CINCINNATI (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates lost another starting
pitcher, but made a dramatic comeback for their first win under
rookie manager Lloyd McClendon.
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
The Pirates lost starter Terry Mulholland to a sprained knee,
got outhit 18-7 and were within one strike of getting closed out by
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
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
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
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.
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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Chi. White Sox 4
NY Yankees 8
Kansas City 2
Tampa Bay 8
Chicago Cubs 2
NY Mets 2
St. Louis 9
Los Angeles 2
San Francisco 8
San Diego 7