Saturday, August 14, 2004

Fright night for Wilson

San Diego ends suspense early in home run derby

By Kevin Kelly
Enquirer staff writer

In another unstable season, the Reds have enjoyed some constants. Sean Casey's batting average, Adam Dunn's power and Wily Mo Pena's continued development come to mind.

Starting pitcher Paul Wilson's steadiness stands out.

photo gallery
Photos of Friday's game
Twelve quality starts. Seventeen games in which he has pitched six or more innings. Nine wins that easily could be 15 were it not for blown saves.

And nothing close to what happened on Friday the 13th at Great American Ball Park.

The Padres scored seven runs on eight hits in the 1 1/3 innings pitched by Wilson, and they didn't stop there in a 14-5 win against the Reds before 26,736 fans.

"It's me. It's mine," Wilson said afterward. "There's no one else in this (clubhouse) that is responsible for this loss. It's me."

The game featured a stadium-record eight combined home runs and 17 hits by the Padres, but it was San Diego shortstop Khalil Greene's performance that stood out.

His two home runs, four hits (which also included two doubles) and four RBI established career highs.

"He's not going to be perfect every five days," Reds manager Dave Miley said of Wilson. "He just had a bad night against a good hitting ball club."

The Reds have lost five of their past seven games and been outscored 35-14 during this homestand. Friday's loss also dropped them a season-high five games below. 500 for the second time this week. Ugly as it was, Friday's start was not Wilson's shortest career.

That came against the Astros on July 10, 2003. Wilson faced eight batters and allowed seven earned runs in failing to record an out that game.

"Houston was pretty bad, probably just as bad," he said. "At least I got four outs in this one."

Wilson threw 63 pitches and retired four of the 16 batters he faced.

The right-hander, who is winless in six second-half starts, walked three and hit one batter.

"I just got the ball up and they were hammering it," Wilson said. "It's not all that difficult to figure out. It was just terrible. I just stunk."

The Padres sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five times in the first inning.

Right fielder Brian Giles put San Diego ahead 3-0 with a home run. Wilson walked the next batter before allowing a two-run homer to left fielder Ryan Klesko.

It took 18 pitches for Wilson to record his first out in the first inning, and 31 total to finish it.

San Diego rolled on in the second inning as first baseman Phil Nevin hit an RBI single to make it 6-0. Wilson then loaded the bases with a walk and another single before walking in Nevin with the bases loaded for San Diego's seventh run.

That was enough for Miley, who pulled Wilson and brought in Todd Van Poppel.

The right-hander retired the first two batters he faced to end the second inning and wound up allowing six runs on six hits over 4 1/3.

But his effort saved the bullpen.

"Todd went out there and sucked one up for the team," Wilson said. "I owe him a debt of gratitude."

Added Miley: "That was huge."

Cincinnati scored three runs off Padres starter David Wells (7-7) in his five innings. First baseman Sean Casey and catcher Jason LaRue each hit solo home runs.

Third baseman Juan Castro's upper-deck home run in the seventh inning - his first since May 5 - made it 13-4. Casey scored the Reds' final run in the eighth.

San Diego second baseman Rich Aurilia added a solo home run - the eighth and final of the game - off Reds closer Danny Graves in the ninth to make it 14-5.

"You can't put a team down like that early in the game," Wilson said. "There's just no way we could come back from something like that."

KGreene ss644400.265
Loretta 2b423101.343
Aurilia 2b111100.333
BGiles rf511301.274
Payton cf101000.240
Nevin 1b321110.301
Witasick p200000.000
Klesko lf311220.273
Buchanan lf000000.207
Long cf-rf512002.291
Burroughs 3b400110.290
Ojeda c422011.250
DWells p201000.111
Hansen ph-1b200001.000
Freel rf402100.282
GWhite p000000---
JaCruz 1b100000.235
DJimenez 2b301000.254
RWagner p000000---
Bragg ph-rf100001.091
Casey 1b422100.338
Graves p000000---
Dunn lf400100.279
WPena cf400002.261
LaRue c411102.245
JCastro 3b-2b411101.237
FLopez ss311011.269
PWilson p000000.133
Van Poppel p000000.125
Hummel 3b100010.218
San Diego521203001-14171

E-KGreene (16). LOB-San Diego 8, Cincinnati 5. 2B-KGreene 2 (23), Long (17), Freel (13). 3B-Casey (2). HR-Aurilia (1), JCastro (2), ; LaRue (13), KGreene 2 (9), Casey (17), Klesko (5), ; BGiles (16). RBIs-KGreene 4 (46), Loretta (61), Aurilia (5), BGiles 3 (67), Nevin (64), Klesko 2 (45), Burroughs (37), Freel (21), Casey (71), Dunn (74), LaRue (41), JCastro (16). S-DWells, Van Poppel 2. GIDP-Witasick.

DP-Cincinnati 1 (JaCruz, FLopez and Graves).

DWells W, 7-7553311803.59
Witasick S, 1432216643.26
PWilson L, 9-41 1/387730634.54
Van Poppel4 1/366623765.92
RWagner1 1/310001205.91
Inherited runners-scored-Van Poppel 3-0.

HBP-by PWilson (Loretta). WP-Van Poppel 2.

T-2:59. A-26,736 (42,271).

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