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Reds' magic number drops 3 despite 13-1 loss to Brewers

Cincinnati pitcher Aaron Harang hobbled off after being hit in the leg by a line drive Wednesday night and the NL Central-leading Reds had their magic number cut to three despite losing 13-1 to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Craig Counsell homered during Milwaukee's eight-run second inning. Corey Hart homered the next inning and the Brewers finished with 19 hits.

The Reds moved closer to clinching the division when second-place St. Louis lost to Pittsburgh 11-6.

Cincinnati's surge toward the playoffs hit a bump, however, when Johnny Cueto (12-6) had his shortest start of the season and Harang, normally a starter, was struck in the right ankle by Rickie Weeks' liner in the fourth inning.

The sound of the ball hitting Harang was audible in the press box. X-rays were negative and Harang had a bruise.

Harang limped toward as it rolled near the third-base line. He bent over in pain, then spiked his glove before being assisted off the field.

Randy Wolf (13-11) allowed a two-out walk, a single by Scott Rolen and Johnny Gomes' RBI single in the first, but then settled down and retired the next 11 batters. Wolf gave up four hits over six innings and struck out seven.

Casey McGehee drove in four runs with a pair of two-run doubles, giving him 99 RBIs.

After scoring just 13 runs in the last five games, the Brewers erupted against the Reds. Counsell's second homer of the season, a three-run shot off Cueto, highlighted the big inning.

George Kottaras and Wolf each drove in a run, Prince Fielder drew a bases-loaded walk, McGehee doubled and Counsell chased Cueto with his first homer since April 18.

Harang, who made his second relief appearance since Sept. 14 against Arizona, came on and allowed Lorenzo Cain's second double of the inning. The Brewers ended a 13-game stretch in which Reds starters had not allowed more than three earned runs.

The Brewers had struggled against Cueto in his two other starts this season, managing just two earned runs over 13 innings. This time, the right-hander was gone after 1 1-3 innings as the Brewers won for just the second time in 11 games this season against the Reds.

McGehee hit a two-run double in the fourth. Hart' sacrifice fly in the fifth gave him a career-high 94 RBIs.

Brewers star Ryan Braun exited in the fifth with a bruised left elbow after being hit by a pitch from Sam LeCure.

Notes: Cueto' shortest career start was two-thirds of an inning on July 6, 2009, at Philadelphia. ... Reds 1B Joey Votto missed his second consecutive game with a sinus infection. INF Yonder Alonso, promoted Sept. 1 from Triple-A Louisville, made his major league debut with a start in place of Votto. ... Cain had his first four-hit game for Milwaukee.