Sunday, May 20, 2001

Astros 6, Reds 3


Young, Sadler collide, but OK

By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Dmitri Young and Donnie Sadler collide in pursuit of a pop-up.
(AP photos)
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        HOUSTON — As uninspiring as the Reds' 6-3 loss to the Houston Astros was Saturday night, it could have been worse.

        Left fielder Dmitri Young and shortstop Donnie Sadler escaped with apparently minor injuries after colliding in pursuit of pinch hitter Orlando Merced's seventh-inning popup. Young, who initially appeared to have suffered a serious left knee injury, had a bruise. Sadler, who was sprawled on the Enron Field grass as long as Young, bumped his head on Young's knee and reported dizziness.

        Both left the field under their own power and were assigned day-to-day playing status by Reds manager Bob Boone.

        “It looks like we (avoided) a disaster,” Boone said. “It didn't look very pretty. When I was out there, I was thinking the worst.”

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Sadler walks off the field with a headache.
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        Others shared Boone's fears. A motorized cart zipped out to short left field to take Young, Sadler or both away for treatment. But Young, who flung his fielder's glove in anger as he writhed in pain, waved off the cart in annoyance. Sadler left the field more calmly.

        “You don't go off on a stretcher unless you're dying,” Young said. “And I wasn't dying.”

        The Reds have been ravaged by injuries, losing shortstop Barry Larkin, third baseman Aaron Boone, center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. and right-handers Pete Harnisch, Scott Williamson and Seth Etherton to the disabled list.

        “I was thinking that we didn't need another injury,” Reds first baseman Sean Casey said. “I thought Dmitri blew out his knee, the way he was pounding the ground. That was so scary.”

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Sadler swings through a pitch.
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        Young caught the ball but lost it for a two-base error as Sadler drifted into him and they tumbled.

        Listed at 5-foot-6 and 175 pounds, Sadler was doomed vs. the 6-2, 235-pound Young.

        “I picked the wrong guy to go up against,” Sadler said. “I'm glad none of us got hurt really seriously. That's the only good thing that came out of it. I'm a little bit spaced out right now.”

        The Reds (18-24) fell to earth after their victory in Friday night's series opener.

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Chris Reitsma reacts to a Brad Ausmus double.
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        They rediscovered the longball, hitting three homers in a game for the first time all season. Pokey Reese and Kelly Stinnett went deep in the seventh inning to stop Wade Miller's shutout bid, and Michael Tucker opened the eighth off reliever Mike Jackson with an opposite-field shot.

        All were solo homers.

        Cincinnati right-hander Chris Reitsma (2-4) looked relatively solid for five innings, as Houston relied on Julio Lugo's pair of sacrifice flies to forge ahead. But Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman launched back-to-back homers in the sixth inning to widen the difference to 4-0.

        “It always comes down to one or two pitches,” said Reitsma. “I'm not making any excuses. They were guessing where I was throwing ... It'd be nice to get those two pitches back and keep the team in the game.”

        Facing reliever Scott Winchester, Houston offset the Reds' late power surge by scoring in the seventh on a throwing error by shortstop Juan Castro and in the eighth on Richard Hidalgo's sacrifice fly.

       



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