MILWAUKEE – Pinch-hitter Jim Edmonds homered with two outs in the eighth after just missing a go-ahead shot on the previous pitch and the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Monday night.
Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer in the third inning as Milwaukee won its fifth straight to match a season-best streak after trailing 2-0 early.
Edmonds has been unable to play the field since his right Achilles' tendon tightened Saturday night, but he didn't need to run hard after his at-bat against Bronson Arroyo (10-6) in the eighth.
Edmonds hit a big blast off a fastball, dropping the bat only to watch his shot sail foul. He sent the next pitch over the Reds' bullpen in right-center field.
Reliever Carlos Villanueva (1-0) pitched the eighth and rookie closer John Axford rebounded from his first blown save of the season Friday night to notch his 15th save in 16 attempts after allowing a one-out double to pinch-hitter Laynce Nix.
Milwaukee snapped a six-game losing streak to the Reds and kept them from moving into a virtual tie in the NL Central with St. Louis.
Cincinnati has been in first or second place in the division since early May, and Milwaukee has remained a distant third. They're closing fast, but need to sweep the Reds to pressure the leaders.
Arroyo finished his 11th complete game, and second in a loss, after being staked a 2-0 lead.
With two outs in the third, Brewers starter Randy Wolf singled and Weeks followed with a 447-foot shot to straightaway center field to tie it at 2. Weeks has six homers in his last nine games, and the Brewers have hit at least one in 15 straight.
Arroyo had allowed just one run in his previous 16 innings against Milwaukee until Weeks' at-bat and retired 13 straight before Edmonds' hit.
The bullpen also picked up Wolf, who had given up 12 runs and volunteered to stay in the game to save Milwaukee's tired relievers in a 15-3 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday. The move has paid off; Milwaukee hasn't lost since.
Wolf scattered five singles over seven innings, only running into trouble by hitting Scott Rolen with a pitch and allowing singles to Jonny Gomes and Jay Bruce.
Ryan Hanigan followed with a bases-loaded hit that gave Cincinnati a 2-0 lead, setting the stage for Milwaukee's rally.
NOTES: Milwaukee has won seven straight at Miller Park. ... Rolen returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a strained right hamstring. ... Brewers RF Corey Hart said his right thumb is still aching after crashing into a wall Friday sliding to make a catch and jamming his wrist. Hart played catch for the first time Monday, but still isn't able to grip a bat and was wearing a brace on the bench during the game. ... Amid trade rumors, Brewers manager Ken Macha joked he might give Prince Fielder a day off. That's unlikely because Fielder has played in 286 straight games — the longest streak in franchise history.