Sunday, March 23, 2003

Blue Jays 4, Reds 1

Enquirer staff and wire services

Shannon Stewart, Josh Phelps and Eric Hinske homered Saturday to lead the Toronto Blue Jays over the Cincinnati Reds 4-1.

Stewart hit an opposite field, two-run homer in the seventh off loser John Rieding. Phelps and Hinske hit consecutive homers in the eighth off Reds' closer Scott Williamson.

Cincinnati's Danny Graves, converting from a closer to a starter this season, worked out of the stretch during his entire outing and had his best game this spring. He allowed six hits in five shutout innings, struck out two and walked none.

"Things are going too well not to throw out of the stretch," Graves said. "I've got all four pitches working. Why even worry about going back to the windup?"

Toronto's Cory Lidle allowed one run and two hits in six innings, throwing 62 pitches.

"I was actually supposed to only go five innings," Lidle said. "But my pitch count was so low. I'm ready to go now, my arm strength is there."

Stewart, Phelps, Frank Catalanotto and Vernon Wells each had two hits for Toronto.

Winner Jeff Tam allowed one hit in a scoreless seventh, and Justin Miller followed with two hitless innings for a save, completing a three-hitter.

Cincinnati's Jose Guillen had an RBI double in the second.

The Reds fell to .500 overall at 12-12-2. They've lost seven of their last 10 games.

The arms: Starter Danny Graves (five innings, six hits, no runs) was very good. Scott Sullivan pitched a scoreless inning. But John Riedling (one inning, two runs) and Scott Williamson (one inning, two runs) were rocked. Williamson gave up home runs on back-to-back pitches, to Josh Phelps and Eric Hinske. In their last four innings, Riedling and Williamson have combined to give up 10 runs - that's a 22.50 ERA.

The bats: The Reds managed only three hits - singles by Sean Casey and Ken Griffey Jr., and a double by Jose Guillen. Guillen has hit in six straight games (9-for-20, .450).

Up next: The Reds are at Sarasota today for a 1:05 p.m. game against Cleveland. Ryan Dempster (2-1, 1.37 ERA) faces John Burkett 91-0, 6.75).

Lopez ss4000Stewart lf4122
Boone 2b4000Ctlntto dh3010
Griffey Jr cf3010Gross ph1000
Taylor cf1000Wells cf4020
Larson 3b3000Myers c3000
Casey 1b3110Chaffrdo c1000
Guillen lf3011Phelps 1b4121
Mateo rf2000Hinske 3b3121
LaRue c2000Wdwrd ss4010
Stinett c1000Ryan rf4000
Graves p1000Berg 2b3100
Pena ph0000
Sullivan p0000
Riedling p0000
Guerero ph1000
Willmsn p0000

DP-Toronto 1. LOB-Cincinnati 2, Toronto 8. 2B-Guillen. HR-Stewart (2), Phelps (3), Hinske (3). SB-Griffey Jr. (1). CS-Pena.

Riedling L, 1-1122210
Tam W, 1-1110001
JMiller S, 1200001

HBP-by Lidle (Mateo). WP-Graves. T-2:14. A-3,527.

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