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NL: Reds rough up Clemens

By Associated Press
Published May 23, 2004

CINCINNATI - Roger Clemens was hit hard for the first time this season. His bullpen was no better.

Clemens lasted five innings in his worst NL outing but avoided the loss because of Houston's comeback. The Reds then topped it with one of their own for an 8-7 victory Saturday night.

Sean Casey and Ken Griffey had run-scoring doubles in the eighth off Brad Lidge for Cincinnati's seventh victory in eight games, pushing the Reds a season-high six games over .500.

The Reds also forced a three-way tie atop the Central with the Astros and Cubs.

The only thing that didn't slip away from the Astros was the Rocket's streak.

It has been a long time since Clemens was the losing pitcher. The six-time Cy Young winner has won his past 11 regular-season decisions, a streak that started Sept. 11. He didn't lose for the Yankees in the postseason, either.

The Astros had to dig deep to keep his record at 7-0 as Clemens gave up a season-high six runs in his shortest outing since switching leagues.

Adam Dunn's two-run double in the third set the tone and pumped up the crowd of 41,890, the Reds' first full house since opening day.

The Astros trailed 6-4 in the sixth when Clemens left for pinch-hitter Mike Lamb, whose homer started the comeback. Richard Hidalgo's sacrifice fly in the seventh off Todd Jones tied the score and got Clemens off the hook.

DODGERS 7, BRAVES 4: Jeff Weaver took a shutout into the eighth and visiting Los Angeles ended an eight-game losing streak.

Jason Grabowski hit a two-run homer in the Dodgers' four-run third. Alex Cora homered in the seventh, helping Los Angeles win for the first time since beating the Cubs on May 12. Despite the skid, the Dodgers are in first place in the West.

Weaver shut out the Braves for seven before giving up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise in the eighth.

MARLINS 11, D'BACKS 2: Luis Castillo's first career grand slam capped an eight-run third, leading Brad Penny and host Florida.

Alex Gonzalez had two hits and two RBIs and Miguel Cabrera and Hee Seop Choi drove in two each for the Marlins, who won their third straight.

Arizona's Luis Gonzalez, a former Jefferson High standout, singled in the first for his 2,000th career hit.

GIANTS 7, EXPOS 2 (11): Barry Bonds drove in the go-ahead run with the bases loaded in the 11th and A.J. Pierzynski followed with a grand slam for visiting San Francisco in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Bonds hit a hard grounder to second baseman Jose Vidro, who was playing at double-play depth but tried to get the out at home. Michael Tucker beat the throw and the Giants took a 3-2 lead. Two batters later, Pierzynski hit one over the rightfield wall for the five-run lead.

The Expos tied it at 2 in fifth on Brad Wilkerson's sacrifice fly, scoring Endy Chavez.

CUBS 7, CARDINALS 1: Glendon Rusch filled in just fine as a spot starter, and host Chicago scored four in the first and cruised. In his second start for injured right-hander Kerry Wood, Rusch allowed six hits and struck out nine in 72/3 innings.

He got a big boost from the early offense, including a two-run double by Derrek Lee on a first-inning fly ball that landed in the centerfield ivy. Todd Hollandsworth hit a two-run homer in the third.

PADRES 9, PHILLIES 6: Brian Giles homered for the third straight game and his aggressive slide in the sixth forced a two-run error, leading visiting San Diego.

Justin Germano pitched five innings for the win in his first major-league appearance. Germano allowed four runs, five hits and four walks but struck out five.

PIRATES 3, BREWERS 1: Josh Fogg allowed one run into the seventh and host Pittsburgh broke a tie by scoring two without a hit in the sixth. The Pirates' sixth-inning runs came on a groundout and throwing error by pitcher Ben Sheets, set up by two walks, two steals and a wild pitch.

METS 5, ROCKIES 4: Ty Wigginton hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth to rally host New York. The Mets scored three in the first, highlighted by Kaz Matsui's fourth leadoff homer of the season, but fell behind 4-3 before coming back against Vladimir Nunez.

[Last modified May 22, 2004, 23:37:24]

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