By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
ST. LOUIS - Kelly Stinnett, the last non-pitcher available to hit for the Reds, drove in a pair of runs in the 14th inning to help lift the Reds to a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday.
A loss would have been devastating: The Reds twice blew two-run leads late in regulation.
Danny Graves, the closer-turned-starter, pitched the bottom of the 14th for the save after the Reds scored three runs in the top of the inning.
Adam Dunn, who entered the game in the ninth, led off the 14th with his third straight walk. Barry Larkin bounced into a fielder's choice. Jose Guillen followed, and bounced a foul ball off his foot so hard that he nearly had to leave the game.
But he stayed and singled, sending Larkin to third.
Ken Griffey Jr. was intentionally walked, bringing up Stinnett, who pinch hit for Felix Heredia. Rainer Olmedo went in to pinch-run for Guillen, leaving the Reds without any position players.
The Cardinals brought on Esteban Yan to face Stinnett, who fell behind 0-2 before sending a line drive down the third-base line to make the score 6-4.
Griffey scored another run on Aaron Boone's grounder.
This was, in many ways, a typical game for the Reds, who are 18-9 in one-run games, second-best in the majors. They lead the majors with 19 wins in their final at-bat.
The Cardinals showed amazing resilience in this four-hour, 46-minute epic.
Tino Martinez hit a two-run, two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth off closer Scott Williamson to tie it after Larkin had given the Reds a 4-2 lead with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the inning.
St. Louis had scored a run in the seventh, and another in the eighth on Martinez's first home run of the night to erase a 2-0 lead and tie things going into the ninth.
The Reds' first two runs came on solo home runs in the second inning. Sean Casey and Juan Castro provided the punch.
It stayed 2-0 until the seventh. Then things got wacky.
Reds starter Jimmy Haynes left after giving up back-to-back hits to start the inning. Kent Mercker, Sunday's loser, came in and struck out J.D. Drew, the only batter he faced. Chris Reitsma was brought in to face Albert Pujols. Reitsma got Pujols to hit into a fielder's choice.
Jim Edmonds followed with a bloop single into center to make it 2-1. But Reitsma got Scott Rolen to pop foul to first to end the inning, before Martinez tied it at 2 by leading off the eighth with a home run.
It was the second straight blown save by the Reds' bullpen.
The Reds rebounded in the ninth, when Larkin's two-out single brought in two runs. But the lead didn't stand up.
Williamson, who blew a save Friday night, came on to try and close the game. But after getting Rolen to ground into a double play and nearly getting Pujols at third after a wild pitch, Martinez sent the game into extra innings with a two-run homer.
|Griffey Jr. cf||5||1||2||0||2||2||.265|
E-ABoone (9), Renteria (10). LOB-Cincinnati 12, St. Louis 18. 2B-Casey (12), Pujols (28). 3B-Griffey Jr. (1). HR-TMartinez 2 (8), off Williamson, Reitsma; JCastro (4), off Tomko; Casey (8), off Tomko. RBIs-Larkin 2 (9), Stinnett 2 (13), ABoone (46), Casey (37), JCastro (12), Edmonds (45), TMartinez 3 (33). S-JHaynes. GIDP-JGuillen, Casey, Rolen, Girardi 2. DP-Cincinnati 3, St. Louis 2.
|Mercker H, 9||1/3||0||0||0||0||1||7||2.45|
|Reitsma BS, 2||1 2/3||4||1||1||0||0||22||5.01|
|Williamson BS, 3||1||3||2||2||0||0||13||3.77|
|Heredia W, 3-0||2||1||0||0||0||1||22||2.38|
|Graves S, 1||1||1||0||0||0||1||18||5.11|
JHaynes pitched to 2 batters in the 7th, Kline pitched to 1 batter in the 10th.
|Fassero L, 0-3||1 1/3||1||3||3||2||0||34||7.16|
Inherited runners-scored-Mercker 2-0, Reitsma 2-1, Yan 3-3, Eldred 1-0, Kline 2-2, Isringhausen 1-0.
IBB-off Fassero (Griffey Jr.) 1. HBP-by Graves (OPalmeiro). PB-LaRue.
Umpires-Home, Bill Hohn; First, Matt Hollowell; Second, Eric Cooper; Third, Tim Timmons.
T-4:46. A-33,352 (50,354).
Reds 7, Cards 4
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