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Reds' Bruce hits three home runs

Jay Bruce homered in three consecutive at-bats, matching his career high with five RBIs, as first-place Cincinnati extended its two-week playoff surge by beating visiting Chicago, 7-1, Friday. The Reds have won 10 of 13.

Bruce hit a solo homer and a three-run shot off lefthander Tom Gorzelanny (7-8), who lasted only five innings. He added a solo shot in the seventh off reliever Scott Maine. Bruce's first three-homer game left him with 16 this season.

Johnny Cueto (12-4) got his first win since serving a seven-game suspension for fighting.

It was Chicago's first loss since manager Lou Piniella retired on Sunday and was replaced by Mike Quade.

Twins acquire Fuentes

The Twins have acquired lefthanded reliever Brian Fuentes from the Angels for a player to be named. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says the Twins will use the former Angels closer as a setup man for closer Matt Capps. Fuentes, 35, was 4-1 with a 3.52 ERA this season and he converted 23 of 27 save opportunities.

Gallardo robbedBrewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo and clubhouse attendant Alex Sanchez were robbed at gunpoint early Friday, hours after the Milwaukee ace pitched in a loss to visiting Los Angeles. According to WTMJ-AM, an armed man approached the two in a supermarket parking lot demanding money and jewelry and that Sanchez was hit in the head, but not seriously injured. Gallardo (11-6, 3.50 ERA) and the Brewers lost, 7-1, to the Dodgers.

Minor to minors

The Atlanta Braves have optioned rookie starter Mike Minor to the the Gulf Coast League so they can add an extra reliever to their bullpen. Minor won't do any pitching for the rookie-league team, and he'll rejoin the Braves for his next scheduled start Tuesday against the Mets. Minor is 2-0 in his first three big-league starts and is coming off a 12-strikeout performance against the Cubs.

Reds put Leake on DL

Rookie righthander Mike Leake went on the 15-day disabled with a tired pitching shoulder. The 22-year-old was among the NL's top rookie pitchers during the first half but less effective in August, prompting the Reds to move him to the bullpen to cut down on his innings. He got hit hard in his two relief appearances - eight earned runs in 22/3 innings - so the Reds sent him for a shoulder exam. - AP

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