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Brewers are 19-31 since July 1; rumor about Trevor Hoffman

The Milwaukee Brewers are just 19-31 since July 1.

That's after Thursday's 8-5 loss to Cincinnati, in which the Reds swept the Brewers in a three-game series at Miller Park for the first time since 2003.

Milwaukee took a 4-0 lead in the first inning but they gave it away in the fifth when the Reds scored five times.

Dave Bush lost his first start since mid-June, giving up five runs in four and two-thirds innings. He's now 3-5.

Former Brewer Justin Lehr got the win, striking out seven in seven and two-thirds innings.

Ex-Milwaukee closer Francisco Cordero earned his 28th save.

Joey Votto went 3-4 for Cincinnati with a solo homer, two RBI's, and two runs scored. Paul Janish doubled twice, as the Reds tied a season-high by winning their fourth straight.

Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer and Mike Cameron had a solo shot for the Brewers, who fell to fourth place in the National League Central, 12 games behind front-running St. Louis.

And Milwaukee is five games below .500 for the first time since April 21.

The Brewers have now been swept five times this year including twice at Miller Park.

They'll open a home series against Pittsburgh tonight. Left-hander Manny Parra faces Pirates' southpaw Zach Duke.

Brewers' closer Trevor Hoffman might be on his way out. said he was claimed on waivers by a team it did not disclose, thus setting the stage for a possible trade.

General manager Doug Melvin was not immediately available for comment.

But earlier this week, Melvin said he did not think he'd get a good enough offer to trade any of his veterans before Monday which is the deadline for contenders to obtain players they can use in the post-season.

Hoffman, 41, has 27 saves for the Brewers this year, with a 1.85 ERA in 40 appearances. He also made the National League All-Star team.

Hoffman says he hasn't heard anything about being claimed but it wouldn't surprise him, and he's probably not the only Brewer in that situation.

He'll be a free agent at the end of the year. But Hoffman says he likes Milwaukee, and he's open to returning next season.