Saturday, June 5, 2004

Day puts on show for fan club

LaSalle product shuts down Reds over six innings to get the victory

By Kevin Kelly and John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Outside the visitor's clubhouse, the postgame crowd gathered.

Family members. Friends. Former teammates.

Expos pitcher Zach Day had spotted many of the more than 130 estimated supporters throughout his start against the Reds on Friday at Great American Ball Park.

"I thought coming in that it might be a little bit of a distraction," said Day, a former La Salle High standout. "But it wasn't as tough as I thought it would be."

The 25-year-old held the Reds to two runs on four hits over six innings. Day struck out five and walked three as he picked up his first career win against the Reds.

"I had to try and settle myself down the first couple of innings," Day said. "I'm a sinkerball pitcher, so to have too much adrenaline flowing can lead to getting the ball up.

"But I felt good out there and we came out with a victory."

Reds left fielder Adam Dunn drove in both runs with a broken-bat homer in the second inning.

LARSON'S BACK: For what he hopes is the last time this season, third baseman Brandon Larson came off the disabled list Friday.

"Everything is feeling great," Larson said. "It's good to be back."

A strained left quadriceps muscle sent him to the DL on May 9.

During an 11-game rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Louisville and Double-A Chattanooga, Larson batted a combined .264 with four home runs and nine RBI.

Larson was projected as the Reds starting third baseman this season but has missed 41 games because of injury. He did not play in the Reds' first 18 games because of a turf toe injury.

"I feel like I've got a lot of season left," Larson said.

He started Friday's game in place of Ryan Freel, who was a late scratch with a sore left knee, and went 0-for-3.

BUMPS AND BRUISES: Shortstop Barry Larkin (abdominal strain) did not start for the second consecutive game, but pinch hit in the ninth inning.

Right fielder Austin Kearns, who has a sore on the inside of his right thumb, was not in the starting lineup for the sixth consecutive game. He is expected to play Sunday.

WALK ON UP: Friday's crowd of 32,701 fans included a walkup of 10,755.

It was the largest walkup total since the Reds began keeping track of such totals in 1987. The previous high was 10,189 for a game against the Dodgers on May 21, 1994.

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Day puts on show for fan club

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