Brewers nip Reds despite Griffey homer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2005

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Ken Griffey Jr. hit his first home run this season, No. 502 of his career, but the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 Saturday on Damian Miller's game-winning single in the ninth inning.

Sean Casey also homered for the Reds, who led 5-1 in the seventh before the Brewers rallied on Junior Spivey's two-run single and Russell Branyan's two-run double.

Griffey connected for a two-run shot off reliever Victor Santos in the fourth inning, ending his longest drought to start a season. Griffey did not homer in his first 21 games and 79 at-bats this year.

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It was Griffey's first home run since last July 8, also in Milwaukee. That one came against Wes Obermueller, who started for the Brewers on Saturday.

Griffey, who tore his hamstring off the bone last August, also failed to hit a homer in 48 at-bats during spring training.

He sent a 3-1 pitch from Santos just over the center-field wall at Miller Park, which measures 400 feet. The home run was estimated to travel 401 feet, giving Cincinnati a 4-1 lead.

It was not the longest home run drought of Griffey's career. He once went 101 at-bats without one.

Derrick Turnbow (1-1) got two outs for the win, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the ninth when Rich Aurilia flied out.

Carlos Lee opened the bottom half with a single off Joe Valentine (0-1) and Lyle Overbay walked. Valentine's error on Chris Magruder's sacrifice loaded the bases with none out. After Branyan flied out to shallow right, Miller singled over Ryan Freel's head in right to win it.

Freel scored the first run in the first inning. He opened the game with a walk, stole second and third on consecutive pitches and scored on Casey's groundout.

Casey's first home run of the season gave the Reds a 2-0 lead in the third.

Three walks helped Milwaukee score in the third on an RBI groundout by Bill Hall.

Two wild pitches by Jorge de la Rosa allowed Freel to score in the seventh, making it 5-1. But the Brewers scored four times with two outs in the bottom half, tying it on Branyan's two-run double after Spivey's two-run single.

Reds starter Paul Wilson did not give up a hit until Hall's single with two outs in the fifth.

But Wilson was lifted after walking six in six innings. He allowed one run and three hits.