CINCINNATI (AP) -- Elmer Dessens pitched seven shutout innings
and Barry Larkin sparked a late rally with a three-run double
Sunday, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-1 victory over the
After getting outscored 14-1 in the first two games of the
series, the NL Central leaders relied on Dessens (4-3), a handful
of nice defensive plays and a seventh-inning rally to salvage one
game in the series.
Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. nabbed Andruw Jones at home as he
tried to score in the fifth inning, keeping Cincinnati ahead 1-0.
It was Griffey's first significant contribution since he returned
from a torn tendon in his right knee.
Griffey went 0-for-3 with an intentional walk Sunday, leaving
him 3-for-23 during his comeback.
Aaron Boone snapped an 0-for-12 slump with an RBI double in the
second inning off Damian Moss (2-2), who let the game get out of
hand as his pitch count topped 100 in the seventh.
The Reds loaded the bases with one out, but Moss struck out
pinch-hitter Sean Casey, who angrily snapped his bat on home plate
after fanning on a high fastball.
Larkin then doubled to the gap in left-center on Moss' 110th
pitch to clear the bases. Larkin's 382nd double moved him ahead of
Johnny Bench for third place on the team's career list.
Juan Encarnacion's single off Darren Holmes made it 5-0.
Dessens rebounded from one of his worst starts of the season.
The right-hander lasted only 3 2-3 innings last Tuesday in Florida,
where the Reds rallied for a 6-5 win in 11 innings.
He gave up six hits and a walk in seven innings, lowering his
ERA to 2.51, the best in the rotation. Rafael Furcal's RBI double
off Scott Sullivan snapped the shutout in the eighth.
Furcal had three hits but was twice thrown out while trying to
steal second base, undercutting early threats.
The game got off to a distracted start when workers assembling
the Reds' new ballpark just beyond the outfield wall let a large
slab of stone temporarily dangle in play.
With Furcal at bat to start the game, a crane slowly lowered the
oblong slab until it touched the top of the 40-foot wall in center.
One end hung over the warning track, a few feet behind Griffey, and
a rope briefly drooped in front of the wall.
Furcal wasn't distracted -- he singled up the middle. The
construction crew moved the slab into place, then moved to another
part of the new ballpark.
Griffey kept the game tied and made a rally-blunting play in the
fifth by throwing Jones out at the plate as he tried to score from
second on Javy Lopez's single.
Third base coach Ned Yost initially waved Jones home, then
changed his mind after he rounded third. Jones kept going, slid
feet-first into home and was called out on a close play by umpire
Furcal has stolen 13 bases and been caught eight times. ...
RF Gary Sheffield went 5-for-12 in the series with six RBIs,
returning from a strained hamstring that cost him seven starts. ...
Casey was out of the starting lineup a day after leaving a game
because of tightness in his right hamstring. ... RHP Jose Rijo
returned to the Dominican because his grandfather died Saturday
night. He's not scheduled to pitch during an upcoming three-game
series against St. Louis at Cinergy.