By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
PITTSBURGH - Dave Miley seemed to be sending a message when he went with the early hook on Jimmy Haynes.
The fact that he won a game in the process was a nice bonus.
The Reds came back to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-7 after Haynes put them in a 4-0 hole in the first inning Saturday night before a crowd of 24,732 at PNC Park.
"It was early," Ken Griffey Jr. said. "So you know you're going to get some chances. We kept plugging away and we were able to make things happen."
"To come back - especially against a pitcher like (Kris Benson) - says a lot," Miley said.
The offense was able to get the work done because the Reds' bullpen went eight innings and allowed only three runs.
The top four hitters in the order produced 11 of the Reds' 15 hits. D'Angelo Jimenez showed signs he's out of his slump. He went 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBI and two walks. Barry Larkin and Sean Casey each also had three hits.
The Reds' third straight victory kept them tied with the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League Central.
Haynes gave up seven hits in the first. He only got out of the inning when Randall Simon pulled up with a bad hamstring trying to score from second on pitcher Kris Benson's hit, a hit that broke an 0-for-44 streak for Benson.
Todd Van Poppel had started to warm up by then. When Haynes' turn came up to hit in the second, Miley pinch hit for him.
"I felt we had a chance to comeback," Miley said. "I've always said: It's not about one guy; it's about 25."
The early hook caught Haynes off guard.
"It was a tough night," he said. "I got groundballs, but they found holes. I was surprised (he took me out). But it's not my call."
Van Poppel took over and pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. Don't be surprised if Van Poppel replaces Haynes in the rotation, although Miley chose not to address the issue after the game.
"That would be premature," he said.
Saturday was Haynes' third start of the year. He is 0-2 with 9.58 ERA and he's averaging just over three innings per start. He's allowed 21 hits in 10 1/3 innings.
Haynes, who went 2-12 with a 6.30 ERA last year, has a $2.5 million guaranteed contract. The Reds may be reluctant to eat that contract, but he could be moved into Van Poppel's long relief role.
Most nights spotting Benson four runs would mean a sure loss. He was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA.
But things started to unravel for him after hitting Adam Dunn, who had four homers in four games against the Pirates.
The Reds scored one run in the second and five in the third.
Jimenez hit the first pitch of the third out to right-center for his second home run of the year.
Larkin followed with his second hit of the game. Griffey doubled off the left-field wall to score Larkin, then scored on Casey's double.
Dunn then walked. Casey and Dunn advanced on Austin Kearns' long flyout to center. After LaRue grounded out, the Pirates intentionally walked Castro to get to Van Poppel. Van Poppel beat out a high chopper for an infield single and Casey scored to make it 5-4. It was Van Poppel's first RBI since 1998.
Jimenez worked a walk to force in Dunn with the fifth run of the inning.
The Reds added a run in the fifth. Jimenez singled and Larkin got him home with a double to make it 7-4.
Van Poppel gave up a pair of runs in the fifth.
But Ryan Wagner, Brian Reith and Todd Jones followed and pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Reds added two runs in the ninth. Kearns led off with a double, snapping a career-high 0-for-18 skid. Jason LaRue reached on a sacrifice/fielder's choice. Kearns scored when left fielder Raul Mondesi dropped Castro's fly ball.
Pinch-hitter Ryan Freel was hit in the head by a pitch as he tried to bunt the runners over. Freel had to leave the game but was OK.
That loaded the bases. Jimenez walked to force in another run.
That was big because Danny Graves gave up a leadoff homer in the ninth to Rob Mackowiak. Graves finished it for his ninth save.
"The bullpen deserves the credit," Miley said, "especially Van Poppel. That was a hell of a job."
|Griffey Jr. cf||6||1||2||1||0||1||.254|
|Van Poppel p||2||0||1||1||0||0||.500|
E-Mondesi (2), JDavis (1). LOB-Cincinnati 12, Pittsburgh 10. 2B-Larkin (3), Griffey Jr. (4), Casey 2 (8), Kearns (2), Kendall (4). HR-Mackowiak (2), off Graves; DJimenez (2), off Benson. RBIs-DJimenez 3 (11), Larkin (4), Griffey Jr. (10), Casey (16), Van Poppel (1), Mondesi (11), Mackowiak (5), CWilson (10), JDavis (2), Castillo (4), Benson (1), ANunez (2). SB-DJimenez (1). S-LaRue. SF-JDavis, ANunez. GIDP-Larkin, WPena, CWilson, Castillo.
DP-Cincinnati 2 (Larkin, DJimenez and Casey), (Larkin, DJimenez and Casey); Pittsburgh 2 (Mackowiak, Castillo and CWilson), (JWilson, Kendall and CWilson).
|Reith H, 3||1||1||0||0||0||1||17||3.68|
|TJones H, 5||1||0||0||0||0||0||19||3.27|
|Graves S, 9||1||1||1||1||1||1||17||4.50|
Boyd pitched to 5 batters in the 9th.
|Benson L, 2-1||5||12||7||6||4||3||112||3.91|
IBB-off Benson (Dunn) 1, off Benson (JCastro) 1. HBP-by Boyd (Freel), by Reith (Hill), by Benson (Dunn).
T-3:14. A-24,732 (38,496).
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