Tuesday, September 05, 2000
Sexton handy man to have around
Role player filling in gap for short-handed team
By Scott MacGregor
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Chris Sexton knows he's a role player. And right now, my role is to play, the Reds shortstop-of-the-moment said Monday after driving in a pair of runs in Cincinnati's 6-2 defeat of the Mets.
With regular shortstop Barry Larkin sidelined by a dislocated finger and his backup, Juan Castro, out with a sore wrist, Sexton has been thrust from the end of the bench into the starting lineup. Monday marked the sixth straight game he has started at short.
He responded by lining an RBI double off Mets starter Al Leiter in the sixth, then placing a perfect suicide squeeze bunt in the eighth to score Benito Santiago for an add-on run. Sexton also made a fine defensive play, ranging up the middle and firing a good throw to first to nail Mike Bordick in the third.
We don't have a whole lot of options right now, said Sexton, a St. Xavier High and Miami University graduate. I want to keep doing what I can to fill the void. Obviously, I'm not going to fill Lark's void. I hope I can show what I can do.
Sexton's 1-for-3 day which came a month after he was promoted from Triple-A Louisville raised his average to only .152; he was hitting .324 with 50 RBI at Triple-A.
His bat may not be hot right now, but his glovework is appreciated, especially since Larkin and Castro are so good afield.
I'm just trying to contribute any way I can, Sexton said. It's been a struggle with the bat lately. I'm a little better than I've shown, but I'm not getting results. So playing good defense is a way I can contribute.
Sexton, 29, also may be fighting for a spot on next year's roster. The key, he said, is to try not to do too much to impress the brass.
Especially in this game, it seems the harder you try, the less results you're going to get, he said.
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