By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer
OAKLAND, Calif. - The return is scattered about the Reds' farm system.
Until the need arises, as it did Tuesday, the young arms received in trades that reshaped Cincinnati's major-league roster develop for the future.
Jung Keun Bong, a 23-year-old lefty acquired from the Braves in the Chris Reitsma trade this spring, made his Reds debut in a 10-6 loss against the A's before 19,302 at Network Associates Coliseum.
And while the native of Seoul, South Korea allowed nine runs - four earned - on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings, his first loss in a Reds uniform was overshadowed by that of a player who has spent his entire career wearing one.
Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin injured himself in the fourth inning while fielding a ground ball up the middle by A's third baseman Esteban German.
The 40-year-old Larkin, who was 2-for-3 with a three-run home run Tuesday, left the game with pain in his lower left abdomen and will return to Cincinnati today to be examined by team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek.
A strained abdominal muscle prevented Larkin from starting four consecutive games June 2-6. He returned to the starting lineup Monday and Tuesday.
The abdominal pain felt Tuesday is in a different area than the discomfort experienced last week.
A prolonged absence by Larkin would further complicate matters for the first-place Reds by adding to a growing list of injured.
Right fielder Austin Kearns went on the 15-day disabled list before the game because of a sore on his right thumb.
Pitcher Aaron Harang is on the disabled list because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow. Infielder Juan Castro also is on the disabled list with a strained left ribcage muscle.
The first two interleague games of the summer have been stomach-turners for the Reds.
Oakland has scored 23 runs on 29 hits. A's pitchers Mark Mulder and Barry Zito each have wins.
The A's scored five runs in the first and four runs in the fourth on their way to a 10-5 lead Tuesday.
Catcher Damian Miller did most of the early offensive damage.
His bases-loaded double in the first inning scored three and put Oakland ahead 4-1. A two-run double in the fourth put the A's ahead 10-5.
Miller's five RBI tied a career high.
The Reds scored the first run of the game on a single by Ken Griffey Jr. in the first inning. The center fielder, who remains two runs shy of 500 for his career, went 1-for-5.
The lead was short-lived as Bong stepped to the mound in the first inning.
In need of a fifth starting pitcher after Harang went on the disabled list with a sprained ligament in his right elbow last week, the Reds recalled Bong from Triple-A Louisville prior to the game.
He was 4-4 with a 4.89 ERA in 10 starts for the Bats this season.
The Braves used Bong primarily as a reliever - he went 6-2 with a 5.05 ERA in 44 relief appearances last season - but the Reds see potential as a starting pitcher.
Tuesday was Bong's second career major league start, and attracted an increased South Korean media presence.
He threw 32 pitches in the first inning, and allowed four hits.
A fielding error by third baseman Tim Hummel on a Jermaine Dye grounder kept the inning going with two outs, and brought up A's first baseman Scott Hatteberg.
He singled up the middle to trying the game at one.
Bong then walked the next batter he faced, loading the bases for Miller, who hit a bases-clearing double to right field that put the A's ahead 4-1.
Oakland second baseman Marco Scutaro followed with an RBI single to right.
All five runs scored in the inning followed Hummel's error and were unearned.
Cincinnati got to within one run, 5-4, with a Larkin three-run homer off Oakland starter Barry Zito in the second inning.
Catcher Jason LaRue added the Reds' fifth run with a solo homer off Zito in the fourth while second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez scored in the eighth.
|Griffey Jr. cf||5||0||1||1||0||2||.249|
a-grounded out for Hummel in the 8th. b-struck out for Lopez in the 8th.
E-WPena (2), Hummel (2). LOB-Cincinnati 10, Oakland 10. 2B-Casey (21), DJimenez (11), Hummel (2), Dye (13), DMiller 2 (11). HR-LaRue (2), off Zito; Crosby (9), off Bong; Larkin (4), off Zito. RBIs-Larkin 3 (23), Griffey Jr. (48), LaRue (13), JaCruz (9), Hatteberg 2 (35), Crosby 2 (24), DMiller 5 (21), Scutaro (12). S-German. GIDP-Crosby.
Runners left in scoring position-Cincinnati 5 (Larson 2, Dunn, WPena 2); Oakland 6 (Byrnes, Kotsay 2, Hatteberg, Crosby, Scutaro).
Runners moved up-JaCruz.
DP-Cincinnati 1 (DJimenez, Freel and Casey).
|Bong L, 0-1||3 1/3||9||9||4||3||0||82||10.80|
|Zito W, 4-3||5||8||5||5||1||5||109||4.74|
|Mecir H, 7||2/3||0||0||0||1||1||12||5.48|
|Rhodes S, 9||1 1/3||2||0||0||0||2||27||4.01|
Bradford pitched to 1 batter in the 7th, CHammond pitched to 3 batters in the 8th.
Inherited runners-scored-Reith 2-2, CHammond 1-0, Mecir 3-1, Rhodes 3-0.
Umpires-Home, Tim McClelland; First, Tony Randazzo; Second, Fieldin Culbreth; Third, Jim Wolf.
T-3:22. A-19,302 (43,662).
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