The Cincinnati Reds came into town with a four-game losing streak. The San Francisco Giants came home with a two-game losing streak of their own. The Reds started a rookie starting pitcher; the Giants threw Kirk Rueter. The results? A rather predictable, high-scoring, messy, edge-of-your-seat 11-10 victory for the visiting Reds on a very sunny Fourth of July.
A high-scoring game was evident from the onset, as the two teams combined to score fourteen runs in the first four innings. Reds starter Elizardo Ramirez and Rueter had remarkably similar games, each lasting no more than four innings and each giving up seven earned runs. Rueter was again bit by the home run ball, as Ken Griffey Jr. and Jason LaRue victimized him in the third, and Wily Mo Penas three-run shot in the fourth tied the ballgame 7-7.
The Giants hung in there, however. In a rare start at third base, Deivi Cruz homered in the bottom of the fifth off of Reds reliever and eventual winner Ryan Wagner (3-2) to give the Giants back the lead 8-7.
The key sequence of the ballgame occurred in the top of the sixth inning. Jeremy Accardo began it by walking former Giant Rich Aurilia. With two outs, Pena singled to right, then reliever Jack Taschner threw a pitch that catcher Yorvit Torrealba could not handle for a pass ball that scored Aurilia to tie the game 8-8. After two more walks were issued by Taschner and his successor LaTroy Hawkins, LaRue hit a crushing base- double to right that cleared the bases for a 11-8 lead.
All this after such a promising start by the Giants offense, who gave the team a 4-0 lead after the first inning and a 6-1 lead after two. The Giants sent seven men to the plate in the first, and an RBI single by J.T. Snow, an RBI double by Moises Alou, and a two-run home run by Ray Durham accounted for four runs. Leadoff batter Michael Tucker, who doubled to lead off the first inning, got his second hit in as many innings, driving in Torreabla with a single in the second, then scored on a double by Omar Vizquel.
The Giants managed to scrape together individual runs in the sixth and ninth inning, but came up a bit short. Griffey made the bottom of the ninth a bit interesting by misplaying two balls in a very difficult sunny field, but Reds reliever Matt Belisle closed the ballgame without further incident.
SFDugout Player of the Game: Snow. Three hits and a remarkable defensive play will get you the nod every time. Its a shame that the Giants are having such a down year when he is being so productive.
Notes: Every Giants starter had a hit except Jason Ellison and Rueter. Trouble is, every Reds starter except Ramirez also had at least one hit Hawkins ERA with the Giants is a bloated 16.62 in 4.1 innings. Nowhere to go but down, right? Speaking of relief pitchers, the Giants utilized six of them in the ballgame, and the final three Scott Munter, Scott Eyre, and Jason Christiansen each pitched a scoreless frame Felipe Alou mentioned in the pregame show that he started his son today because a) he wanted him to play on Americas birthday and b) he is a good daytime player. Pops knows his son the younger Alou went 2-for-4 with two doubles.
Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at email@example.com to commiserate, cheer, and complain.
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