Reds 9, Marlins 7

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MIAMI (AP)—Ken Griffey Jr. isn’t fueled by the drive for 500 home runs. His inspiration Monday was souvenir World Series championship rings the Florida Marlins handed out to fans.

Griffey passed Lou Gehrig on the career home run list with a go-ahead, three-run drive in the seventh inning that helped the Cincinnati Reds beat the Marlins 9-7.

It was the 13th home run of the season for Griffey and the 494th of his career, moving him into sole possession of 20th place.

“They’ve got something that I want, and they were showing it today—that big ‘ol ring,” Griffey said. “That’s what I play this game for. Individual accomplishments are going to take care of themselves. I want that championship.”

Sean Casey homered twice and raised his major league-leading average to .394, scored four runs and had three RBIs. Barry Larkin and Wily Mo Pena also homered for Cincinnati, which overcame a 5-0 deficit and stopped Florida’s five-game winning streak.

“We had some runners on base and couldn’t get them in, and then Griff came up with the big three-run blow at the end there,” Casey said. “It’s a big win for us.”

Jeff Conine went 4-for-4, Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo had three hits each and Mike Lowell had three RBIs for the Marlins, who lost for only the third time in their last 12 games.

“We had so many chances. … I want to forget this one,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “You get a five-run lead in the second inning, you’ve got to win. That’s the kind you should win.”

John Riedling (4-0) got the win, despite walking four while retiring just three batters. Danny Graves pitched a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances.

Florida scored four runs in the first and added another in the second. In the third, the Reds got to Marlins starter Tommy Phelps—who limited Cincinnati to one hit over seven innings in his last outing.

That inning, Phelps issued consecutive walks to Reds starter Todd Van Poppel and Ryan Freel and setting up Casey for a three-run homer, pulling Cincinnati to 5-3.

Pena homered leading off the fourth and the Reds went ahead in the fifth on back-to-back homers by Larkin and Casey. Phelps allowed six hits—four homers—in five innings.

“I just couldn’t command the zone the way I should have,” Phelps said. “And they made me pay.”

Van Poppel allowed 10 hits over five innings yet left with a 6-5 lead. His bullpen—and catcher Jason LaRue—couldn’t keep it.

In the sixth, Castillo drew a one-out walk and stole second, going to third on the play easily because LaRue’s throw sailed into center field—an error charged to him though neither Larkin nor second baseman D’Angelo Jimenez covered the base.

Pierre walked and stole second. This time, LaRue’s throw bounced away from Jimenez for another error, allowing Castillo to score and letting Pierre advance to third. He scored on Lowell’s single for a 7-6 lead.

Cincinnati came right back, getting three in the seventh off Justin Wayne (3-2), who hadn’t allowed a run in his previous four outings. Larkin singled with one out, Casey walked and Griffey followed with the go-ahead homer to right-center.

“You make bad pitches and bad things happen,” Wayne said.

Florida had the bases loaded with no outs in the seventh, but Todd Jones worked out of the jam.

“A game like this, it comes down to making pitches,” Jones said. “Today I made them. Some days you don’t.”

Ramon Castro, who lowered his average to .135 with an 0-for-4 day, struck out, as did pinch-hitter Lenny Harris. Castillo grounded into a fielders’ choice, ending the inning.

“I’d have to say, not counting the home runs or whatever, Jones has got to be the star of the game,” Cincinnati manager Dave Miley said.

Florida stranded two more runners in the eighth, and left 11 on in the game.

The Marlins, who have outscored teams 44-19 in the first inning this season, got off to another quick start, taking a quick 4-0 lead.

Castillo singled, Pierre doubled and both scored on Lowell’s double. Two batters later, Lowell scored on a Conine double, and Conine later scored on Alex Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly. The Marlins went up 5-0 in the second, whenPierre scored on a wild pitch.


Florida pitchers have given up nine homers in two games; the staff had allowed an average of 0.96 per game before those contests. … Pierre hadn’t hit a double in 45 at-bats before Monday; he had two in the first two innings off Van Poppel. … Gametime temperature was 91 degrees; factor in the 55 percent humidity and the heat index was 99. … Cincinnati, 18-11 in May, hadits best month since September 2000.

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