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NL: Griffey, Wilson keep Reds rolling

Associated Press
Published May 26, 2004

CINCINNATI - Ken Griffey glared into the Marlins dugout as he rounded the bases on his 492nd career homer Tuesday night, a three-run shot that sent the Reds to a 5-2 victory, their seventh straight.

Griffey's glare sent a message to Florida manager Jack McKeon, who intentionally walked Sean Casey and allowed Josh Beckett to face the All-Century outfielder with the score tied in the sixth.

Griffey hit the first pitch from Beckett deep into the seats in rightfield, then stared angrily at the Marlins after he rounded third. An opponent walked Casey to pitch to Griffey for the third time on the homestand.

His third homer in three games kept former Devil Ray Paul Wilson on the best start of his career and extended the Reds' longest winning streak in two years. Cincinnati has the league's best record at 27-18 after winning 10 of its past 11.

Barry Larkin added a homer and a run-scoring single, helping the Reds hold on to first place in the Central for a second day.

Wilson, who has never had a winning record or more than eight victories in any season, joined Houston's Roger Clemens at 7-0 with another solid performance.

The right-hander gave up seven hits in seven innings, including Miguel Cabrera's tying single in the sixth as a thunderstorm approached. Fans were urged to leave the uncovered upper deck in the middle of the inning.

With heavy rain falling, Ryan Freel singled to open the Reds sixth, then took second on Barry Larkin's groundout. Casey, the league's batting average leader, was intentionally walked to bring up Griffey.

Beckett became the 310th pitcher to give up a homer to Griffey, who passed Devil Rays farmhand Fred McGriff into 21st place on the career list.

ASTROS 5, CUBS 0: Roy Oswalt pitched seven sharp innings for his first win in more than a month, and host Houston snapped a five-game losing streak.

Oswalt allowed three hits and struck out eight, dominating a lineup missing Sammy Sosa in the first showdown of the season between the Central's preseason favorites.

Lance Berkman and Orlando Palmeiro homered for the Astros, who moved within a half-game of the second-place Cubs. Dan Miceli pitched a perfect eighth and Octavio Dotel finished the three-hitter.

GIANTS 4, D'BACKS 1: Barry Bonds hit his first home run in nearly a month and Jason Schmidt won his fifth straight decision, leading San Francisco. Edgardo Alfonzo also homered and singled twice for the Giants, who opened a six-game homestand against division rivals Arizona and Colorado by winning their season-high fourth straight. Bonds hit his 11th home run this season and 669th of his career on a 2-and-1 pitch from Casey Fossum.

METS 5, PHILLIES 0: Steve Trachsel picked up where Tom Glavine left off, pitching four-hit ball into the seventh as host New York won its fourth straight. Mike Piazza homered off Eric Milton and drove in two and Cliff Floyd added a two-run double. The Mets (23-22) began a stretch of 12 games against East rivals Philadelphia and Florida by moving above .500 for the first time since April 15, when they were 5-4.

DODGERS 5, BREWERS 3: Alex Cora ignited one big inning with his bat and snuffed another with his glove for visiting Los Angeles. Cora's single sparked a four-run third, and his diving grab with the bases loaded ended Milwaukee's threat in the fifth as the Dodgers won for the second time in 11 games.

PADRES 11, ROCKIES 6: Jay Payton hit a two-run homer in visiting San Diego's three-run eighth and drove in four. Miguel Ojeda hit his first homer of the season and drove in three for the Padres, who had 16 hits. Payton was 4-for-5 against his former team.

EXPOS 3, BRAVES 1: Tony Batista, Juan Rivera and Endy Chavez homered and Tomo Ohka pitched seven strong innings to help Montreal end a five-game losing streak. The Expos, still a league-worst 15-30, improved to 6-5 at Olympic Stadium.

PIRATES AT CARDINALS, PPD.: Foul weather forced the postponement. A makeup date is scheduled to be announced today.

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