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