Brewers 4, Reds 3
Outfielder Kapler injured
Gabe Kapler, who started in right field in place of Corey Hart, one of the many slump-ridden Milwaukee hitters, was injured while making a throw to home plate in the sixth inning Wednesday in holding a Cincinnati runner at third base.
Tony Gwynn replaced Kapler, who suffered what was announced as a right shoulder strain. Manager Ned Yost said in his postgame press conference that Kapler—this year's fell-good story--was being evaluated and that his status was unknown.
Kapler finished 1 for 2 and is hitting .301. Gwynn went 0 for 2, and although he didn't get credited for an RBI, Craig Counsell scored the tying run in the ninth inning on his double-play grounder to second base.
Brewers add another arm
The Brewers claimed right-handed pitcher Todd Coffey off waivers from none other than the Reds.
Milwaukee designated outfielder and left-handed batter Laynce Nix for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Coffey, who will wear No. 60 and is scheduled to join the team to start its 10-game road trip.
Coffey, 28, was signed to a one-year $925,000 contract for this season but posted a 6.05 earned-run average in 17 outings, prompting his demotion to Class AAA Louisville, where he went 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA in 34 games.
Coffey led Cincinnati with 81 appearances and compiled a 3.82 ERA in 2006 but slumped to a 5.82 showing in '07. He has not pitched in the majors since July 27, but Yost and the Brewers thought it was worth a look down the stretch.
"We're hoping that (David) Riske is going to be OK, but Coffey gives us another power arm in the bullpen," Yost said. "He has a nice arm and throws a slider, and that adds a dynamic that we don't have much around here."
Riske has struggled in part because of a bone spur in his right elbow, the one that shelved him earlier this season. He is hoping to calm it down with injections and get through the season before having surgery to remove the spur.
Sabathia stays unbeaten
The Brewers improved to 12-1 in CC Sabathia's 13 starts, even though he left after seven innings and 113 pitches and the Brewers trailing 3-1. He still remains only the second pitcher in the last 90 years to go 9-0 after a midseason trade and gets a chance to extend that streak in the opener against Chicago.
Sabathia has won a career-high 12 straight decisions. Sabathia remains 5-1 in career and 4-0 this year at Miller Park. His mark against Cincy stayed at 4-0 for his career.
The big southpaw finished with an eight-hitter in which he allowed three runs, all earned, and struck eight while walking only one.
And he helped out at the plate, registering a hit for the ninth time in his 14 outings, a double to the right-field corner in the fifth. He also knocked in the Brewers' first run with a grounder in the third.
More news and notes
--The Brewers had been outscored 46-24 on the home stand entering Wednesday's game and were hitting .216, including only .158 with RISP. The Brewers were third-worst in batting with RISP in the National League at .245; the only teams lower were Washington (.243) and Cincinnati (.244).
--Milwaukee (83-63) equaled its victory output from a year ago while at the same time mathematically eliminating Cincinnati from the playoff chase. However, Tuesday night's defeat means that Milwaukee can't equal its team record of 51 home victories, which they reached last year after winning 48 times at Miller Park in 2006. They improved to 44-31 this year with six more home contests remaining to close the regular season.
--In the process, the Brewers avoided being swept for the sixth time this season. On the other hand, Milwaukee has recorded 10 series sweeps so far.
--Shortstop J.J. Hardy has hit safely in 21 of his last 24 games, with homers in three of his past eight outings.
--Guillermo Mota tossed a scoreless eighth inning to improve his ERA to 0.51 over his past 19 appearances covering 17.2 innings.
--Milwaukee recorded its 25th triumph in its last at-bat and improved to 28-14 in one-run contests.