By John Erardi
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati's 7-6 victory over the San Diego Padres Saturday afternoon was hide-your-head ugly, and even the Reds knew it. How ugly was it?
It was so ugly it wasn't even fun to watch The Bounce, the Reds' exuberant postgame celebration, after a bases-loaded walk allowed Adam Dunn to score with the winning run in the 10th inning.
The Reds left 18 men on base and were 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
"It was a long game; it seemed like we were out there six hours," said Dunn, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning to put the Reds up 2-0.
"On paper, this team should be blowing last year's team away," Dunn said. "But last year we did more little things right. We got some sacrifices down with men in scoring position. We got some guys in from third base at key times. That's how you usually win close games, and that's why we won more games last year than we're winning right now."
The Reds again struggled on sacrifice bunt attempts, and Reds right-fielder Jose Guillen made an egregious over-throw of home plate in the seventh inning that allowed two runs to score and make the game 6-4 - the one he was trying to cut down, and a second one because Reds reliever Gabe White didn't react quickly enough to back-up home and get into position to field the wild throw.
"I've got to do a better job of getting into position right away," White said.
The Reds tied the game in the seventh on a single, three walks, a hit batter and a fielder's choice.
Sean Casey almost won the game for Cincinnati in the ninth inning.
With two outs and two on, Casey scorched a line drive to right-center. But Padres centerfielder Mark Kotsay made a great diving grab of the ball.
"When he hit it, I thought that was it," Reds manager Bob Boone said. "It just stayed there, like it was hung on a balloon."
The Reds were handed a gift in the 10th inning.
With one out, Jaret Wright (1-3) walked Dunn on four pitches, then gave up a double to Austin Kearns. Felipe Lopez was intentionally walked, and Luther Hackman came in to replace Wright.
Hackman struck out Kelly Stinnett, but Mateo, who had been 0-for-4 as a pinch-hitter, batted for pitcher Felix Heredia and walked on a full count to force in the winning run.
It was an appropriate finish. The Reds walked 13 times Saturday, their most in a single game since July 27, 1979, in a 12-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Heredia (2-0) gave up no hits and one walk in an inning of work.
Wright gave up one run, two hits and three walks in two innings.
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