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Harnisch, Reds Hold Off Cards


Pete Harnisch is happy to get the win. He just wasn't sure he deserved it.

Greg Vaughn and Mike Cameron homered, and Harnisch won his third straight decision to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 8-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

"I didn't have a thing tonight, I was lucky we won," Harnisch said. "I could tell warming up that I didn't have anything at all, the bullpen is the story tonight."

Harnisch (9-6), who is recovering from a shoulder injury, gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. Danny Graves pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances.

Harnisch said the Reds' 5-0 record in his last five starts is a tribute to their offense and their bullpen.

"I haven't pitched that well, but the team has done well and that works for me," he said.

The Reds averted a three-game sweep by the Cardinals who were attempting to get over the .500 mark for the first time since June 8.

Vaughn hit his 19th home run in the first off Kent Mercker (2-5) after Sean Casey was hit by a pitch.

"It was right down the middle a cripple fastball," Mercker said. "That's why he's making $10 million a year."

Cameron led off the second with his ninth homer, making it 3-0.

The Reds scored twice in the third to chase Mercker who allowed five runs and six hits in his 2 1-3 innings. Mercker had allowed only five runs in his previous three starts.

Casey led off with a double, went to third on a single by Vaughn and scored on an error by catcher Alberto Castillo. Aaron Boone followed with an RBI groundout.

Harnisch had an rbi double in the fifth after Boone reached on catcher's interference by Castillo, who had two errors in the game and three in his last six games. Casey added a run-scoring single in the sixth.

Mark McGwire had an RBI single in the fifth and the Cardinals added three runs in the sixth. Fernando Tatis and Darren Bragg doubled and J.D. Drew hit a two-run homer. Drew's home run, which hit the replay board in right field, was measured at 474 feet.

Castillo had an RBI groundout in the eighth to bring the Cardinals within 8-5. Ed Taubensee hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth to restore the Reds' three-run lead.

Sean Casey makes it home safely after Cardinals catcher Alberto Castillo drops the ball.>
Sean Casey makes it home safely after Cardinals catcher Alberto Castillo drops the ball. (AP)

Notes

  • Bragg went 8-for-11 in the series.
  • The Cardinals have not been above the .500 mark at the All-Star break since 1996.
  • Cardinals OF Ray Lankford missed his sixth straight game with a sore midsection.
  • Scott Williamson, 23, is the youngest Red to be named to the All-Star team since Mike LaCoss in 1979, also 23.
  • Vaughn has a seven-game hitting streak (.429 12-for-28).
  • Reds 2B Pokey Reese has only one error in 394 chances.
  • Shaquille O'Neal, of the Los Angeles Lakers, threw out the first pitch.
  • Drew's home run was the longest at Busch Stadium this year, one foot farther than one hit by McGwire.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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