying to do as much. "It's just like Michael Jordan in the playoffs."

    Moeller homered in the second inning, doubled in the fourth, tripled in the fifth and singled in the seventh, becoming the first Brewers player to complete the cycle since Paul Molitor in 1991.

    Obtained from Arizona last offseason in the Richie Sexson trade, Moeller is the fifth Brewers player to accomplish the feat.

    Molitor, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, did it on May 15, 1991, at Minnesota, when Milwaukee was in the American League. Molitor is now the hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners.

    The other Brewers to hit for the cycle were Hall of Famer Robin Yount on June 12, 1988, at Chicago, Charlie Moore on Oct. 1, 1980, at California, and Mike Hegan on Sept. 3, 1976, at Detroit.

    "It's pretty darn cool to be in that company," Moeller said. "They are some of the best that have ever played the game.

    "I am nowhere even in the ZIP code of being with those guys. But with this one little silly stat I am."

    Despite Moeller's big night, the Reds led 8-6 entering the bottom of the ninth before Graves (0-2) blew his third save in 13 chances. Cincinnati's shaky fielding kept the Brewers in it.

    Wes Helms reached on an infield single with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a throwing error by catcher Jason LaRue.

    Moeller's grounder to third with two outs could have ended the game, but Brandon Larson short-hopped the throw to first for an error that made it 8-7.

    It was Cincinnati's fifth error of the game.

    Hall followed with a liner over the left-center wall, and the second-smallest crowd in Miller Park history (8,918) went wild. Hall was mobbed at home plate by his teammates.

    "Once it got to 2-0, I was selling out and trying to drive one," Hall said. "You only get one chance."

    Moeller, for one, was happy to see it.

    "That would have been really disappointing, to have a good day but all you remember is how the day finishes," Moeller said.

    Jeff Bennett (1-0) got his first major league win for the Brewers.

    Graves has lost 10 straight decisions dating to last year.

    Moeller's first three hits came against starter Cory Lidle. Moeller completed the cycle with a single off reliever Ryan Wagner, prompting a standing ovation from the sparse crowd.

    Moeller, who drove in four runs, entered the game in a 3-for-24 slump.

    He is the first Brewers player to hit for the cycle at home, and just the second big league player to do it in Milwaukee. Gary Ward was the first on Sept. 18, 1980, for Minnesota.

    The last major league catcher to accomplish the feat was Pittsburgh's Jason Kendall on May 19, 2000, against St. Louis, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    "I wanted to win that game as much for Chad as I did anything else," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "That's a huge accomplishment. You can't celebrate it like you need to when you lose. It doesn't mean near as much."

    LaRue's three-run homer tied it in the sixth, and Barry Larkin's RBI double gave the Reds a 7-6 lead.

    Moeller's bases-loaded triple off the right-center fence put Milwaukee ahead 6-3 in the fifth.

    Junior Spivey tied it at 3 with a solo homer.

    Just 11 pitches into the game, Cincinnati grabbed the lead on a two-run double off the left-center wall by Ken Griffey Jr.

    Griffey scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to make it 8-6.

    Game notes

    Moeller entered the game hitting .200 with one home run and five RBI. ... Reds reliever Phil Norton left in the sixth inning with a bruised left quadriceps after colliding with first baseman Sean Casey. ... The smallest crowd in Miller Park history was 8,703 against Cincinnati last Sept. 2. The ballpark opened in 2001.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press