Monday, March 24, 2003

Indians 2, Reds 0

Enquirer staff and wire reports

SARASOTA, Fla. - Ricardo Rodriguez allowed four hits in six innings, and David Riske struck out the side in the ninth as the Cleveland Indians beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 Sunday.

Manager Eric Wedge told Riske and infielder Casey Blake before the game that they'd made the club. Blake will play third base while Ricky Gutierrez recovers from offseason neck surgery.

Blake played first base on Sunday and went 0-for-3, lowering his average from .512 to .477.

Riske made 51 relief appearances for the Indians last season. He earned a setup job with an overpowering performance this spring, striking out 19 of the 45 batters he has faced.

"I love pitching at the end of games," Riske said. "That's just how I am."

Riske has strengthened his back, which caused problems during 2001, and refined a split-finger fastball.

"That's going to make a huge difference," Riske said. "Having a second pitch helps tremendously."

Riske finished a combined five-hitter. Shane Spencer had a solo homer in the second inning off Ryan Dempster, and Karim Garcia singled home a run in the third.


Indians 1B Travis Hafner missed his second game with a sprained wrist. Wedge expects him to resume batting practice in a day or two. ... The Reds once again decided to use the DH, even though the game was in a National League park. Manager Bob Boone wanted Adam Dunn to bat without playing the outfield. Dunn has shin splints. ... The Reds dropped to 12-13-2 with their ninth loss in 12 games.

The arms: Ryan Dempster took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits. Felix Heredia, John Riedling, Gabe White and Scott Sullivan held the Indians hitless over the last four innings.

The bats: The Reds managed only five hits, giving them eight over their last two games. Barry Larkin, who was hit on the elbow by a pitch on Thursday, returned to the lineup and went 2-for-2 with a double.

The rest: Brandon Larson made some tough plays at third, showing his pulled rib muscle is OK.

Up next: The Reds play Boston at home. Jimmy Anderson (2-1, 1.37 ERA) will start.

Bradley cf2100Larkin ss2020
Sizemore lf1000LaRue c2010
BPhillips 2b5000Boone 2b2000
Lawton dh4020Guillen lf1000
Spencer lf3121Dunn dh3010
Gerut lf-cf-rf1000Kearns rf4000
KGarcia rf-cf4021Casey 1b3000
Blake 1b3000Cruz 1b0000
Selby 3b3000Larson 3b4010
Bard c2000Mateo lf3000
Laker c1000Castro 2b1000
McDnld ss3010Stinnett c2000
Sorensen ss1000Lopez ss1000
Taylor cf4000

E-Taylor. LOB-Cleveland 9, Cincinnati 10. 2B-KGarcia, Larkin. HR-Spencer (3).

Rodriguez W, 2-2640035
Riske S, 1100003
Dempster L, 3-1452241
PB-Bard. Balk-Santiago. T-2:27. A-6,445.

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