Dodgers 5, Reds 2
Lima (11-3), who was invited to spring training as a non-roster player, allowed five hits, struck out four and walked none.
“It’s fair to say he’s exceeded our expectations,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
Lima did serve up a mammoth home run. Cincinnati’s Adam Dunn, who leads the major leagues with 35 homers, hit a solo shot in the fourth that traveled an estimated 535 feet.
“I gave up a long home run, but I don’t care,” Lima said. “He can hit a 600-foot home run, but I don’t care. The count was 3-2, and there was no way I was going to walk a leadoff hitter.”
It was the longest drive in the brief history of Great American Ball Park.
“It’s no big deal. The park’s only two years old,” Dunn said. “It’s just a home run. There’s a lot more people a lot more excited about it than me.”
Reds starter Aaron Harang (7-4) allowed five runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out seven.
“I didn’t feel like I had my best stuff,” Harang said. “The pitch to Beltre was up. The one to Finley wasn’t a bad pitch—on the inner third of the plate and down—so tip your hat to him.”
Dunn’s shot was hit to the deepest part of the park, over the 404-foot sign in center field. It’s another 20 feet to the batter’s eye, which is about 32 feet high and holds a party room and television camera placements.
The ball bounced on Mehring Way behind the stadium and bounded onto a piece of driftwood in the Ohio River. A stadium electrician retrieved the ball for Dunn.
Shortstop Barry Larkin was awed.
“I’ve seen Wily Mo (Pena) hit a ball on top of that thing in batting practice, but I never thought I’d see it in a game,” Larkin said.
Dunn’s shot dwarfed one by Beltre, which would have been impressive on another day. Beltre’s 31st homer, which landed on the grassy slope between the 404-foot sign and the batter’s eye, made it 5-2 in the sixth.
Finley’s two-out, two-run shot in the third, his 24th of the season, gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Brent Mayne, who also came to Los Angeles in a July 31 trade with Arizona, had led off the inning with a single.
“Baserunning by Beltre and (Shawn) Green set up two situational runs for us,” Tracy said. “There wasn’t a facet of the game we didn’t excel in.”
Cincinnati took a 1-0 lead in the first when Larkin, who hadn’t started a game since he strained a muscle in his side on July 31 at Pittsburgh, doubled in a run.
Ryan Freel, who had a bunt single to lead off the inning, scored from first on the play but apparently was hurt sliding home. He left the game in the fourth inning with a sore knee.
Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the lineup again. He has not started since leaving a game in San Francisco last Wednesday with stiffness in his right hamstring. “Junior is still a little stiff,” Reds manager Dave Miley said. “He’s getting treatment.” … Reds RHP John Riedling was activated after being on the bereavement list for a week following the death of his father. He filled the roster spot vacated by the trade of Cory Lidle to Philadelphia. … Dodgers right-handers Hideo Nomo and Edwin Jackson threw in the bullpen. They will throw again Friday and then be evaluated for rehab assignments. Nomo has been on the DL since July 1 with rotator cuff inflammation; Jackson since July 9 with a strained right forearm. … Dodgers LHP Kazuhisa Ishii will start Saturday in place of RHP Brad Penny, who has a strained biceps. … Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, in his 31st season with the Reds, signed a three-year contract extension to stay through the 2007 season.