Reds 8, Giants 7

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Ken Griffey Jr.’s return to the Cincinnati Reds’ lineup inspired his teammates to their own feats of power—and a slump-busting win.

Adam Dunn hit two homers and Felipe Lopez added a go-ahead two-run shot in the sixth, leading the Reds to an 8-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

The Reds survived a back-and-forth finish for their second victory in 13 games. Griffey went 2-for-3 with his 400th career double in his first appearance since tearing his hamstring July 10, but the veteran slugger left in the fifth inning with stiffness in his hamstring.

“I don’t know many guys who can be out of the lineup for three weeks, not facing live pitching, and come back and get two knocks,” Dunn said of Griffey. “You love to get a guy like that back in your lineup.”

Dunn’s power stroke was no surprise, but Lopez’s second homer of the season was a shock. Lopez entered the game when Griffey left, and he homered from Griffey’s cleanup spot in the lineup.

“I was trying to do something—not quite like him, but just do what I can do,” Lopez said. “Actually, I was just trying to get on base for Dunn. He was seeing the ball really well.”

Sean Casey had three hits and Juan Castro doubled home the final run for the Reds, who blew a big early lead but rallied. Cincinnati hung on when closer Danny Graves got the final two outs with two San Francisco runners on base.

“I can’t remember the last time we got a win,” Dunn said. “Hopefully this is the start of something.”

Dunn hit his 30th and 31st homers off Brett Tomko to move into second place in the NL behind Philadelphia’s Jim Thome. He connected for a three-run shot in the third inning and a solo homer in the fifth, but San Francisco tied it with a four-run rally in the fifth.

“You have to just crush one to get it out of here,” he said. “It just goes to show how special it is, what Barry does.”

A day after hitting two homers, Bonds went 1-for-3 with two walks, including his 98th intentional pass of the season.

Pinch-hitter Dustan Mohr hit just the second inside-the-park homer in the ballpark’s history, but Tomko and his relievers struggled in San Francisco’s fifth loss in seven games.

Josh Hancock (2-1) got two outs for his second victory in Cincinnati since arriving in a trade with Florida on Friday.

The Reds went ahead when Lopez homered off Scott Eyre (0-2). San Francisco got a run back when a fan in the left-center stands stuck out his mitt to catch J.T. Snow’s drive to the wall, sending Deivi Cruz home from first base on the ground-rule double.

Javier Valentin tripled and scored on Castro’s double in the seventh. Cincinnati’s lead shrank to 8-7 when Ray Durham homered in the eighth, but Gabe White got Barry Bonds on a weak inning-ending grounder.

In the ninth, Danny Graves walked A.J. Pierzynski and Marquis Grissom hit an infield single—both with one out—before striking out pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee and getting Edgardo Alfonzo on a groundout for his NL-leading 35th save in 43 chances.

Cincinnati starter Jose Acevedo blew a four-run lead in the fifth to remain winless in eight straight starts, allowing eight hits and five runs in 4 2-3 innings.

But Tomko allowed 10 hits and five runs in five shaky innings. He also stayed in in the third after narrowly deflecting Casey’s line drive before it hit him in the head.

“It didn’t hurt. It woke me up,” Tomko said.

In the fifth, Mohr’s long fly to the wall ricocheted off Dunn’s glove and rolled to the home bullpen down the left-field line—and Mohr never stopped sprinting on the way to a headfirst slide at home.

“You never know in this park—there’s a car up on that wall,” Mohr said, referring to the cartoon automobile advertisement in the left-field corner. “I lost sight of the ball. You run for so long, you think someone has the ball. It was a long run that far. I was gassed.”

Two outs later, Bonds scored on Wily Mo Pena’s error to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 5-4. Pierzynski then singled home Pedro Feliz with the tying run, but Pena ended the inning by throwing out Pierzynski at the plate on Neifi Perez’s single.

Notes

Mohr got the Giants’ first inside-the-park homer since Bonds did it at San Diego on Sept. 21, 1997, and the majors’ first pinch-hit inside-the-park homer since Pittsburgh’s Turner Ward on July 25, 1998. … SS Barry Larkin will return to the Reds’ lineup Friday in Colorado. He hasn’t played since late last month, when he strained an oblique muscle. … It was Dunn’s fifth two-homer game of the season, and the ninth of his career.

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