ATLANTA (AP) -- Keith Lockhart hasn't found his groove yet as a
pinch-hitter. Maybe a day in the starting lineup will do the trick.
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Lockhart made the most of a rare start Sunday, hitting a
three-run homer to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 7-5 victory over
the Cincinnati Reds.
Ken Griffey Jr., making his second start since returning from a
seven-week stint on the disabled list, went 0-for-4 for the Reds.
Lockhart was one of baseball's best pinch-hitters last year,
going 15-for-42 (.326), but he's only 2-for-28 in that role in
2002. Making just his second start in two weeks, Lockhart went
2-for-3 in place of second baseman Marcus Giles.
"When you come off the bench, all you really see is
batting-practice fastballs, at batting-practice speeds,'' Lockhart
said. "It's good to get some starts.''
starter Greg Maddux (5-2), who struggled through 5 2/3 innings.
Maddux allowed three runs and seven hits, leaving after giving up
three straight two-out hits, including Corky Miller's two-run
a groundout to end the inning.
"I made three bad pitches and they hit all three really hard,''
Maddux said. "I thought I threw pretty good. I thought I located
After Miller's home run cut the Braves' lead to 5-3, Castilla
and Helms homered to lead off the sixth against Reds reliever Luis
Pineda. Castilla hit a 1-0 curve into the seats down the left-field
line, and Helms followed by driving a 1-2 fastball over the wall in
left-center, a 421-foot shot.
Helms, who entered the game in a 9-for-62 slump, finished
3-for-4. He struck out in his last at-bat, when he needed a triple
to hit for the cycle.
"I didn't really think about it until somebody in the stands
behind the on-deck circle yelled,'' said Helms, who admitted
swinging for the triple. "We had a five-run lead. I wouldn't have
done it with a one-run lead.''
Lockhart also started a first-inning rally with a walk off Chris
Reitsma (3-1), and scored on Darren Bragg's triple.
"You want to get four or five hits. You want to be in there the
next day,'' Lockhart said. "You have to try to be patient, and
focus and learn from it, even if you're on the bench the next
Although he wasn't sharp, Maddux held the Reds scoreless until
the sixth. With two outs, Barry Larkin doubled down the left-field
line. Aaron Boone hit one off the wall for another double -- his
third straight hit -- that scored Larkin, and Miller hit his third
home run of the season.
"He had gotten me on the first pitch with a changeup, so I was
looking for it again,'' Miller said. "He left it up, probably
where he didn't want it, and I was able to hit it pretty well.''
An error by Cincinnati first baseman Adam Dunn led to four
unearned runs in the second. Helms led off with a single, then
moved to third on Henry Blanco's ground-rule double. Helms was
thrown out at the plate trying to score on Maddux's grounder, and
it looked as if the Reds might get out of the inning.
But after Dunn moved to his right to field Rafael Furcal's
grounder, he made a wild throw to Reitsma, who was covering first.
Lockhart then hit his second homer.
"It a tough play, because you know Furcal's running down the
line and he's fast,'' Reitsma said. "I had to get to the bag, and
the ball was on the ground. I tried to plant my foot and grab it,
but it hit off my glove.''
Austin Kearns hit a two-run homer for the Reds in the ninth off
Cincinnati 1B Sean Casey was the odd man out of the Reds
lineup Sunday. With Griffey back, manager Bob Boone has said he
would rotate a day off between Casey, Kearns and Dunn. ... Griffey
is 1-for-8 since coming off the DL on Friday. ... Larkin's double
in the sixth moved him into a tie with Johnny Bench for third on
the Reds' career list with 381. ... Atlanta LF Chipper Jones was