Sunday, September 26, 2004

Wilson wins 10th

He had been stuck on 9 wins since July 8

By John Fay
Enquirer staff writer

PITTSBURGH - On the 11th try, Paul Wilson got No. 10.

Wilson pitched seven innings of one-run ball in the Reds' 7-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday night before a crowd of 26,500 at PNC Park.

With the win, Wilson improved to 10-6. He had been stuck on nine wins since July 8.

Paul Wilson finally got the "10th win" monkey off his back.
(AP photo)
"It has been a while," Wilson said. "I felt like I've done everything I could. I had four or five starts where I couldn't do anything. I had some DL time (back).

"But I feel like I've found my release point, and I'm getting back to what was successful early on."

Wilson had been 0-4 with 6.52 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. But, as he said, he's found his form recently.

He has a 2.05 ERA in his last three starts, 1.20 over his last two.

Wilson has also had his share of hard luck. He's been the victim of blown save six times.

"He deserves (the 10th win)," Jason LaRue said. "Sometimes there are things you can't control."

Saturday, Wilson had a lot of cushion to work with. The Reds took a 5-0 lead in the first. It was the second straight night they broke the game open in the first. They scored seven runs in the first Friday.

Friday, the first seven hitters of the game reached base. Saturday, seven of the first eighth reached.

LaRue was the offensive star. He went 2-for-5 with four RBI.

Given the big lead, Wilson struggled in the first. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out. But Wilson struck out Craig Wilson and got Daryle Ward to fly out to end the inning.

Wilson shook off the shaky first and pitched very well.

"We had a great game plan," Wilson said. "When you get the big lead, your job is to go out and be aggressive. I relied on my sinker and pounded the zone."

From the second to the sixth, he allowed only two base runners - and both reached on infield singles.

Williams kept the Reds' bats quiet after the first.

"We didn't really sting the ball in the first," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "They were well-placed hits. The kid settled down."

But the Reds added insurance once he was gone. They loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth against Nelson Figueroa. LaRue then singled for his third and fourth RBI of the game.

"That was as big as anything with the way the game turned out," Miley said.

The Pirates finally scored in the seventh. Wilson allowed the one run on six hits. He walked three and struck out four.

As usual, it got dicey for the Reds in the end.

Ryan Wagner came into pitch the eighth and allowed three runs. Joe Valentine bailed Wagner out in the eighth.

Then Valentine allowed a double and a walk after getting the first two outs of the ninth.

But Valentine struck out Rob Mackowiak to end it and earn his third save.

Freel cf411110.277
JCastro 3b501000.246
Casey 1b522000.333
Kearns rf421112.232
Valentine p000000.000
DJimenez 2b413010.270
LaRue c512401.255
FLopez ss300010.262
Bragg lf-rf401111.181
PWilson p400001.103
RWagner p000000---
Dunn lf000000.263
Kendall c301000.318
Cota c200001.242
JWilson ss514000.309
Bay lf412010.293
Mackowiak cf400011.247
CWilson rf411102.260
Ward 1b412100.249
Wigginton 3b300110.263
Sanchez 2b401001.250
DWilliams p100000.125
ANunez ph100001.239
NFigueroa p000000.143
Hill ph100000.268
Corey p000000.000
Mesa p000000---
TRedman ph100000.271

E-Ward (5). LOB-Cincinnati 10, Pittsburgh 9. 2B-DJimenez (28), JWilson (39). RBIs-Freel (28), Kearns (26), LaRue 4 (55), Bragg (6), CWilson (81), Ward (57), Wigginton (61). SB-FLopez (1). GIDP-Casey, Hill.

DP-Cincinnati 1 (DJimenez, FLopez and Casey); Pittsburgh 1 (Corey, JWilson and Ward).

PWilson W, 10-67611241164.53
Valentine S, 31 2/310012295.81
DWilliams L, 2-25753341003.89

IBB-off NFigueroa (DJimenez) 1, off DWilliams (Bragg) 1. HBP-by DWilliams (FLopez). WP-NFigueroa 2.

T-2:46. A-26,500 (38,496).

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