Saturday, May 04, 2002
Giants 6, Reds 1
Kent's late HR off Rijo breaks open close game
By John Fay, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SAN FRANCSICO - Jose Rijo lost his magic, Bob Boone lost his cool and the Reds lost the game.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Jose Rijo talks with home plate umpire Ed Montague as he walks to the dugout after Rijo hit the Giants' David Bell with a pitch in the first inning.
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The San Francisco Giants beat the Reds 6-1 before a crowd 39,845 on chilly, breezy night at Pac Bell Stadium Friday.
Rijo didn't pitch badly. The Giants only had one hit out of the infield through 4 2/3 innings. But he gave up a home run in the sixth and the Giants got a gift run in the sixth.
The gift run was the one that had Boone fuming. The Giants scored their third run after first base umpire Jerry Layne called Tsuyoshi Shinjo safe at first on what would have been an inning-ending double play in the sixth.
Boone argued the call and was ejected. Replays showed Boone was correct.
He said (first baseman Sean Casey) pulled his foot off the bag, Boone said. He didn't. He said, "I missed it then.' It doesn't mean anything to him. He's going to have a nice meal. It was a 2-0 game.
I get thrown out because I showed him up. That's a good reason.
The play was pivotal. The way the Reds are hitting the extra run was huge.
It's a whole different game if he gets the call right, Boone said.
As it was, Rijo gave up a three-run homer to Jeff Kent in the seventh to blow it open. With the bullpen needing rest after the 14-inning game Thursday, Rijo stayed to help the cause, throwing 110 pitches. He was glad to.
That's beautiful, he said when told he throw 110. Tonight, I felt like a starter. I really believe I have the potential to be close to what I was before.
Rijo chalked Friday up to bad karma.
I believe in luck, he said. It was a bad break, you can't do anything about it. I want to use it to my advantage by throwing 110 pitches.
The way the Reds are hitting, Rijo would have needed a lot of good karma to win. The Reds got a base runner on eight innings, but four double plays kept them from cashing in until the ninth. The Reds had gone 15 straight innings without scoring a run before the ninth.
We're scuffling, Boone said. We didn't exactly drive the ball.
San Francisco Giants' Rich Aurilia, center, is greeted by Barry Bonds after hitting a home run off Reds starting pitcher Jose Rijo.
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The Reds have lost two in a row after winning nine of 10. In the last four games, they're hitting .189 overall and .088 with runners in scoring position.
Rijo, who went five surgeries and seven years between starts, had won his previous two starts. He had allowed only two earned runs over 11 innings in those two starts.
Friday, he went seven innings, allowing six runs on eight hits. He walked three (Barry Bonds each time) and struck out three.
Kirk Rueter beat the Reds for second time in a week. He improved to 9-1 against the Reds.
It didn't take long for someone to get hit. Rijo hit San Francisco leadoff hitter David Bell.
It was fitting that Bell would be the guy hit. He is about as nice a guy as Sean Casey. Casey was hit by Felix Rodriguez when Giants and Reds last met on Sunday. Casey reacted angrily, the benches cleared, but no punches were thrown.
That started a war of words. Rodriguez said Casey shouldn't cry about it. Casey said "say that to me.' Scott Williamson said the Reds would answer by hitting Giants in this series.
(Casey, by the way, was booed every time up).
So when Rijo hit Bell, home plate umpire Ed Montague warned both benches. The next pitcher to hit a batter would be ejected.
Do they think I'm trying to put him on base with Bonds coming? Rijo said. They warned me before the game. But I noticed Bell was close to plate. I got to pitch inside. Unfortunately, it got away from me.
An out later, Rijo walked Barry Bonds on 3-2 pitch (after Bonds hit a 2-2 pitch foul into McCovey Cove). Rijo struck out Jeff Kent. But J.T. Snow got Bell in with a single up the middle.
Rijo settled down and was well on his way to another solid start. He did not allow a runner past second base in the second, third or fourth.
The Reds followed two of their first three hits with double plays. The mounted their first real threat in the fifth. Todd Walker led off with a single. Austin Kearns followed with a walk. It was the 15th time in 17 plate appearances that Kearns reached base.
Cincinnati Reds manager Bob Boone yells a final word at home plate umpire Ed Montague after getting thrown out of the game in the seventh inning.
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But after Corky Miller flied out foul - former Red Reggie Sanders made a nice play - Rijo hit into another double play.
They came in having only hit into 12 on the year - fewest in the majors.
Rijo had only allowed one other hit after Snow's single until the fifth. He got the first two outs of the fifth before Rich Aurulia took him out to left field to make it 2-0.
Hitting Bell was one mistake, Rijo said. That was the other.
The Reds sixth ended on another double play.
Another would-be double play led to Boone's first ejection of the year and the Giants' third run.
With one out, Snow reached when his pop fly dropped between right fielder Kearns, second baseman Walker and first baseman Sean Casey. Sanders then hit a slow roller that third baseman Aaron Boone had no play on.
Shinjo hit a grounder that Boone fielded. He tagged the bag and threw to Casey. Layne signaled safe. Bob Boone came out to argue immediately. Replays showed Boone was right.
The call proved to a big one because Benito Santiago followed with a single to make it 3-0.
Then came Kent's home run in the seventh to make it 6-0.
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