Clark just misses cycle as Brewers beat Reds

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2003

MILWAUKEE -- Brady Clark couldn't help but think of the cycle -- a fancy, commemorative motorcycle, that is.

Clark hit a homer, triple and double, missing his first career cycle by just a single, as the Milwaukee Brewers won for the 14th time in 16 games, beating the Cincinnati Reds 9-6 on Wednesday night.

Clark, 3-for-4 with two RBIs and four runs scored, would have been awarded a 100th anniversary Harley-Davidson motorcycle if he had accomplished the feat.

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''I got a pretty good pitch to hit, but I wasn't really thinking about hitting a single. I just wanted to hit the ball hard,'' said Clark, who earlier this season promised the motorcycle to hitting coach Butch Wynegar if he hit for the cycle.

Everybody on the Milwaukee bench was as excited as Clark when he batted in the eighth. But Clark flied out to right for the last out of the inning.

''I was jumping up and down. I wanted him to get that single,'' manager Ned Yost said. ''I wanted to see if he'd sell me that Harley -- cheap,'' said Yost, an avid racing fan.

Richie Sexson had three RBIs in joining Clark as the key producers for the Brewers.

Leo Estrella (6-2) allowed a two-run single before getting the last out of the seventh for the win. Mike Crudale pitched the eighth, and Danny Kolb pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th consecutive save.

Trailing 6-5 in the seventh after the Reds came from behind to take the lead in the top of the inning, the Brewers stormed back with four runs.

Reliever Scott Randall (0-1) didn't retire any of the four batters he faced. Scott Podsednik singled, Keith Ginter was hit by a pitch and Clark hit a ground-rule double to tie it at 6. Randall was pulled after intentionally walking Sexson.

''I wasn't sharp, but that's not an excuse,'' Randall said. ''It's my job to hold the lead, but the bottom line is I didn't do what I was supposed to tonight.''

Brian Reith gave up a sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Bill Hall, making it 7-6, and an intentional walk to Wes Helms reloaded the bases. Eddie Perez, whose run-scoring double won it for the Brewers on Tuesday night, hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-6. Royce Clayton added a run-scoring single.

The Reds took a 6-5 lead in the seventh with three runs against three Milwaukee relievers. Russell Branyan's seventh homer with one out started the rally against Shane Nance. Cincinnati then loaded the bases on a single by LaRue off Nance and two walks by Luis Vizcaino before pinch-hitter Dernell Stenson's two-run double gave the Reds the lead against Estrella.

Clark homered with two outs in the first to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

The Reds went ahead in the fourth when Branyan singled with one out, went to second on a balk and came home on LaRue's double. After a wild pitch moved LaRue to third, Wily Mo Pena walked and Stephen Smitherman reached on an infield single as LaRue scored to make it 2-1.

Clark hit his first career triple to start the bottom of the fourth and scored on Sexson's groundout to tie it at 2.

The Reds knocked Martinez out in the fifth when Tim Hummel walked and scored on a double by D'Angelo Jimenez.

Martinez, 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A Indianapolis, allowed three runs on six hits. He walked five and struck out one.

Bale allowed five runs, six hits and one walk while striking out five.

Milwaukee scored three runs in the sixth. Ginter singled, Clark was hit by a pitch and Sexson hit a two-run triple to make it 4-3. Sexson scored on Mark Smith's sacrifice fly.

Cincinnati manager Dave Miley praised Clark, who played for the Reds last year before he was traded to the Mets and subsequently released and picked up by the Brewers. He's seen more playing time since Geoff Jenkins was sidelined for the season with a broken thumb.

''He's obviously filled in pretty good for Jenkins,'' Miley said. ''He's a solid big league hitter.''

Notes: Milwaukee RF John Vander Wal, who left Tuesday's game with a strained left groin after the first inning, didn't play Wednesday. He's day to day. … Cincinnati 1B Sean Casey didn't play for the second straight game after leaving Monday's game early with a sore left groin. He's expected to play Friday in St. Louis. … Bale singled in the fourth for his first major league hit.