Cincinnati (34-24) at Oakland (33-24)

Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed Jun 9, 2004
  • TV: ESPN2, FSBA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Ken Griffey Jr. is still two away from 500.

Griffey will continue his march towards the home run milestone as the Cincinnati Reds try to avoid a three-game sweep by the Oakland Athletics at Network Associates Coliseum.

With his wife, children and father in attendance, Griffey went 1-for-5 with an RBI single Tuesday in the Reds’ 10-6 loss—remaining at 498 career homers.

He is trying to become the 20th player in history to join the elite 500-homer club.

Griffey, who has nine homers in his last 17 games, may need to carry more of an offensive load for the injury-depleted Reds.

Cincinnati placed outfielder Austin Kearns on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a sore on the inside of his right thumb. Kearns has not played since June 1.

The Reds will also be without Barry Larkin, who went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer Tuesday before leaving with pain in his left abdominal area. The 40-year-old shortstop, who had been bothered by a sore abdomen for nearly a week, will return to Cincinnati to be evaluated by team doctor Timothy Kremchek.

Cincinnati, which has a one-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central, has not been swept in a three-game series this season.

Oakland catcher Damian Miller went 2-for-4 with a career-high five RBIs Tuesday to lead the A’s to their fourth straight victory.

Bobby Crosby homered for the A’s, and Barry Zito won for only the second time in 10 starts dating to April 18.

Oakland will now look for Rich Harden to help extend its winning streak to a season-high five games.

Harden, who has allowed three runs of fewer in five consecutive starts, had one of his strongest starts of the season Friday. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed one run and four hits over seven innings in a 6-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

“He had good stuff,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said. “I thought he was perfect around the strike zone for the most part.”

The A’s have won 12 of their last 13 home games.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Acevedo Bal vs. R. Harden Oak
5-12 Record 11-7
5.94 ERA 3.99
117 K 167
45 BB 81
1.48 WHIP 1.33