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Wednesday, Apr. 4 7:05pm ET
McClendon wins first; Mulholland hurts knee

CINCINNATI (AP) – The Pittsburgh Pirates lost another starting pitcher, but made a dramatic comeback for their first win under rookie manager Lloyd McClendon.

Terry Mulholland

Kevin Young

The Pirates tied it with three unearned runs in the top of the ninth off closer Danny Graves, and Kevin Young hit a 10th-inning homer Wednesday night for a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that left McClendon misty.

He wanted some time alone after getting congratulated in his office by players and club officials.

"I didn't want to close the door on you, but I didn't want you guys to see me crying, either," said McClendon, who had a cigar, a corkscrew and a bottle of 1993 Dom Perignon waiting on his desk. "I guess if I'm going to get that first one, what better way to do it?"

The Pirates lost starter Terry Mulholland to a sprained knee, got outhit 18-7 and were within one strike of getting closed out by Graves.

After that, everything went their way.

Graves hit Jason Kendall with a two-strike pitch that slipped from his hand, third baseman Aaron Boone muffed a two-out grounder for an error and Pittsburgh tied it on Aramis Ramirez's single and Abraham Nunez's pinch double just past diving left fielder Donnie Sadler.

There was more. Young's homer off Scott Sullivan (0-1) flew just to the left of the 40-foot wall in center, which would have turned the long drive into a double.

"It's so weird. It's hard to tell, with the ballpark dimensions now, whether it's going to be a home run or not," Young said. "Luckily it did get to the left of the wall."

Mike Williams (1-0) pitched the last two innings, escaping threats in both, to get the win and kick off the celebration on a night that started with more gloom and doom for the decimated Pirates.

Starter Terry Mulholland sprained a ligament in his left knee on a pitch in the fourth and limped off the field. There was no telling how long he'd be sidelined by the injury, which typically costs a pitcher several starts.

Mulholland will fly to Pittsburgh on Thursday for a MRI test to see how badly his medial collateral ligament is damaged.

"At this point, I'm not looking to go on the disabled list until everything is checked out," Mulholland said. "As long as I'm assured I can't do any damage to the leg if I get back out there, I'll do what I can. I'm not in a lot of pain or anything."

The Pirates already have three-fifths of their rotation on the disabled list. Projected Opening Day starter Kris Benson and the last two Opening Day starters, Francisco Cordova and Jason Schmidt, are out at least until early May.

"Like I've said all along, injuries are part of the game," McClendon said. "The Reds had one go down today. My players understand my position on this."

Shortly before the game, the Reds learned that reliever Scott Williamson has a torn ligament in his right elbow. Williamson, the 1999 NL Rookie of the Year, will need season-ending reconstructive surgery.

The Reds again were without Ken Griffey Jr. in the starting lineup. Griffey, unable to run hard because of a strained hamstring, pinch-hit in the sixth and took a called third strike from Jose Silva.

Griffey has been limited to two pinch-hit appearances in the Reds' three games. He took called third strikes both times.

All of the medical news overshadowed a tight game that put both bullpens on the spot.

The Reds took a 5-2 lead into the ninth, and Graves retired the first two batters before hitting Kendall with a pitch that grazed his left shoulder and deflected off his batting helmet.

"This whole game was crazy," Graves said. "My concern was for Kendall. I hope he doesn't think I was throwing at him on purpose. I know the umpire didn't think so. The ball just slipped."

Three batters later, the lead slipped away as well.

"That was a tough one," manager Bob Boone said. "It happens. It won't be the last time."

Ruben Rivera had a career-high four hits for the Reds, and Barry Larkin and Dmitri Young had three apiece.

Larkin, moved into the leadoff spot this season, singled off Silva to start the seventh with the score tied at 2. Larkin has reached base in 10 of his 14 plate appearances – six singles, a double and three walks.

Young followed with his second homer of the season and Rivera singled home another run later in the inning for a 5-2 lead.

Game notes
Of the six rookie managers in the majors this season, McClendon was the last to get a win. ... Mulholland, at 38 the oldest player on the roster, has 46 complete games in his career, 11 more than the total for the Pirates' other starters combined. ... Reds reliever Mark Wohlers threw one fastball that registered 96 mph on the scoreboard. ... President Bush will visit Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman in the booth during the inaugural game in Milwaukee's new ballpark Friday. Brennaman, who has never met a president, said he'll limit the conversation to baseball.

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