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 The Associated Press
The Milwaukee Brewers wasted little time making history. Then, they kept piling on.
Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy and Ryan Braun connected off Phil Dumatrait, making Milwaukee the third team in major league history to open a game with three straight home runs, and the Brewers added three more homers in a 10-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
``That was pretty cool,'' Braun said. ``I was never part of something like that before.''
Hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park lived up to its reputation.
Weeks and Braun each hit another homer and Hardy added two doubles - all in the first four innings - to give Milwaukee sole possession of first place in the NL Central. The Brewers began the day tied for the lead with the Chicago Cubs, who lost 10-5 at Pittsburgh.
``It was fun,'' Weeks said. ``It was good to set the tone today. I hope I can keep doing that.''
Ben Sheets was the beneficiary, allowing five runs and six hits in six innings but still improving to 2-0 in three starts since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 28.
``It was nice,'' manager Ned Yost said of the start. ``But you know the balls are flying out of here and he hasn't even been on the mound yet.''
Johnny Estrada also homered to give Milwaukee six in a game for the first time since April 29, 2006, in a 16-2 win over the Cubs at Chicago.
In other NL games, it was: Colorado 4, San Diego 2; Arizona 6, St. Louis 5; New York 4, Houston 1; Philadelphia 8, Florida 5; Washington 7, Atlanta 4; and San Francisco 4, Los Angeles 2.
Weeks got Milwaukee off to a fast start, sending Dumatrait's 2-1 pitch into the Cincinnati bullpen in left-center, his second leadoff homer this season and fifth of his career. Hardy followed two pitches later with a drive into the Brewers' bullpen down the right-field line, stopping an 0-for-12 slide with his first homer since Aug. 19.
Braun hit Dumatrait's ninth pitch over the fence in center. Braun also homered in the second for a 7-1 lead, giving him 30 homers this season and a new Brewers rookie record.
``I've never seen that before - not to lead off a game,'' Reds catcher Javier Valentin said. ``They were all fastballs. He got behind in the count.''
San Diego's Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn and John Kruk became the first trio to open a game with consecutive home runs on April 13, 1987. Atlanta's Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa and Gary Sheffield did it off the Reds' Jeff Austin on May 28, 2003.
The Brewers had not hit three consecutive homers since Sept. 12, 1982, when Cecil Cooper, Ted Simmons and Ben Oglivie accomplished the feat in a 9-8 loss at the New York Yankees.
Weeks homered to lead off the fourth for the second two-homer game of his career, as the top three batters in Milwaukee's order combined for 24 total bases in the first four innings.
``A great job by the offense today,'' said Sheets (12-4), who was out for more than six weeks with a sprained finger. ``I got a little tired. I'm still getting my legs back.''
Dumatrait (0-4) faced five batters, allowing five hits and four runs before getting pulled.
``Phil just didn't have any command on his pitches, and the Brewers let him know about it,'' manager Pete Mackanin said. ``That might be my quickest hook ever.''
Pirates 10, Cubs 5
At Pittsburgh, Freddy Sanchez's bases-loaded triple highlighted a six-run second inning, helping Matt Morris (9-9) win for only the second time in 16 starts since June 17.
Chicago starter Steve Trachsel (0-2) made it through only two innings, as the Cubs lost for the seventh time in 12 games against Pittsburgh.
Rockies 4, Padres 2
Garrett Atkins hit a two-run homer and Todd Helton had two of host Colorado's four hits to help the Rockies close within three games of wild card-leading San Diego.
Josh Fogg (9-9) allowed one run in five innings for his second straight win. Manny Corpas worked out of a jam in the eighth and finished the ninth for his 14th save.
Chris Young (9-7) allowed three runs and hasn't won since July 19.
Diamondbacks 6, Cardinals 5
At Phoenix, Jose Valverde retired pinch-hitter Yadier Molina with the bases loaded for the final out, and the Diamondbacks won their fifth straight.
Yusmeiro Petit (3-4) pitched two innings of one-hit ball for the win, while Ryan Franklin (4-3) was tagged for three runs and three hits in the seventh inning.
Mets 4, Astros 1
Pedro Martinez (2-0) tossed five shutout innings in his first start at home this season, outpitching Roy Oswalt (14-7) and leading the Mets past the Astros.
Moises Alou hit a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran drove in two runs for New York, which has won eight of nine and kept its six-game lead over the Phillies in NL East.
Phillies 8, Marlins 5
Pat Burrell homered and drove in three runs, and the Phillies' Jamie Moyer (13-11) overcame a five-run sixth inning to remain unbeaten against visiting Florida.
Carlos Ruiz also homered for the Phillies, who tagged Dontrelle Willis (8-15) for seven runs in three innings. Brett Myers finished for his 15th save.
Nationals 7, Braves 4
At Atlanta, Ryan Church hit a three-run homer and D'Angelo Jimenez drove in three runs to help make a winner of Jason Bergmann (4-5). Chad Cordero worked the ninth for his 32nd save.
Lance Cormier (2-5) gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings.
Giants 4, Dodgers 2
At San Francisco, pinch-hitter Ray Durham hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning to make a winner of Tyler Walker (1-0).
Joe Beimel (4-2) took the loss in relief.
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