Sunday, March 16, 2003

Reds 6, Twins 1

Enquirer staff and wire reports

Ryan Dempster pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 Saturday.

Dempster improved to 3-0 this spring, striking out five. Three times he fanned Twins leadoff man Jacque Jones, who came into the game batting .452.

"The changeup was tremendous today, I was spotting my fastball pretty much where I wanted to put it and there was nothing but positive things," said Dempster, who only threw 67 pitches. "It's just confidence, and my confidence a lot of times last year wasn't very strong."

Brandon Larson homered and drove in three runs. Jacob Cruz went 2-for-2 and scored twice after coming in to pinch-run for Adam Dunn in the top of the fifth.

Twins' All-Star center fielder Torii Hunter committed his first error of the spring in the second inning and it led to Cincinnati's first run. Hunter called off shortstop Cristian Guzman on a blooper hit by Reggie Taylor and tried to backhand it, but the ball hit the heel of his glove and bounced away.

"We just weren't focused out there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We didn't catch the ball, we didn't hit and we swung at bad pitches. It was just one of those games."

Notes: INF Felipe Lopez, vying to become the Reds' leadoff batter, has hit safely in eight of 10 games and is batting .286 with two homers and six RBIs this spring. ... The Reds snapped a four-game losing streak with the win over the Twins.

The arms: Starter Ryan Dempster was terrific: six innings, three hits, no walks, five strikeouts. Scott Sullivan worked in a game for the first time since the spring opener. He pitched a scoreless seventh. John Riedling threw his fourth straight inning of hitless relief.

The bats: Brandon Larson went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Wily Mo Pena had two hits and an RBI. Pena has hit in five straight games. He has two hits in three of the five.

The rest: Reggie Taylor had an ice pack under his eye. A Fort Myers mosquito nailed him and left a nasty bump.

Up next: The Reds play the Toronto Blue Jays in Sarasota. Left-hander Jimmy Anderson (2-0, 1.23 ERA) faces right-hander Cory Lidle (1-1, 5.63). The game is on WLW (700-AM) and starts at 1:05 p.m.

Lopez ss4010Jones lf3000
Encrncion ss1000Hocking lf-cf1000
LaRue c3000Guzman ss4010
Stefanski c1000Morban ss0000
Dunn 1b1001Hunter cf3000
Cruz pr-1b2220Ryan lf1000
Larson ss-dh4223Koskie 3b2000
Guillen rf3010Prieto pr-3b0000
Brown rf-cf2000Mohr rf4000
Mateo lf3000Mient. 1b3010
Agbayani lf1000Andrews 1b1000
Taylor cf3010Kielty dh3110
Castro 3b1110Pierzynski c2000
Guerrero 2b3000LeCroy c1010
Bergolla 2b1000Rivas 2b3010
Pena 3b-rf4121
E-Encarnacion, Hunter, Koskie. DP-Cincinnati 1, Minnesota 1. LOB-Cincinnati 8, Minnesota 5. 2B-Pena, Castro. HR-Larson (1). SB-Lopez (4), Cruz (1). SF-Dunn.

Dempster W, 3-0630005
Thomas L, 0-2332123

HBP-by Romero (Dunn). WP-Dempster, Reidling.

T-2:30. A-7,537.

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