MILWAUKEE (AP) Lyle Overbay's aggressive approach with the bases loaded in the ninth inning paid off for the Milwaukee Brewers.
The veteran left-handed hitter had struck out two innings earlier on a steady diet of pitches down and away in the zone. Overbay was determined not to let the Cincinnati Reds do that to him again, especially with the game on the line.
Overbay's game-ending RBI single off the first pitch from Jumbo Diaz with one out lifted Milwaukee to a 3-2 win Friday night that helped the Brewers keep pace in the National League playoff race.
The Brewers won their third straight to stay 1 1/2 games back of Pittsburgh for the second NL wild card.
''I wanted to make sure I didn't miss it,'' Overbay said when asked if he was looking to hit the first pitch. ''The at-bat before I was a little tentative and they were pounding me low and away.''
The pitch from Diaz (0-1) was down, but more in the middle of the zone. Overbay squared up and went the opposite way to the gap in left-center, allowing pinch-runner Logan Schafer to jog home with the winning run.
Overbay made the Reds pay for intentionally walking Ryan Braun and Gerardo Parra to get to him.
''We were just trying to get a ground ball, forceout at home plate and trying to get a double play,'' Reds catcher Brayan Pena said. ''It was meant to be down, outside, but he got a pretty good swing on it and they won the game.''
Teammates mobbed Overbay as he rounded first base. The crowd celebrated by putting two arms up to form a circle in the shape of an ''O'' for Overbay.
''That was one of the coolest things in a while, since I actually looked up and saw it,'' Overbay said. ''That was pretty cool.''
Jonathan Lucroy had a leadoff double in the ninth for Milwaukee. It was his 44th double as a catcher this season, tying the National League record set last year by St. Louis' Yadier Molina.
Cincinnati had a chance to go in front in the top of the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez (5-5).
Brandon Phillips led off with a four-pitch walk and made it to third on a sacrifice and groundout. After Zack Cozart walked, pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan struck out looking on a 3-2 fastball.
Hannahan was so unhappy with the call that he had to be restrained by manager Bryan Price. Hannahan ended up getting ejected by home plate umpire Dan Iassogna.
It only got worse for Cincinnati, which had won three in a row.
Cincinnati wasted a surprising outing by spot starter Daniel Corcino, who allowed just two hits and two runs in six innings. He filled in for the injured Mat Latos.
Corcino even got his first big league hit on a single in the third. He was told Thursday he might be needed to start against Milwaukee.
''As soon as I get to the mound I forgot about everything. You know, you've got to do the job,'' Corcino said.
Reds: Latos was a late scratch with a bone bruise in his right elbow. The right-hander missed the first 2 1/2 months of the season with right elbow and left knee injuries.
Price said Corcino would replace Latos again if he can't make his next start.
Brewers: LF Khris Davis was out of the starting lineup for a second straight day with right forearm tightness. Davis, who has a team-high 22 homers, will likely start on Saturday, manager Ron Roenicke said.
Reds: LHP David Holmberg (0-1) threw 5 2-3 scoreless innings on Monday after replacing injured starter Dylan Axelrod. Now, Holmberg gets the start Saturday for his first career appearance against Milwaukee.
Brewers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (8-9) will try to snap out of a tough stretch after going 0-3 with a 5.95 ERA in his last four starts.
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