The Reds pounded the Houston Astros for the second straight night, strafing and scuffing former teammate Brian Moehler,. who allowed eight runs in 2 1/3 innings.
They will at least share first place on the first of June no matter what happens in the last two days of the month.
"They're on a roll right now," Moehler said. "They've knocked us around pretty good the last couple days."
The Reds have scored 27 runs to the Astros eight in the two games.
The Reds scored six runs batted around for the fifth time in three games in the third inning scorin six runs. The last three runs scored on Jay Bruce's 50th career home run.
"I'm not satisfied with 50," Bruce said. "I don't try to hit them. I just know they come in bunches."
Aaron Harang, who has often toiled with no run support in the last two seasons, refused to waste the offense. He pitched seven strong innings, he allowed one run which could have been prevented had Orlando Cabrera not rushed a double play feed from Brandon Phillps.
"You can't dwell on things like run support," Harang said. "The attitude is so high around here right now. Once we hit the turnaround point its been exciting. It's fun to come to the ballpark."
Harang allowed four hits and walked two, while he fanned four to improve his record to 4-5. He is 4-2 in his last seven starts.
Hernandez was the last Reds position player to hit a home run and he heard about it from his teammates.
"They let me know when I hit that home run, I said fellows 'come on'," Hernandez said.
The St. Louis Cardinals lost to the Chicago Cubs 5-0 this afternoon, giving the Reds a two-game lead in the National League Central Division. The Reds haven't been that far ahead since they held a 2 1/2 game lead on June 2, 2004.