Phillips Grand Slam Helps Sink Reds 9-3

Capping off a series of games featuring big innings, the Dodgers scored five in the sixth to take the rubber contest 9-3 from Cincinnati. Jason Phillips had a career game, slugging his first grand slam homer and adding an RBI single among his four hits. Milton Bradley and Ricky Ledee had three hits each with Bradley adding a homer. Los Angeles trailed 2-0 going into the sixth but banged out 14 hits to help Jeff Weaver collect his fourth win against a pair of losses.

The Dodgers won the first game on the wings of a 10-run first inning while Brad Penny held the Reds to one hit over the first seven innings. Cincinnati erased a 3-0 L.A. lead in the second game, scoring six in the sixth after Derek Lowe permitted just a single hit in the first five innings and in the final game, Cincinnati limited the Dodgers to one hit in the first four innings and a single run in five before the put a four on the board in the sixth. Weaver worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth and threw 106 pitches on a warm night in Cincinnati before giving way to Kelly Wunsch, a priceless off-season pickup, who got the final two outs in the seventh with runners on first and third. He struck out a season-high eight before leaving for the night.

Giovanni Carrara and Yhency Brazoban closed it out with an inning each.

Despite a 14-hit attack, Jason Phillips was the offensive story of the game. Acquired from the Mets for lefty Kaz Ishii late in spring training, Phillips has specialized in hitting with runners in scoring position and Sunday night was no exception.

After making an out in the second inning, he came up with the bases loaded and the Dodgers trailing 2-1 in the sixth. He lined the first pitch into the left field seats for his first career grand slam homer and his first Dodger homer.

He had doubled in the fourth and later added a single in the eighth. Needing only a triple for a rare 'cycle', although he had never hit a major league triple, he was pleased to settle for an RBI single and a four-hit night, his first in The Show.

Milton Bradley, hitting third with JD Drew getting a night off, hit like a No. 3 hitter, collecting the Dodgers only hit over the first four innings and adding a single and a long homer that banged off the facing of the left field stands.

Ricky Ledee got into the act with three hits of his own, including a double and an RBI. Only Olmedo Saenz and Cesar Izturis were hitless, and Izturis lined out his first two trips to the plate and later slugged a ball deep to right that was caught on the warning track to take a tough 0-for-5.

In the top of the fourth, Bradley drove a ball deep to center field but Reds' outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., raced back, jumped and caught the ball just above the fence. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Griffey demonstrated how to keep outfielders from making game-of-the-day catches but blasting one in the last row of seats in right-center field. Bradley would have had to purchase a ticket to haul that one down.

Griffey has been Bradley's idol for years, and the Dodger outfielder took the demonstration to heart with a huge shot of his own in the seventh, equalling the distance of Griffey's homer but to blasting it to left field for #7.

Rookie Mike Edwards' RBI double in the eighth gave the Dodgers a 7-2 lead, and the Dodgers tacked on two more in the ninth on singled by Phillips and Ledee. Phillips, Edwards Ledee, the Nos. 6, 7 and 8 hitters in the Dodgers lineup, went a combined 8-for-14 with seven RBI. Jason Repko, filling in for the resting J.D. Drew, made a sensational diving catch of a line drive in right field with two on and two out.

Reds pitcher Eric Milton put hit team on the board with a rare home run in the third inning. Jeff Weaver's double in the fifth plated Phillips with the Dodgers first run, causing former American League pitcher Derek Lowe to tell ESPN, "I love National League baseball, they let pitcher's hit."

Gagne sparkles--Eric Gagne, In his first Minor League rehabilitation assignment after a sprained left knee led to a sprained right elbow, overwhelmed the only three batters he faced while pitching the ninth inning for Las Vegas, who lost 10-7. Gagne struck out the first River Cat on three pitches, with a called third-strike curveball, caught the next looking with a slider and fanned the final hitter on a slider. Gagne made 13 pitches, 11 for strikes. He threw four fastballs -- two at 95 mph, two at 94 mph. After the game, Gagne was to join the Dodgers in St. Louis for treatment Monday. If no complications appear, Gagne expects to pitch for the 51s on Tuesday in Memphis in a second rehab appearance.

Dodger Blue Notes--The Dodgers designated infielder Norihiro Nakamura for assignment and had purchased the contract of 29-year old infielder Oscar Robles from Mexico City. Nakamura was hitting .128 in 17 games for Los Angeles. Robles, 29, one of the last players cut from the Dodgers' spring training camp, has spent the last five seasons playing in the Mexican Summer League. He was batting .388 with four homers and 20 RBI in 29 games for the Mexico City Red Devils. … Antonio Perez is only days away from rejoining the Major League club, ending his rehabilitation assignment with the 51s having played six of his eight games there mostly at third base. … But the news is not quite so good for Jayson Werth's recovery from a broken wrist. He is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts over his first two games in Las Vegas. However he noted that there his been some progress but that he does not have a lot of strength in his wrist right now.

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