CINCINNATI (AP) -- Tony Perez expected the ovations. Adam Dunn
had no idea the loudest one would be for him.
Perez enjoyed a warm reception when he returned as the Florida
Marlins manager, but Dunn got the loudest applause for his first
homer Friday night as the Cincinnati Reds pulled away to a 10-5
Dunn hit a solo homer in the third inning, a drive into the
second deck that was estimated at 425 feet and put the Reds ahead
to stay. The Reds' top power-hitting prospect was called up a week
ago and has hit in all seven games, a debut that has given Reds
fans something to cheer in a dreary season.
A nervous Dunn struck out on a high fastball from Matt Clement
(6-7) in the first inning, then homered on a sinker that stayed
right over the middle of the plate.
"It was a little like Opening Day," Dunn said. "I knew
there'd be a lot of media here. Everybody's making it such a big
deal. I don't think it's a big deal."
Aaron Boone hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs overall
as the Reds ruined Perez's return to the city where he had his most
glorious seasons in a Hall of Fame career.
Perez, whose No. 24 is retired in the outfield, hadn't managed a
game in Cincinnati since general manager Jim Bowden fired him only
44 games into the 1993 season.
The crowd of 26,058 gave him a warm ovation when he took out the
lineup card -- Perez smiled and waved his cap in appreciation -- and
another warm round of applause when he returned to the dugout after
removing Clement in the fifth inning.
He even got a smattering of applause after arguing a call at
second base in the seventh, when a Marlin runner was thrown out
while trying to advance for the second time in the game.
"I was prepared," Perez said of the reception. "I knew they
were going to react like that."
He was surprised by the way Clement imploded instead of
extending one of his best stretches of the season. Clement had
given up only one run in his last two starts, winning both of them,
and hadn't allowed a homer in either of them.
The streak ended when Clement made an awful two-strike pitch to
Boone in the second inning _ a sinker that stayed up. Boone hit it
for a two-run homer, his 12th.
"This year, I haven't been beaten that many times on pitches
like that," Clement said. "I was just trying to get a sinker down
and get a double play. It wasn't down where I wanted it to be."
Neither was his third-inning sinker to Dunn, which stayed up and
right down the middle. The homer landed in the second deck in
center field, where a 19-year-old fan retrieved it. The teen-ager
agreed to give the ball back, as long as he got to meet the Reds'
most highly touted prospect since Eric Davis.
"It's kind of a relief," Dunn said. "I wasn't trying to do
it, but I was trying to get it out of the way."
Boone also singled home a run off Johnny Ruffin in the seventh,
when the Reds pulled ahead 8-2. Derrek Lee's three-run homer off
Scott Sullivan cut it to 8-5 in the eighth, but Walker singled home
another run and Dunn had an RBI double off Ruffin.
Davis, who was called up on June 15 after Rob Bell was traded to
Texas, has won all three, giving up a total of five runs in 21 1-3
innings. He gave up seven hits and a walk in 5 2-3 innings, but
limited the Marlins to two runs on Luis Castillo's double in the
The Marlins called up RHP Gary Knotts from Triple-A Calgary
to replace RHP Chuck Smith, on the DL with an injured elbow
ligament. ... Castillo's two-run double gave him 11 RBI in July,
the best month of his career. ... Reds C Jason LaRue got hit on the
left side of the head on Alex Gonzalez's follow-through in the
fifth inning. LaRue stayed on his hands and knees for a minute,
then stayed in the game. The Reds had no backup catcher -- Kelly
Stinnett got a cortisone injection for an inflamed shoulder. ...
Ken Griffey Jr. got a day off. Griffey hasn't completely recovered
from a torn hamstring. ... Since they both came off the DL on June
15, Griffey has seven homers and 20 RBI, while Boone has seven
homers and 25 RBI.