Saturday, September 22, 2001

Griffey's HR makes difference

Reds: Racing with Brewers for 4th place in Central

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MILWAUKEE — First Ken Griffey Jr. did what you least expect, then he did exactly what you expect.

        One was a 3-foot bunt. The other was a 390-foot home run. They were the two key blows Friday night in the Reds' 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers before a crowd of 26,412 at Miller Park.

Milwaukee Brewers OF Geoff Jenkins' strikeout in the eighth inning Friday was the team's 1,269th this season, a new major league baseball record.
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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        The sacrifice bunt, which Griffey did on his own, came in the fourth inning. It helped give the Reds a 2-0 lead.

        The homer, a three-run shot, came in the sixth after the Brewers had tied the score. Griffey's home run, his 20th, broke a personal 16-game, 65-at-bat drought. It was also Griffey's first home run in Miller Park.

        “You can't hit them in bunches,” Griffey said, “or people expect it.”

        He was kidding, of course. Sixty-five at-bats without a homer doesn't happen often for a guy with 458 home runs.

        “I've been kind of sore,” Griffey said. “Not my hamstring. I've just been tired from working out. I can't drive it like I usually do.”

        You might think that's why he bunted in the fourth, but you'd be wrong.

        “I did it for one reason really: Sean Casey is closing in on 100 RBIs,” Griffey said. “I know how much that means.”

        Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets retired the first nine batters he faced before Todd Walker broke the spell with a single up the middle. Wilton Guerrero followed with a bunt single.

        Then Griffey laid down the bunt. With Griffey motoring down the line, Richie Sexson fielded the ball but threw wildly to first base. Griffey was safe. Walker came all the way around to score, and Guerrero ended up at third.

        Casey scored Guerrero with a sacrifice fly — RBI No.88 — to make it 2-0.

        Reliever Mac Suzuki walked Walker to start the sixth. Guerrero followed with a nice bunt. Third baseman Lou Collier fielded the ball and threw to first. Guerrero, second baseman Mark Loretta and the ball all arrived at the same time. The result was a horrible collision. Loretta's elbow hit Guerrero's head, sending him down hard. Loretta was flipped by the impact and landed on his head.

        Guerrero suffered a mild concussion. He did not lose consciousness. Loretta left the game for precautionary reasons.

        “I was able to brace myself,” Loretta said. “He wasn't. He got the worse of it.”

        Guerrero is listed as day-to-day.

        Two pitches after the long delay, Griffey went deep to right-center.

        “Once I saw (Guerrero) walk off ... that was the important thing. I knew he was OK,” Griffey said. “I was just trying not to hit into a double play.”

        Rookie left-hander Lance Davis (7-3) pitched six solid innings (two runs, seven hits) to earn the decision.

        “He was excellent,” Reds manager Bob Boone said. “He threw some tremendous pitches.”

        The Reds were part of baseball history. Scott Sullivan's eighth-inning strikeout of Geoff Jenkins was the Brewers' 1,269th, a major-league record. The Detroit Tigers struck out 1,268 times in 1996. Ten Brewers struck out overall, hiking their total to 1,272.

        Sullivan blanked Milwaukee in the seventh and eighth innings before Danny Danny Graves threw the ninth for his 27th save.

        The victory puts the Reds three games behind the fourth-place Brewers in the National League Central Division.

        “You're going to say it's a bad year either way,” Boone said. “But you always want to catch the team in front of you.”


Reds Stories
- Griffey's HR makes difference
Reds notebook

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Loveland rises in 2nd half, tops Ross
Princeton remains unbeaten in 5 games
QB James leads Bluebirds' win
Blocked punt fuels Mason
Braves topple Taylor
Don't forget Wyoming
Flowers leads resurgent Mt. Healthy
Hamilton stops Sycamore 30-7
Kickoff return boosts Kings
Late TD lifts LaSalle over Moeller
Lebanon rolls 48-7
Middies top Indians with last-minute TD
Anderson 46, Northwest 0
Beechwood 14, Simon Kenton 12
Campbell County 35, Scott 6
CHCA 45, New Miami 0
Clermont Northeastern 22, Harmony Community 0
East Central 48, South Dearborn 6
East Clinton 55, Bethel-Tate 0
Garrard County 35, Newport 7
Glen Este 34, Turpin 0
Harrison 28, Amelia 0
Hughes 12, Withrow 6
Lloyd 44, Carroll County 20
Lovell, Lakota West roll
Madeira 47, Deer Park 22
New Richmond 30, Clinton-Massie 29
North College Hill 59, Landmark Christian 12
Norwood 31, Little Miami 21
Reading 48, Finneytown 28
Summit Country Day 54, Lockland 14
Walnut Hills 21, Aiken 20
Wash. Court House 38, London 0
Williamsburg 33, Blanchester 30
How Enquirer poll teams fared
Ohio High School Football Scores
Kentucky High School Football Scores
Indiana High School Football Scores
UC, MU defenses brace for star QBs
Little given second chance
Justin Smith makes debut Sunday
Blackout might be lifted
Opportunity knocks for Grbac in Baltimore
O'Donnell gets start at QB for Titans
2012 Olympics: Talk of bids seems 'shallow'
Frazer set for Section Hall of Fame induction
Guided Tour headlines Cup
Keeneland raises $5.7M for disaster relief fund
UK-Duke set for Dec. 18

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