Dodgers 11, Reds 1
CINCINNATI (AP)—The news that Ken Griffey Jr. would be out for the rest of the season spread quickly through the Reds dugout, devastating an already down Cincinnati squad.
The Reds were falling behind the Los Angeles Dodgers early Wednesday night when they received word that their All-Star center fielder required surgery, and ended up losing 11-1.
“Knowing he’s going to be out for the year, it’s a really big blow,” Reds closer Danny Graves said. “Nobody really suspected anything. To find out in the middle of the game was very discouraging.”
Manager Dave Miley said he learned of the seriousness of Griffey’s injury “in the third or fourth inning,” when the game was already out of hand.
An MRI showed that Griffey was more seriously injured than originally suspected when he hyper-extended his right leg last week in San Francisco on a play in the outfield. It was his first action in nearly four weeks since tearing his hamstring.
“He had a complete rupture of the hamstring off the bone,” said the Reds medical director, Dr. Timothy Kremchek.
Griffey will undergo surgery on Monday to reattach the hamstring and should be able to participate in spring training, Kremchek said.
The NL West-leading Dodgers won for the seventh time in nine games. Jose Hernandez had a bases-loaded triple and a two-run homer, and Shawn Green added a three-run shot as Los Angeles built an 11-0 lead after the top of the fourth.
The Dodgers jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first when Reds starter Brandon Claussen walked four, hit a batter and gave up Hernandez’s triple.
“He’s better than he pitched tonight,” Miley said. “He got into trouble trying to be too fine.”
Claussen (1-3) threw 49 pitches in the first inning, had a 1-2-3 second, then gave up consecutive home runs to Hernandez and David Ross, his fourth, in the third. Hernadez’s 10th homer of the season was a two-run shot.
“I’m up here to learn, and I appreciate the opportunity,” said Claussen, who was making just his sixth major league start.
The first seven runs scored on just four hits, as Claussen walked five and struck out two in three innings.
Jeff Weaver (10-10) allowed four hits. He struck out seven and walked none for his third straight win since readjusting his pitching style to make his sinker more effective.
“Dropping down from 92 mph to 87-88 and getting movement is the key,” Weaver said.
It was the second time in three starts that the Dodgers scored in double figures to support Weaver.
“When he gets run support, he turns it up a notch,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
Duaner Sanchez allowed a double in the ninth to complete the five-hitter.
In recent years, Griffey has been plagued by injuries. He missed more than a month with a torn hamstring that bothered him throughout the 2001 season, and spent two long stints on the 15-day disabled list with a torn knee tendon and a torn right hamstring in 2002.
Griffey went on the DL twice again last year for a dislocated right shoulder and torn ankle tendon.
With the left-hander Claussen starting for Cincinnati, Hernandez was in the lineup at second base for the Dodgers rather than Alex Cora. Hernandez was hitting .329 against lefties, and Cora was .267. “I think since the beginning of the year I’ve known my role is to come off the bench and play against left-handers,” Hernandez said. … Dodgers RHP Brad Penney will miss a start Saturday with a strained biceps. He is alternating ice and heat treatment and will be able to throw “when the nerve calms down,” he said. An MRI showed no structural damage. … Reds OF Austin Kearns reinjured his right thumb while on rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. He was examined by a hand specialist Wednesday in Cincinnati and was told not swing a bat for a few days.