Harang allows 1 run in 10 innings; Reds top Brewers in 12

Quotable: "I know he's out there with me. He was a
baseball fan. He wouldn't have wanted me to miss a start. When we
were out there and I stayed an extra day, he was mad because he
thought I might miss a start." -- Harang on pitching after returning from his grandfather's funeral

Figure this: He gets the no-decision, but Harang is the first Reds pitcher to go 10 or more innings in a game since Rick Mahler did so against the Cardinals on Aug. 30, 1989.

Unsung hero: Javier Valentin drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded single off reliever Grant Balfour.

Fantasy stat: Rookie Ryan Braun provided the only Milwaukee offense with a solo homer in the fourth. In just 51 career games, Braun has 16 home runs and 43 RBIs.

-- ESPN.com news services

Reds 2, Brewers 1 (12 innings)

CINCINNATI -- Aaron Harang knew his grandfather would have
wanted it this way.

Harang returned from his grandfather's funeral and pitched 10
innings Monday night, setting up the Cincinnati Reds' 2-1,
12-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers that was special for
one particular player.

"He wanted to win that game so bad," said catcher Javier
Valentin, whose single ended it.

Harang rejoined the Reds after spending the last three days in
San Diego, where his grandfather died. He pitched on schedule
because he figured it was a fitting tribute.

Earlier this season, Harang stayed behind after a series in San
Diego to spend time with his grandfather, who loved the game.

"I know he's out there with me," Harang said. "He was a
baseball fan. He wouldn't have wanted me to miss a start. When we
were out there and I stayed an extra day, he was mad because he
thought I might miss a start."

This time, the only thing Harang missed was the victory.

Valentin's bases-loaded single off Grant Balfour (0-2) ended a
game between two free-swinging teams. The struggling reliever
walked Jeff Conine and Pedro Lopez to open the inning, then threw
to third base too late on David Ross' bunt to get an out.

Manager Ned Yost went to the mound and gave Balfour a pep talk
halfway through the four-pitch walk to Lopez. It didn't work.

"He just needs to find a way to throw more strikes," Yost
said. "I told him, 'You've worked hard for two years. This is your
game to win or lose right here. Bang some strikes and get your
first win in two years."'

Instead, Valentin pinch-hit and lined Balfour's first pitch to
right field to end it.

Balfour missed the 2005 season with shoulder and elbow injuries,
and spent last season on rehab in the Reds' farm system. He was
called up by the Brewers last week after pitching well and throwing
95 mph in the minors.

He has made three off-target appearances for Milwaukee, giving
up four hits, six runs, one homer and four walks in 2 2/3 innings.

"I'd better do something quick, I guess," Balfour said. "I
don't know what I'm doing different. I'd been throwing strikes all
year. I need to get back to doing that quick."

Reds closer David Weathers pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out
threat in the 11th, inducing slow-moving catcher Johnny Estrada to
ground into a home-to-first double play. Rookie Jared Burton (1-1)
got the final two outs in the 12th for his first major league win.

But it was Harang who pitched as though this one had special

Harang gave up Ryan Braun's solo homer in the fourth, then
retired the next 17 batters before Braun singled with two outs in
the ninth. The tall, stoic pitcher showed no emotion while he tore
through the Brewers' lineup, limiting Milwaukee to seven hits.

The crowd of 23,489 gave a loud cheer when Harang went back out
for the 10th -- he'd thrown 107 pitches at that point. He escaped a
two-on, two-out threat by fanning Corey Hart for his 10th

"It was one of those games where I got through nine and they
asked me how I felt and I said I feel good," Harang said. "That's
the best I've felt."

Harang became the second pitcher in the majors to go 10 innings
this season, joining Toronto's Roy Halladay. Harang hasn't lost
since May 20, and could have more than his 10 wins if he wasn't
followed by one of the majors' worst bullpens.

This time, the offense was his biggest problem. The two most
homer-reliant teams in the majors -- both scoring roughly 46 percent
of their runs off homers -- were in form.

Milwaukee's Chris Capuano allowed only Ross' solo homer during
eight innings, giving up seven hits in all. The left-hander hasn't
won since May 7, going 0-6 in his last 11 starts around a two-week
stint on the disabled list with a groin strain.

All the Brewers managed off Harang was Braun's leadoff homer in
the fourth, which extended the rookie's impressive tear. The third
baseman has 16 homers in 51 games since he made his major league
debut on May 25, the best pace for a rookie in franchise history.

The Brewers opened a four-game series in Cincinnati hoping to do
something about their fast-disappearing lead. Since they pulled
ahead by 8½ games on June 23, the NL Central leaders have gone
12-13 and given themselves reasons to sweat.

The latest loss left them three games ahead of the idle Chicago Cubs.

Game notes
Harang is the first Reds pitcher to go 10 innings since
Rick Mahler threw 10 during a 2-0, 13-inning win in St. Louis on
Aug. 30, 1989. ... Harang is the first NL pitcher to go 10 innings
since the Cardinals' Mark Mulder did it on April 23, 2005, against
Houston. ... Braun had three hits, extending his hitting streak to
six games. ... The Reds sent reliever Ricky Stone outright to
Triple-A Louisville to open a roster spot for Harang, who had been
on bereavement leave.