Reds 6, Phillies 5, 10 innings
CINCINNATI (AP)—Another late-inning comeback completed a very tough day for the Cincinnati Reds.
Kelly Stinnett’s bases-loaded single in the 10th inning set up a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, a few hours after the clubhouse was somber following a front-office housecleaning.
Chief operating office John Allen called the players together and told them that general manager Jim Bowden, manager Bob Boone and two coaches had been fired.
“It was stunning,” said first baseman Sean Casey, who tied the game at 5 with a solo homer in the eighth. “It was very surprising. It was just a weird atmosphere. Guys were coming in to get ready to work, and your skipper’s gone and your general manager’s gone.”
A few hours later, they were huddled and doing their trademark group hop at first base after a game-ending hit. They managed to overcome more shoddy defense and lousy starting pitching—the two main factors in a failed season— to get a cleansing win.
“It’s a beautiful win,” said Stinnett, who provided the Reds’ 10th game-ending hit, but their first since June 17.
Most of the game was as ugly as those that came before it. Aaron Boone’s error at third set up a Philadelphia rally, and Ryan Dempster—one of manager’s most outspoken critics—imploded again, allowing the Phillies to take a 5-4 lead.
Casey’s solo homer off Randy Wolf tied it, and Aaron Boone worked Terry Adams (1-4) for a leadoff walk in the 10th. Adam Dunn followed with a single, Ruben Mateo was intentionally walked, and Stinnett singled over the drawn-in infield.
Scott Williamson (5-3) pitched a perfect 10th for the win.
The Reds hoped to be a playoff contender when they moved into their new ballpark this season, but poor pitching, shoddy defense and injuries to key players have dropped them out of contention and prompted the front-office shakeup.
Cincinnati is 7-16 since July 2, stranded in fifth place in the NL Central, but the extent of the firings took the clubhouse by surprise.
“We felt it was going to happen,” said bench coach Ray Knight, who ran the team. “We didn’t know it was going to be this extensive or this deep.”
Only a few thousand fans showed up for the makeup of a June 15 game was the rained out. The Reds sold 29,200 tickets for the originally scheduled game.
Knight took out the lineup card and coached third base. The Reds also fired third base coach Tim Foli and batting coach Tom Robson.
Knight got to challenge a call in the eighth, when Mateo stepped into catcher Mike Lieberthal as he tried to throw Boone out at second on a steal attempt. Boone was ruled out because the interference.
Triple-A Louisville manager Dave Miley will take over the team on Tuesday and manage for the rest of the season. The next general manager will be chosen after the World Series, and that person will hire the next manager.
For the first seven innings, the NL’s worst pitching staff and the majors’ worst defense bumbled around again.
Philadelphia’s Bobby Abreu had a two-out, run-scoring single in the first, but the Reds batted around in the bottom of the inning for a 4-1 lead. Jose Guillen had a two-run homer, his 23rd, and Boone doubled and scored.
Dempster walked Jimmy Rollins and Tomas Perez with two outs in the fourth, and Boone booted Wolf’s grounder to third for the Reds’ 100th error in 105 games. Marlon Byrd then singled home two runs.
Dempster walked two more with two outs in the fifth, and Placido Polanco had a two-run double for a 5-4 lead.
Dempster lashed out at Bob Boone last Wednesday, after he was pulled from a game after five innings and 101 pitches. Dempster, who leads the staff in walks, groused that Boone wasn’t letting his starters go long enough.
“I don’t know what needed to happen,” Dempster said. “When you’re struggling, you’re always searching for answers. A lot of times, the manager gets the brunt of it on his shoulders.”
Phillies manager Larry Bowa let Wold start the eighth inning with a 5-4 lead, knowing he’d have a lefty-versus-lefty matchup with Casey at bat. He wouldn’t second-guess his decision.
“Our bullpen has been completely exhausted,” Bowa said. “Not with the waythe bullpen the way it is—it was a no-brainer.”
Byrd extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games. … Wolf dominated the Reds in two previous starts this season, winning both while giving up only two runs. … Reds SS Barry Larkin, slowed by a strained hamstring, pinch-hit and struck out in the sixth. … Miley becomes the 57th manager in Reds history. He has been the Reds’ manager at Triple-A since 1996…. Dempster has walked a staff-high 70 in 115 2-3 innings.