Giants send Rueter to bullpen

Updated: July 6, 2005, 10:08 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants sent struggling left-hander Kirk Rueter to the bullpen for the duration of the homestand that ends Sunday.

Rueter, who has had just two losing seasons in 13 years, is currently mired in a career-worst five-game losing streak. He has a 7.28 ERA in nine starts since beating the Houston Astros on May 13.

"It's their decision," Rueter said before Wednesday's game with the Cincinnati Reds. "I'm in the bullpen so I'll pitch."

Rueter has made 156 consecutive starts since his last relief appearance -- a 2 1-3 inning stint against the Reds on April 18, 2000. He has made 335 starts in 337 major league appearances.

"He's not doing much different; he hasn't changed since I've been here," Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said. "Any time he has a slump he doesn't throw hard enough or doesn't get it in enough. We're not winning, things are down, and he's in a tough spot."

Giants manager Felipe Alou suggested hitters are being more patient with Rueter.

"He was a guy who would win or lose a game quickly," he said. "It's not happening now. The fish are not biting; hitters are making him go deep into the count. He's been throwing a lot of pitches."

Alou did not name a replacement starter for Saturday, though he said Brad Hennessey, who has made five starts this season, is a possibility.

"He's a heck of a pitcher and he's going through a tough time," Righetti said. "I plan on pitching him again after the break and we'll see how we go."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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