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Penny pays back glare

By Associated Press
Published May 28, 2004

CINCINNATI - Brad Penny won't forgive the glare.

Determined to keep Ken Griffey from doing anything noteworthy, Penny pitched eight solid innings against the Reds for a 5-2 victory Thursday, Florida's sixth in its past eight games.

The right-hander still was upset over the way Griffey glared into the Marlins dugout as he rounded the bases after a decisive homer in the series opener.

"Something like that just fires you up a little more," Penny said. "You won't let a guy like that beat you because you know he's going to show you up."

Griffey was miffed after Florida manager Jack McKeon intentionally walked Sean Casey to pitch to him in the opener, and he responded with a three-run homer. Griffey glared toward McKeon after he rounded third.

The All-Century outfielder went 0-for-7 as Florida won the last two games of the series, blunting a Cincinnati surge that vaulted the Reds into first place in the NL Central.

Griffey has refused to even acknowledge that he looked into the dugout. Penny said it's unusual for a hitter to glare at the other team after a homer.

"If they do, they're usually hitting over .300," Penny said.

Griffey has 11 homers but is batting .241 after Penny and Armando Benitez held him hitless.

Benitez earned his 18th save and set a team record of 262/3 innings without allowing an earned run. Luis Aquino held the mark of 261/3 innings in 1994.

The right-hander hasn't given up an earned run since opening day, when Montreal's Jose Vidro homered.

"I'm real comfortable," said Benitez, who pitched for the Mets, Yankees and Mariners last season. "I'm having a good time here, and there are good people here. I'm really enjoying it."

Alex Gonzalez, batting .208 this season, had a run-scoring single and drove in a run with one of Florida's five doubles off Aaron Harang, who failed to make it out of the fifth.

Gonzalez also drew his first walk since April 28, reaching safely in his first three plate appearances as the Marlins' No. 8 hitter.

Penny handled a lineup that managed one hit Wednesday night off left-hander Tommy Phelps, a former Robinson High standout, and two relievers. Penny allowed six hits and two runs in eight innings and didn't get flustered when the Reds got some early hits.

"No question the old Penny would have had a couple of hits and seen how hard he could throw it through the backstop," McKeon said. "He has really matured as a pitcher."

[Last modified May 28, 2004, 01:00:27]


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