CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jose Rijo made an inspiring return to the
major leagues after a six-year absence.
"It definitely was a great moment," said Jeromy Burnitz, who
homered and tripled in another run for the Brewers. "I got chills
in the outfield when he came out for his curtain call."
It was Rijo's first major league appearance in six years, during
which he had five operations on his right elbow.
"We just saw a miracle, no question about it," Reds manager
Bob Boone said.
The 36-year-old Rijo hadn't pitched in the majors since July 18,
1995 when he left a Reds game against San Diego with a throbbing
elbow. The 1990 World Series MVP allowed two hits and two walks,
and pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth, striking out
Richie Sexson and Jose Hernandez.
"It's great knowing I can pitch well," Rijo said. "But I'm
not here to just retire. I'm here to help the team."
Even Milwaukee manager Davey Lopes got caught up in the moment.
"I was laughing and happy for him when he got his standing
ovation," Lopes said. "I knew him when he was a tremendous
talent, one of the best young right-handers in the game.
"It was unfortunate that his career was ended when it was. I'm
happy that he got his chance to make a comeback."
Boone said what happens next remains to be seen.
"We'll have to see how his arm reacts," Boone said. "I don't
know. He doesn't know. Nobody knows.
"Tonight, he earned a spot. Maybe he could become a valuable
part of our pitching corps."
Milwaukee starter Mac Suzuki (2-3) allowed seven hits, walked
four and struck out four in 6 1-3 innings for his second
The Brewers scored twice in the fourth off Lance Davis (5-2),
who gave up 10 hits and five runs in 5 1-3 innings while walking
one and striking out two.
Mark Loretta had a leadoff single on a grounder that second
baseman Todd Walker tried to barehand. Burnitz followed with a
triple that right fielder Adam Dunn allowed to roll to the wall
rather than cut off.
One out later, Hernandez singled to left to drive in Burnitz.
The Reds, losers of six straight, got a run in the fifth when
Todd Walker walked, went to second on Dunn's groundout and scored
on Ken Griffey Jr.'s single to right.
Although the Reds are 18-42 in Cinergy Field, the worst home
record in baseball, Friday night's game drew a season-high 4,746 in
walk-up ticket sales.
Most of the walk-up business probably was because the Reds
bought Rijo's contract from Triple A-Louisville.
The crowd chanted for an appearance by Rijo in the seventh, and
cheered the scoreboard announcement that Rijo was warming up in the
He received a standing ovation when he walked to the mound to
pitch the eighth, and continued applause that elicited a curtain
call following his ninth-inning effort.
RHP Joey Hamilton signed a minor league contract with Cincinnati and will be assigned to Triple-A Louisville. He was 5-8
with a 5.89 ERA in 22 starts for Toronto before being released Aug.
3. ... Pokey Reese was a late scratch after taking a bad-hop ground
ball in the face during infield practice. Juan Castro started at
shortstop. ... Dunn, promoted from Louisville on July 20, got his
first major league stolen base in the third inning. ... The triple
by Burnitz extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Milwaukee
outrighted RHP Carlos Chantres to Triple-A Indianapolis. ... RHP
Paul Rigdon is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday to remove scar
tissue and bone spurs, and to move the ulnar nerve in his elbow.
The surgery will be performed in Cleveland by Dr. Louis Keppler.