Fielder, Bush key in bounce-back win
First baseman homers, right-hander pitches seven strong
CINCINNATI -- This time, the Brewers vented their frustrations at an opponent.Dave Bush won on the road for just the second time this season and the Brewers backed him with a rare supply of clutch hits in an 8-1 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday. Bush (6-9) scattered three hits in seven solid innings for a win that came just in time for the Brewers, who had lost eight of their previous 11 games, including an ugly one on Monday night that featured a dugout scuffle between slugger Prince Fielder and pitcher Manny Parra. "When this game started, it was business as usual," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "It wasn't, 'Let's make up for what happened yesterday.'" Fielder apologized for his actions on Tuesday afternoon and then belted a seventh-inning, two-run home run against Reds reliever Nick Masset, a drive that came one pitch after Masset buzzed Fielder with a high-and-tight fastball. Once he reached the dugout, Fielder gave Parra a good-natured pat on the cheek. It was one of a number of feel-good moments for the Brewers, who got three RBIs from right fielder Corey Hart and a gem from Bush, who returned to the rotation full-time and held the Reds to one run on three hits in seven innings. Beginning with the final out of the first inning, Bush retired 17 Reds in a row before he committed a throwing error on Edwin Encarnacion's ground ball in the seventh. "I just tried to be composed," said Bush, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning by retiring Jeff Keppinger on a groundout. "I kept my focus on what I was trying to do." Bush allowed his only run in the first inning, after the Brewers had spotted him a quick, 2-0 lead against Reds starter Edinson Volquez (13-5). Bush surrendered a leadoff single to Jeff Keppinger, walked No. 2 hitter Joey Votto and three batters later hit Adam Dunn with a pitch to load the bases. The Reds scored a run when Encarnacion ripped an infield hit to third base, but Craig Counsell's diving stop prevented at least one more run from scoring on the play. Bush retired Corey Patterson to escape further damage. "That was outstanding," Bush said of Counsell's play. "It gets overlooked in the scope of the game, but at the time it was a very big play." Entering the night, Bush was 1-6 with a 6.95 ERA in road starts this season and 0-2 with a 14.24 ERA in five career starts at Great American Ball Park. He improved on both counts on Tuesday. "He did a great job in one of his toughest parks to compete in," Yost said. "This has been a tough place for him, so for him to match up against an All-Star pitcher and really come out on top the way that he did, that was just a great job by David Bush." Volquez was out of the game after allowing five runs on nine hits in five innings. The right-hander lost for just the second time in 12 starts this season at home, but also fell to 1-2 with a 6.64 ERA since pitching in the All-Star Game. Bush had not started on the road since a June 30 loss at Arizona and had been part of a home-road platoon with Seth McClung before Yost pulled the plug on the experiment over the weekend. Asked if Bush's start validated the decision to re-install him as a regular starter, Yost said, "He's definitely off to a good start in that department." Bush found himself right in the middle of the fray on Monday night, when Fielder vented some frustration at Parra in the middle of a 6-3 Brewers loss. Teammates restrained Fielder after he took a few shots at Parra, and the pile happened to land on Bush, who was charting pitches as usual on the day before his start. Bush was unharmed. Like so many of his teammates, he called the incident a non-issue. "Not that situations like that happen all the time, but it was just an intense, emotional situation," Bush said. "Sometimes when you're in a pennant race, things boil up a bit." The Brewers entered the night with a half-game lead in the National League Wild Card standings over St. Louis. The Cardinals were still playing when Bush & Co. headed back to the team hotel on Tuesday night. The Brewers, who were 10-for-104 with runners in scoring position over their previous 13 games, went 4-for-11 on Tuesday, including two productive outs occurring with fewer than two outs and Hart's two-run triple off Volquez in the top of the first inning. "That let off a lot of the tension," said center fielder Mike Cameron, who hit an RBI single and then scored in the fourth inning. Hart added a sacrifice fly in the fifth that extended the Brewers' lead to 5-1. Catcher Jason Kendall also drove in a pair of runs. "Our numbers were very, very ugly, but it turns around real quick," Yost said. "Ten-for-104, that happens, but that's not realistic. That's just a bad little stretch. We're past that now."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.