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National

Bruce finds his stroke as Reds romp

– Jay Bruce has been getting pitches to hit all season. Lately, he’s doing something with them.

Bruce homered his first time up, then doubled twice during a seven-run third inning as the Cincinnati Reds delighted a sellout crowd, battering the Milwaukee Brewers 13-7 on Saturday.

“It’s a long season,” said Bruce, who’s hit just three homers after leading the Reds with 34 last season. “I’m trying to get pitches to hit. Lately, I’ve been missing them less.”

Manager Dusty Baker has seen his two-time All-Star starting to put it together.

“I told Jay he’s on his way,” Baker said. “You could tell the way he’s been swinging the bat the last couple of days.”

Six different Reds players drove in two runs each, including starting pitcher Mat Latos (4-0).

Baker never is comfortable against the hard-hitting Brewers.

“You’ve got to get a lot of run support,” said Baker, whose defending NL Central champions moved five games over .500 for the first time this season. “Those guys can hit. You’ve got to keep scoring and scoring and scoring.”

The bottom five hitters in Cincinnati’s lineup were a combined 8 for 9 in the first three innings alone, scoring 10 runs and driving in six against Hiram Burgos (1-1). The rookie allowed 12 runs on 11 hits and three walks in those three innings.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke felt as if he had no choice but to leave Burgos in the game.

“I don’t ever want to do that to somebody again,” he said. “We’re hurting in the bullpen.”

CARDINALS 3, ROCKIES 0: In St. Louis, Adam Wainwright carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and was one out from the St. Louis’ second straight one-hitter over Colorado.

The Rockies had been hitless in 49 consecutive at-bats before Nolan Arenado lined a clean hit to center field with one out in the eighth. Eric Young led off Friday night’s game with a broken-bat single off rookie Shelby Miller then failed to put a runner on until Todd Helton walked with one out in the fifth inning Saturday.

The 49 at-bats is the longest hitless stretch since Sept. 25-27, 1981, when the Los Angeles Dodgers went 50 at-bats without a knock.

PIRATES 11, METS 2: In New York, Francisco Liriano struck out nine and pitched into the sixth inning to win his debut with Pittsburgh.

Liriano (1-0), returning from a broken non-throwing arm, allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings and 90 pitches. He gave up six hits and two walks.

GIANTS 10, BRAVES 1: In San Francisco, Madison Bumgarner (4-1) struck out a season-high 11 over seven innings, and Gregor Blanco drove in four runs to lead San Francisco.

Blanco had a double and triple in setting a career high for RBI.

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