Diamondbacks 6, Reds 5
PHOENIX (AP)—Arizona’s rookies aren’t just taking up space waiting for the veterans to heal.
Alex Cintron hit a solo homer, capping a two-run rally in the ninth inning, and fill-in closer Jose Valverde got his first major league win as the Diamondbacks beat the Cincinnati Reds for the 12th straight time, 6-5 Friday night.
“We had a lot of injuries, you know,” said Cintron, who has five homers and 18 RBIs since he was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on May 7. “And guys like me, they’re coming in hungry to play. We dream about it—to play in the big leagues.”
Valverde (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth, entering the game with a 5-4 deficit.
“Right now, I’m the closer because (Matt) Mantei, he’s hurt,” Valverde said. “But I’m here for everything—the closer, a little of everything.”
The Diamondbacks improved to 36-36, reaching the .500 mark for the first time since April 1 after winning five of their last six.
Tony Womack, who homered and doubled earlier, scored the tying run in the ninth without a hit.
Reds closer Scott Williamson, who blew only his second save in 19 chances, walked Womack to lead off the inning. While Cintron was at the plate, Williamson made a wild pickoff throw to first that sent Womack to third.
Womack then scored on a wild pitch by Williamson (4-3).
“It’s tough, but that’s part of being a closer,” said starter Danny Graves, the Reds’ previous closer. “It’s only his second blown save of the year, and at this time of the year to only have two is really good.”
Cintron followed with his home run.
“Considering all the injuries, we’re just trying to keep our head above water until we get back to full strength,” Womack said. “But at the same time, we’re trying to close the gap as much as we can.”
The Reds took a 5-4 lead into the ninth after Ken Griffey Jr., pinch-hitting after missing a fourth straight start with a sore hip, lined a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Jose Guillen had a big game against his former team, hitting a two-run homer and an RBI double for the Reds. He also was hit by Valverde in the ninth and went to third on Sean Casey’s single, but Austin Kearns struck out to end the inning.
Casey is appealing a three-game suspension, imposed after a brawl with Philadelphia last week. Reds slugger Adam Dunn also was suspended for three games, but negotiated it down to two games and sat out Friday night.
Graves allowed solo homers to Robby Hammock and Womack.
Oscar Villareal gave up two singles and hit Jason LaRue to load the bases before Griffey’s fly to right field in the sixth.
Arizona starter Elmer Dessens made his first appearance against the Reds since they dealt him to the Diamondbacks on Dec. 15 in a four-team trade.
He allowed three runs on six hits in five innings and finished with his fifth straight no-decision.
Guillen hit a 448-foot shot in the third. It was his 13th homer, within one of his career high set in 1997 and matched in 1998.
Guillen made it 3-0 two innings later, hitting a ball off the wall above the 413-foot sign after Barry Larkin’s infield single.
“I’m just happy to be back and just showing them something,” Guillen said. “Since that happened last year, they told me I was going to get a chance to play and I never got a chance.”
The Diamondbacks tied it in their half of the fifth, helped by homers fromHammock and Womack.
Arizona designated Guillen for assignment on July 15, and he signed with Colorado first but requested his release. The Reds signed him as a minor league free agent on Aug. 20. … The Diamondbacks (36-36) have won four of five series, missing a chance at a sweep in the fifth because the third game inKansas City was rained out last week.